For the second time this year VDR is traveling to the Melbourne to Warrnambool in what will hopefully be a more successful attempt than the first effort in 2021 that was foiled by a COVID lockdown. The Warnie, being longest road race in Australia at just under 270km, is on most rider’s bucket list, where even finishing the race is considered a notable achievement.
We aren’t here for participation awards, and will be looking to make our mark on the race with several podium worthy options. The race is looking to be one of the hardest in recent history, after experiencing a series of relatively calm editions after the shift from the traditional Spring time slot. A cross tailwind will mean not only hard, but likely incredibly quick racing – resulting in a mad scramble and for the tactically astute, and opportunity to turn the tables.
We’ll be going in with a smaller team than normal with just five riders on the start line after a string of late withdrawals due to some exciting univeristy placements coming first for several of the riders. Our two main cards to play for the race will be Jason Thomason, and Tristan Saunders. Tristan is coming into some red hot form, coming close to taking wins at the Casterton weekend of racing a fortnight ago against some of the biggest contenders for the race. Tristan will be looking to keep his nose out of the wind, and to unleash his fast finish in a reduced bunch sprint.
Jason took out the win last weekend at South Coast Cycling Clubs John Venturi Classic, showing he is coming back into form at just the right time. The kiwi native grew up on crosswinds and rough roads, so will be looking to make the most of this experience as the race enters its latter stages.
They’ll be well supported by the trio of Will Golding, Curtis Dowdell and team newcomer Kael Thomas who will be making his triple blue NRS debut.
We are excited for a huge month of racing, the Grafton to Inverell occurring on the back of Warnie, before some of the South Australian “monuments” see us round out the month.