As a B grade punter who loves cycling races and hard rides, the 2024 Melbourne to Warrnambool was a huge goal for the past couple of years. I moved to Melbourne over three years ago and meeting like-minded individuals and friends through St Kilda Cycling Cub has helped me grow and improve as a cyclist.

With the help of the Young Lads of St Kilda, a bunch of SKCC members who often ride together, I spent the past three months training hard to give my best shot of finishing the Wany.

On the day of the event I was unlucky to be involved in a crash within the first 5km of the race. This meant I had to spend 10 minutes chasing back onto the main bunch. Luckily my mind and bike was unbroken but my body had a few bruises including a nasty rib injury.

During first feed zone disaster struck again! A NRS rider in front of me came down in a nasty crash which I narrowly avoided and delayed my food hand off quite drastically. This led to myself and five other riders spending the next 60 minutes riding hard with no guarantee of catching the peloton. Lucky enough we caught them and the six of us shared a few high fives and fist bumps. As Fellow B grade and A grade riders having a go this shared bonding experience, and mate

SKCC member David Mercovich celebrates finishing the 2024 Melbourne to Warrnambool race.

ship is what the Warny is all about. Pushing yourself to limit and having a crack.

From then on I tried to rest as much as possible as my ribs were in agony , especially from any increased intensity. At the 180km mark I was dropped by the main bunch and had to settle into a long slog home to the finish. However I managed to find two other SKCC riders including former SKCC board member Lewis Bull and Craig Johnson. Lewis gave me words of encouragement, pats on the back and as a respected rider around Melbourne this meant the world to me. The three of us crossing the line together felt like a shared moment. A moment of just pushing through adversity.

With the sag wagon pacing us to complete the ride under the time cut off it felt so satisfying to collect a finishers medal. Often I would see this as a participation award and not something I would celebrate but knowing how hard of a race it is … this was my proudest cycling moment. Pushing through adversity with old mates, new mates and strangers to complete a shared outcome was amazing.

I don’t often reflect on my small little amateur cycling hobby achievements but this was something I will always remember and cherish. I was proud to wear my club colours  and that was my way of representing my friends and the club that gave me a hobby that brings me so much joy! Onto the next great adventure!