Dirty Grand Fondo review , by Celine

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Top Gear Cycles at 2015 DOUBLE CROSS DIRTY GRAN FONDO -Big Hill Events-  ( by Celine Hepworth)

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Last weekend we got a group of riders together to take on the Dirty Grand Fondo, super fun event that was challenging but very rewarding at the same time.

I am training for the World Duathlon Championships in 3 weeks and my skills off road are non existent, my last family ride at Lysterfield with my husband Peter and my 15 year old twins girls was a little tense and my twins kept telling me to relax and let the bike to the work… I decided to enter the 50km to get a solid strength training up the hills and to survive the down hills.  First cycle cross event was only two weeks ago and now I would be riding with my husband Peter.

When I woke up Sunday morning I got a special note from my twins girls which made my day.  And the perfect weather blue sky and 20 degrees.

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Peter my husband, Nick and Lucas our staff memebers. Jackie, Greg and Jenny and Angus were all at the starting line.

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It was great that there were 17 womens entered in the 75km and 33 womens in the 50km versus 121 M in the 75km and 71 men in the 50km.

The race started easy rolling down hill on  a gentle fire trail and the view was spectacular. After 6km the filed starting to spread out as we started the first 7 km climbs which had an average gradient of 4.3% .  I kept passing riders up encouraging them and telling them that I was only riding the 50km.  We started the first descent and got a little nervous , it was very bumpy and lots of water bottle were flying of the rider’s bikes.  The 5.3km Drop Hill descent was brutal with lots of pot holes and gravels. I tryed to stay relaxed.

I got passed by a few riders on the decent. I was really happy when we started the second climb another great challenge with agood gradient. The view was amazing.

Greg came flying passed at the 50km and 75 km turn off.I kept working hard 10km to go I was riding by myself until I caught another women rider 5 km to go .  My competitive nature took over and I worked really hard until the finish line not knowing where I was placed.I finished and was very happy and amazed  when I was told I finished 2nd women overall and 1st cycle cross rider and 5th overall.

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Nick crossed the line 3rd in the 75km CX category and Jackie 2nd in the women 75km MTB.  Jenny , Greg and Lucas all did so well. Great work for Top Gear Cycles.  I was waiting for my husband to finish when he called me I got worried but he asked me to tell the official that a rider had a bad crash and needed first aid and an ambulance.  Peter and Angus had stopped at the 60 km mark to give assistance to a rider  who was badly hurt and waited for the 1st aid to get there before finishing there ride. Then a women came up to me at the finish to thank my husband Peter for changing her tyre during the ride as she had a puncture.

IT was a great experience and I will do it next year.  The burgers made by the CFA were delicious and it was such a friendly atmosphere. Great event run by Bighill events.

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Peter and Angus were given some beers for providing 1st aid.

Bikes used by shop riders

Diverge, Crux, Epic.

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