Last year I followed Team Brevet's attempt to break the 24 hour Audax Australia Fleche Opperman (Oppy) team time trial distance record. The guys covered an epic 700km but fell short of the 770km target.
This year the team is back. More training, more planning and knowing what to expect.
Words - Mike Boudrie Images - Andrew Clifforth
The Oppy is not to be underestimated. Massive distance, long hours on the bike in potentially tough conditions are just some of the challenges that Team Brevet will face. Of course, the 24 hour ride itself is only the finale in what has been a year of preparation for the guys.
Thinking back to last year, it was not long after the finish, in fact, just a matter of a minutes before there was talk of another attempt in 2016. So, what have the guys be doing to prepare themselves? Basically putting themselves through some tough simulations of what they will face when it comes to the event proper.
Setting out for a Portsea 'double' at 6pm on a Friday is not what I'd describe as a ride that is in many people's list of regular rides but it's almost normal for Team Brevet.
We traveled to Canberra late last year for the 2015 edition of Fitz's Challenge. Riding with two of the team on the 255km lumpy course was both an impressive and belittling experience. It's just amazing the amount of unrelenting power the guys have stored up. I spent the back half of the ride purely clinging on for dear life. Once across the line, most competitors looked like they were on the verge of nasty ending, but the Glenn and Glen duo looked like they were ready to go around again.
I also joined the guys for a ride from Melbourne to Mount Macedon and back. Working our way around the eastern side then up Macedon from Woodend I happily thought to myself that I was pleased to be half way... no such luck for Team Brevet. Once we got back to Melbourne they kept rolling for a run down to Portsea and back. A leisurely 400km+ day/night.
Last weekend we followed the team on a monster ride, leaving Melbourne, heading out around the Dandenong's, up and over Mt Donna Buang to Healesville before taking on Kinglake and mount Pleasant on the way home. Huge.
There's was also Drew Ginn's solo distance record at Brunswick Velodrome a couple of months back, that captured the attention of the entire cycling community.
So, on the 19th March 2016 make sure you're watching the La Velocita and Rapha Australia social feeds to track the progress of these five 'ordinary' riders as the set out to do something quite extraordinary and ride from Warrnambool to Wagga Wagga in 24 hours.
Glen O'Rourke, Drew Ginn, Glenn Landers, Scott Thomas, Dylan Newall