Day 5 – Canberra to Cooma

Route: Canberra to Cooma
Distance: 115km
Ascent: 1112m
Total Distance So Far: 585km
Total Ascent so far 6328m

It was a 6.30am start today and we rolled out to the south of Canberra. As we were rolling along you could defiantly feel a bit of a chill in the air.

The guys were prepared though as most had rugged up with arm and leg warmers as well as jackets.

As we rolled along the imposing view of parliament house came into view and that is where we stopped for breakfast.

Having breakfast on the lawn in front of parliament house is one of those things that you might not ever do unless you were part of this wonderful ride so we all soaked up the atmosphere.

As breakfast drew to a close we joined a group of the local school children to do a couple of laps. We coined this ride – The ride of Nations which was led by Australian rowing team.

Today we were also joined by 15 guest riders one of which was of special note. Michael Milton joined us for our ride today. Michael is an exceptional athlete having won many medals at Olympic level and holds the current record for the fastest Australian speed skiing record at 213 km/h

What made Michaels task a lot harder today was that he lost a leg to bone cancer when he was nine years old. This meant that he rode the whole journey with one leg! Tomorrow in the morning when the guys are complaining about their legs we can remind them that at least they have two legs to complain about.

When Mark Beretta had finished his morning Channel 7 commitments we all started the trek to Cooma.

Unfortunately today even though it was a nice sunny day (with a little nip in the air) the elements were against us. When we got out of Canberra we were faced with an ugly head wind. The first part of the day was spent with the front riders with their head down and punching into it. The first 30 or so kilometres we could only manage an average just over 20km/h, which is particularly slow when you consider some of the other days we will manage another 10km/h on top of that!

I spent a bit of time on the front on this leg and I have to say that it was bloody hard work but as the day wore on I felt better within myself that I had enough training under my belt. This I think will give me more confidence for the rest of the tour.

With hard work and some persistence at the front we made it to our first stop at Michelago Primary School where the students were again excited to see us.

Our next stop was at Bredbo Primary School where the 19 students (yes 19 students in the whole school!!) enjoyed an inspirational presentation from Reid Meldrum one of our Optus riders.

The last 30 km of the day the wind had died down so it was the most pleasurable part of the day. Most of the bunch were really pleased to be cruising along at 30 or so km/h

Here are the Jersey category winners for today.

Simon Martin – Focus

Mal Heath – Inspiraton

Shani Vander-Young – Attitude

Pam Savage – Guts

Byron Smith – Doer

Canadian Crew (our caterers) –Thinker

Tomorrow we will be riding from Cooma to Thredbo only 100km but looking at the profile and the predicted 1500m climbing it will be no walk in the park.

Here is todays video


Here is todays Garmin readout

Here is the Channel 7 coverage

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