This four stage tour is held in Northern NSW close to the QLD border. The day before our first race we landed in Coolangatta and were greeted by warm rain which eventually cleared to a spectacular afternoon. We (Marlena, Madi, Heidi and Justyna) were not missing Melbourne’s weather one bit, however Justyna was missing the $150 she got slugged for excess baggage…….but she’ll practice packing before the next round.
Our base was in Duranbah (home of Tropical Fruit World…which sadly we didn’t visit). Our modest shack was surrounded by beautiful tropical vegetation including bananas and avocadoes.
But back to the tour…….
In Murwillumbah the Stage 1 prologue, around a 7.2km road circuit was thankfully uneventful.
We could not say the same about Stage 2 – the 98km road race beginning in Murwillumbah. We didn’t know it at the time but Heidi would end her tour at the 20km mark where she was brought down in a crash. Marlena & Justyna stopped briefly to assist while waiting for first aid to arrive, and were then left chasing the bunch for the remainder of the stage; Justyna was frustrated by a rubbing back brake but Madi battled on and finished in the main bunch, a highlight!
The damage from the Stage 2 road race was as follows – Heidi bruised and bloodied with a busted helmet and Zipp wheel, she was unable to negotiate a medical clearance to continue the tour.
Day 2 saw us starting Stage 3; an 85km road race in Kingscliff…..it would take us through some lovely country-side and also over some roads which, due to recent floods, could be used for moguls skiing given their condition. Though there were crashes, Madi, Marlena and Justyna managed to steer clear of them. The wash-up from stage 3: Madi had a crack at an escape and stayed away for 10mins, Marlena hung in there and didn’t finish far off the bunch, luck was not on Justyna’s side with a chain dropping off at 20kms, she spent the rest of the day chasing.
And finally day 4 arrived, the criterium in Kingscliff over a fairly technical 1km circuit for 30mins + 3 laps. We really couldn’t match it with the best and lasted about 15 mins before getting pulled from the circuit.
Overall our best placed on GC was Madi at #34. The team didn’t finish as well as they’d hoped in the team classification for this tour but is currently placed 6th in the NRS overall ranking with 90 points.
Full results can be found here.
Wish us well at the next tour which commences on the 21st of June and will take us to northern NSW, to find out more visit here.
Contributor: Justyna Lubkowski