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A couple of months ago we had the pleasure of taking part in the third annual Great Ocean Road Classic - GORC for short. The first rule of the GORC is DON’T TALK ABOUT THE GORC. The second rule of the GORC is …well, you know the rest.
That GORC is an unsanctioned, fun, social, competitive, and challenging event organised by the guys from Great Ocean Road Cycling. It’s a handicap and team pursuit all wrapped into one, and runs around some of the most beautiful terrain Australia has to offer. A total of 32 teams with 6 riders per team set off at various intervals in alternating clockwise and counterclockwise directions. First team around the 120km loop returning back to the Lorne Life Saving Club wins. All team members need to complete the circuit and teams cannot ride together once caught.
There are a few things that make the GORC quite special. The fact that it’s a team time trial where every member has to finish makes the dynamics of the event quite unique. There's always going to be someone on every team who is having a bad day and it’s up to the rest to make sure he or she makes it through. I also get a kick out of these handicapped events. There’s a certain thrill about knowing you’re being chased from behind by a stronger group while chasing a weaker group ahead. You can come up with all the tactics you like, but in the end those tactics are always thrown out the window.
The Northside Wheelers team (Melbourne's Rapha retailer) in the film were deemed the fastest team and were sent off last in the handicapping order- a full hour and a quarter after the first team started. After a series of mishaps in the leading hours up to the race the Northside Wheelers were well and truely handicapped. A team member's bike was stolen the evening they were scheduled to leave, the team van that couldn't pick up because of this mishap, the uncomfortable three hour journey in a car they had to pack into like sardines, and getting lost trying to find their accommodation the night before the race. Combined with an cramping teammate during the race, the Northside Wheelers also finished in the same place as they started. Last.
A valiant effort by the Northside Wheelers who managed to have a great ride and a fun weekend despite all the dramas. I can't think of many closer groups of mates who love to get out for a ride no matter what the circumstances. Isn't that what it's all about?
Thanks to Great Ocean Road Cycling for organising this sensational event and well done to the 192 riders that took part. I had never ridden around this area of Australia before and it was great to finally have a reason to bring my bike out this way. If you’re ever looking for an excellent riding weekend away with some great climbing and unbelievable views, don’t pass up this area around Lorne and Apollo Bay.
Great Ocean Road Classic
- Words Wade Wallace
- Photographs Veeral Patel
- Producer Wilf Sweetland
- Director Joel Harmsworth
- Editor Endless Pedal (Graeme Pereira)
- Music Robert Law