The Great Ocean Road Classic is a handicapped team pursuit time trial. Rules are very simple - work as a team and finish as a team, all riders need to work together and finish as one.
La Velocita's Aaron Mulkearns tells us what the 'GORC' is all about.
Photography provided by the Great Ocean Road Cycling Club
Each team contains a maximum of 6 riders, starting from the Lorne Surf Life Saving Club and heading off in intervals either clockwise or anticlockwise, doing the now ‘Amy Gillet Gran Fondo' 120km Loop, back to the LSLSC.
What makes this ride special compared to a normal team time trial is that you can't have anyone drop off. Your overall time does not finish until all 6 riders have completed the course. The other exciting thing is, because teams set off in intervals based on their handicapped times you have the faster teams setting off behind you. There is the feeling of being chased whilst also having another team in front for you to chase...
No matter which direction you get allocated you get a great 10km climb either first up out of Lorne ascending Benwerrin (Anti - Clockwise) or the Skenes Creek climb (Clockwise) which takes you up towards Forrest, which starts about 30km’s out of Lorne. If you’ve gone too hot as a team from Lorne to here this could make or break your ride and your team.
Once out of Lorne and over the Otways you pass through Forrest, Pennyroyal and Deans Marsh. These areas are beautiful, lots of open fields and green farmland. After this it’s the climbs back over the Otways for the race back to Lorne.
The ride over the back of the Otways through these towns is great. The locals really love seeing the teams out having a go. The café in Forrest is awesome, if you are not looking to break a record, this is the place to stop and refuel on lovely coffee, chew the fat with the other teams that have stopped then get back on the bike and pedal back to the finish.
For the GORC classic I have always been given the same direction, clockwise, so Great Ocean Road to start with, out of Lorne and towards Skenes Creek. I absolutely love this way and I have always been with a team that has wanted to have a crack.
There’s always one spot where I get myself into a little heap… the climb up the back side of Benny before the decent into Lorne. I always think I’ve gone too hard and psych myself out… but usually a km into the climb I feel fine.
Something that is truly awesome about the run into Lorne is the decent down with your team, keeping it together but still working hard for that finish line.
It truly is a great day, the team work is amazing, there are always parts of the ride where someone in the team is in the hurt locker for a little bit and the camaraderie really ignites the fire again to keep going for the others around you.
After the ride when all the teams have finished everyone gets together for coffee, beers, food and banter. And heaps of it. There is a teams presentation for, finished first, the fastest time, best team kit, and so forth.
This fantastic day out is an ‘email’ organised ride. It has gone from a handful of teams to an email that now gets sent 6 months in advance of the date, capped to 50 teams. It is a wonderfully organised ride by GORC riders, their families and friends, the amount of hard work and number of people that come together to make it happen is truly amazing.
I think one of the best things the GORCs push for is that first and foremost is safety, for riders and other road users and others surrounding. It is a credit to all involved in the Great Ocean Road Cycling Club as they always make you feel welcome and safe. Everyone is treated equally and respect is shown based on the foundations of the original ride.
Some noticeable people and teams frequent the GORC and the great ocean road classic are Phil Anderson, Stay True Racing, Judith Arndt (ex female world champion) O2 racing, cycling tips Wade Wallace, total rush, the Kingsmen various race teams.
If you haven't been down this way before make sure you come and have a look, also watch the great Ocean Road Cycling website and social media pages for rides and information.
As Macca the President would sign off a ride report down on the Great Ocean Road