Collie-Donnybrook brings out the best
Racing for all at Collie-Donnybrook
Bike racing is generally very hard. It would be difficult to find anyone who says it is easy and really means it!
The recent Collie-Donnybrook Return Classic is a tradition in WA cycling that has been running for nearly 100 years. In 2015 there were approximately 200 riders. 13% of of those were women which is in increase from 3-5% in recent years, and reflect the growth of female participation in the sport.
The race was a significant day for many people in Collie. For several women in the Niche training program, it was the first race they had entered – their very first bike race on a hilly and unrelenting course that tests the most experience cyclists! For others it was an opportunity to put months of handwork and preparation into action. We hear two different perspectives from the day.
Determination to get to the finish line – Glenda Wilson
A many story was told and experiences shared after the event. Glenda Wilson, a long time client and supporter and advocate of women’s cycling. Glenda is a Liv Ride ambassador and part of the Next Vision Women’s Cycling Team that was established to provide a team environment for women who have not raced before.
Glenda has recently recovered from injury and long suffering ailments that impact upon but does not stop her riding. Glenda completed the 54km support race and tells the story here:
“The call went out for entrants for Collie-Donnybrook and with some encouragement I registered.
“On the line for a 12.00 start with Daniel O’Donoghue (RCCC and Cycle Sport WA President) and 10 others (only 1 other female).
“With a far from ideal preparation due injury and illness, I wasn’t expecting to stay with the group for long and I was dropped in the first 5km with another chap. With the group still in my sights I decided to just use it as a training ride and hopefully I would not finish not too far back.
“At around 10km out I went to have my second drink, but my bottle was empty. It appeared my bottle cage has ripped a hole in it. I had already drunk about a third from my other bottle before the start but I pushed on at a reasonable pace trying to keep the chap ahead of me in sight. I soon realised ride was going to be quite arduous on the return journey and water may be a problem. I was relieved when I saw the tavern at the Donnybrook turnoff a place to refill on the way back.
“With only a little more than 500m from the turn around point I stopped and drank the last of my water as I started to feel a little dehydrated and I thought this was the turnaround point. A support vehicle stopped to check on me. Still no water, I continued on regardless.
“On my way back the main groups from the race passed me. One group had other Niche and Next Vision riders Dana, Zoe and Sandii and it was great to see them in action.
“It was at about half way back to the Tavern that another support vehicle gave me some much needed water. I was glad I didn’t have to stop at the Tavern! The next couple of Collie to Donnybrook Classic groups were bigger faster with the last group passing me on the corner that heads back onto Preston Collie Road.
“With 20km to go and the Sag Wagon on my tail it was a long and painful ride back to Collie. My gears were slipping putting a strain on my knee. The down hill was very welcome, not just for me me but for the the vehicle labouring behind!
“The 5km sign was a relief and I tried to give it all I had but there wasn’t much left in the tank.”
When hard work pays off for the win – David Wessels
First across the line was Dave Wessels from KD Cycles. Dave has been training with HCT throughout 2015 and a very hard worker. His win yesterday comes after several set backs and some disappointments but eventually the opportunity was there to put that hard work into practice:
“The last kilometer run into town has a short, sharp climb followed by a fast downhill left corner and onto the main street where the road slightly rises for 300 meters all the way to the line.
“I made my move with about 500 meters to go, at the bottom of the little climb from about tenth wheel. The bunch looked at each other to take up the chase, this hesitation allowed me to gain a 30 meter gap which I was just able to maintain to the line. ”
Cycling ups and downs
Cycling is a relentless sport that requires hours of dedication in training and preparation. Glenda Wilson and Dave Wessels reflect the hard work, mental strength and commitment that is needed to keep coming back and keep trying through the good and bad times!
Eventually the results do come and the personal achievement will endure. The beauty of cycling is that people from all backgrounds, ages, gender and personal ambitions can take part. The Collie-Donnybrook Return Classic is an event that brings the cycling and local communities together and we are proud to support so many riders from different backgrounds and celebrate their success.
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