Robbie McEwen's Gran Fondo

Robbie McEwen's Gran Fondo

Postby ride ride ride » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:28 pm

Hi all,

Just wondering what kind of fitness is needed to complete the Robbie McEwen Gran Fondo - 5th Oct, 135km, 2307m climbing. I'm a keen cyclist but have never attempted an event like this and can't seem to find any info on cut-off times. Any advice on fitness level/training/the event much appreciated :)
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by BNA » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:12 pm

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Re: Robbie McEwen's Gran Fondo

Postby ride ride ride » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:12 pm

Anyone done this ride before???
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Re: Robbie McEwen's Gran Fondo

Postby brett.hooker » Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:19 pm

Yes, I did it last year. I am 20kg overweight for my height/age, and average around 22kph on these hilly fondos. I gave it everything last year and came in 20 mins over the time cut off. Turns out there was a bunch slower than me, so I made it through.
This year is around 20km longer, but with the same climbs.
It was an awesome event last year and I am giving it a go again this year. Going to push myself harder this year, and see if I can improve my average speed.
I don't know if they have a cut off this year. I imagine they want to go home some time.
Loving my Merida's and working towards adding a Pinarello to the stable... Go go go...
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Re: Robbie McEwen's Gran Fondo

Postby ride ride ride » Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:08 pm

Cheers for the reply Brett. What kind of training had you done? Many longer distance rides?
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Re: Robbie McEwen's Gran Fondo

Postby brett.hooker » Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:26 pm

Two types of riding beforehand:
- short daily commute to work; and just pushed hard every time
- long rides on the weekends; between 60 and 100km
- threw in some mt coottha and mt nebo rides in those to get comfortable with grinding up hills...
Loving my Merida's and working towards adding a Pinarello to the stable... Go go go...
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Re: Robbie McEwen's Gran Fondo

Postby dclnmurray » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:04 pm

Actually the climbs this year is different compared to last two years. We don't go up Tamborine the hard way from Oxenford. We go up the easy way from Tamborine village but the ride is longer.
What I would do is plan to do the longer Gran Fondo ride and if you know you can't do it on the day, drop down to the more flatter sportive 100km ride. However, if you are not able to do a 100km comfortably at this point in time I think the Gran Fondo will be a tough grind and probably best to stick to the sportive.

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Re: Robbie McEwen's Gran Fondo

Postby brett.hooker » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:55 pm

Good to know... That climb last year was a rip snorter!!!
Loving my Merida's and working towards adding a Pinarello to the stable... Go go go...
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Re: Robbie McEwen's Gran Fondo

Postby dclnmurray » Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:18 am

I noticed on the sign up page they are wanting riders to sign up for a day of insurance ($16.95) or sign a waiver.
As I am a BQ (Bicycle Queensland) member they provide insurance as part of membership so I am checking if our BQ membership is sufficient.

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Re: Robbie McEwen's Gran Fondo

Postby elantra » Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:15 pm

Online entries to this event close tonight, according to the event facybook site.
however it says that you can register at the event venue (Metricon Stadium, Carrara) on this saturday and also from 5 am (!) on the Sunday
https://www.facebook.com/GCCycleFest
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Re: Robbie McEwen's Gran Fondo

Postby wgc138 » Wed Oct 01, 2014 8:08 pm

Just been extended until Friday 5th October 5pm.
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Re: Robbie McEwen's Gran Fondo

Postby foo on patrol » Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:53 am

So how/was this set of events? :)

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Re: Robbie McEwen's Gran Fondo

Postby GeoffInBrisbane » Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:00 pm

First time I've done the Gran Fondo, and I had a great time. I'll be back next year for sure. :)
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Re: Robbie McEwen's Gran Fondo

Postby elantra » Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:10 pm

foo on patrol wrote:So how/was this set of events? :)

Foo

the Gran Fondo was a loop of about 140km, with 2 big climbs.
Tamborine was a nice climb, but Canungra to Beechmont was brutal. :twisted:
Everything was against you on that brutal climb, it is Steep, the road is Narrow-ish, the edges are Broken-ish, the heat was Stifling-ish, and their was, (for an obscure little road in the bush), heaps of cars and motorbikes.
I remember that climb from a bike race 25 years ago - and made a mental note at the time never to do it again.
Anyway, it was nice at the top, and the rest of the loop back to Gilston on the Gold Coast was (perhaps) worth the effort.

In summary, the Gran Fondo was a great event, but only for those at the fitter end of the cyclist spectrum. There was a shorter event option (100km) which would have been more suitable for me.

By the way, I would rate Canungra to Beechmont as a tougher climb than the ascent of Hautacam in the Pyrenees.
(one of the legendary Pyrenees climbs, this year the stage 18 finish line and won by Vincenzo Nibali)
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Re: Robbie McEwen's Gran Fondo

Postby GeoffInBrisbane » Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:25 pm

What gears were you running, Steve?

I had my tractor gears on (34/28) - having not done Beechmont before I was wondering if it would be overkill, but it was not. Averaged 88rpm up there, which seemed a lot more pleasant than the people grinding and sitting/standing/sitting. I get a bit of stick for putting tiny gears on my bike (I'm looking at you, Jason and Luke :lol: ) but I can't help feeling some people overgear themselves.

I'm glad the Tambo climb wasn't the Oxenford way this year, haven't done that before and not sure I'd like to do both that and Beechmont in one ride. :shock: Been down the Oxenford way and it looks like a pig of a climb.

I did notice there was a fair bit of traffic on Beechmont, but it didn't seem dangerously so.

On the other hand - Tambo Goat Track is a hell of a descent to chuck a random bunch at. I saw someone that was waiting (standing upright, with friends) for the medical van after a crash, and a guy fixing a blowout. I'd been down there before so knew what to expect, but first timers could easily be caught out by the bumps and those switchbacks.
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Re: Robbie McEwen's Gran Fondo

Postby brett.hooker » Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:55 am

Tough tough ride, and I loved every minute of it. I am carrying excess baggage, so I run Ultegra 11-32 on the back, and I needed every bit of it.
That is the second time I have done Robbie's ride and I will absolutely line up again next year!!! Gorgeous scenery, challenging ride, great time of the year.

I went and checked the data, and Mt Archer in Rockhampton is longer and steeper than Beechmont, so if you are looking for a tough continuous climb, there is another one to have a crack at...
Loving my Merida's and working towards adding a Pinarello to the stable... Go go go...
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Re: Robbie McEwen's Gran Fondo

Postby elantra » Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:43 pm

GeoffInBrisbane wrote:What gears were you running, Steve?

36/27 bottom gear, which i was very thankful for.
To be honest probably other factors came into it, it was hot, as hot or hotter than when i was in the Pyrenees a few months ago.
There, the roads were smoother/wider.
And in the Pyrenees it was allowable to take helmet off while climbing (the Hautacam and the Tourmalet) to improve thermoregulation.
(put it back on for the descent of course).
But obviously my lack of miles leading up to the event, and perhaps the enormous slice of cake i ate just before the climb, did not help me.
(but it sure tasted good)
Thanks to all those who worked to make this event happen.
Steve
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