Rob and his team rode down from the city this morning to take part in the Santos Tour Down Under Bupa Challenge. Today is about 150kms and while a team bus is due to meet them at Mount Barker and bring them down they may yet ride back, ‘see how we feel’.
The Bupa Challenge starts in Glenelg and finishes in Mount Barker with riders having the option to rider the full 151.7kms or a shorter, more suitable challenge – starting at Willunga (118.7kms), Mt Compass (77.5kms) or Macclesfield (27kms).
An actual stage from the Tour Down Under, Rob did the Bupa Challenge last year down to Victor Harbour. ‘I think this one is a little easier – shorter in distance and no where near as much climbing. I rode back from Victor Harbour last year as well so this year should be alright.’ That’s a 258km round trip so a solid day of riding.
Most of the guys today are from a group from Wagga who generally do ‘200-300-400kms a week – depending on what time of year it is.’ And here the guys began to debate who actually achieved the 400kms a week and it was decided that it was a collective average. Team member Carl credited with perhaps 300kms over the last six months.
The guys will try and ride together – ‘that’s the aim as best we can.’ Will they regroup after the climbs? ‘If you’re not in the group – you’re on your own,’ joked Rob. ‘You find your own group. Plenty of people to ride with.’
And he’s right, the Santos Tour Down Under Bupa Challenge attracts an average of 6500 riders each year, according to Even Manager, Sally Heading.
Rob expects to complete the ride in about 5 hours, averaging 30km/p/hr ‘that’s stopping for lunch’.
Safe ride team!