Melbourne Gentlemen’s Race 2014

Words: Christopher Stack | Photography: Caz Whitehead | Date:

From 6am the first of 33 teams started arriving at Little River, 50km West of Melbourne. This tiny town is infamous for two things; having a band named after it, and wind. It’s still too dark to put faces to names and nervous chatter fills the car park. As the sun rises and the fog slowly lifts, teams mingle for coffee at the Rapha H Van, perched aside the century-old Little River Mechanics Institute Hall. An espresso calms the nerves and heightens the senses before the teams roll out towards a very tough day on the bike.

Along the relatively unassuming back roads, teams unfamiliar with the area are lulled into a false sense of security and press on, hard. The locals, however, proceed with a wry smile knowing exactly what lies ahead. The locals know that something known as ‘Godzilla’ awaits. To everyone else it’s that 15% climb after that 15% descent. Energy levels are quickly exhausted.

Shortly after cresting Godzilla thoughts turn to the whereabouts of the halfway mark. The welcome sight of the H Van in the small town of Meredith comes 90km in. Most teams opt to stop and refuel. We eat, we drink, and momentarily forget about the next 90 odd kilometres between suffering and glory.

But the wind threatens to extend the time between suffering and glory, the last 30 kilometres blasting our legs and faces with invisible energy. Riders who still have strength give whatever they have left. Riders who have nothing left hold on for dear life. Over the train tracks, a left, then a right and we arrive into a sea of blue and purple caps swilling cold beer and devouring sweet tacos, and stories begin to unfold. Everyone has their own version but no matter how different the stories, there is one thing in common amongst every storyteller: A smile.

melbournegents4 Melbourne-gents1 melbourne-gents2 melbournegents3 melbournegents5


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Results

Team Name Start Time Finsh Time
1 Lemonade Scone Ladies 07:15 14:40
2 Rapha Dreaming 07:20 14:28
3 Gambe Brucia 07:21 16:30
4 La Ballezza 07:23 14:25
5 Weapongrade Racing 07:25 15:00
6 Treadlie 07:27 15:26
7 FlexorCrank 07:29 14:29
8 Team Denmark 07:31 14:47
9 Team Cactus 07:33 13:53
10 MCIM 07:35 14:59
11 CYCLEINN 07:37 13:32
12 les maîtres de vélo 07:39 13:32
13 Blotto 07:41 13:57
14 Rouleur 07:43 14:00
15 Little Red Musette 07:45 13:22
16 Team BOD 07:45 14:06
17 Chain Reaction 07:47 14:33
18 Team Macht 07:48 14:37
19 Elwood Old Spokes 07:49 14:34
20 Totally and Utterly
Wrucked
07:50 14:38
21 Cyclic Bicycles 07:54 13:37
22 Rockit Barbershop 07:56 13:43
23 Bakpocket 07:57 13:39
24 Bicycles Inc 07:58 14:10
25 Soigneur 08:01 14:01
26 Five Humans and One Terminator 08:02 14:34
27 Baum 08:03 14:33
28 Rapha Continental 08:05 14:08
29 KmS United 08:06 13:39
30 Cyclist Magazine 08:08 13:19
31 Bike Gallery 08:10 13:56
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  • http://www.velove-cycles.com Kim Roberts

    Nice images Caz.

  • Peekaboo

    For non australians, melbourne is a city in australia, one of 5, not that you would know, because as far as Rapha Australia is concerned, it’s the only one that matters. Occasionally they recognise Adelaide and Sydney, but due to elitism, they ignore Perth, Hobart and anywhere that isn’t in there timezone.

  • Michael Stockwell

    Peekaboo, Peekaboo….. how many cities are there in Australia? I live in England and I know that there are over forty cities in Australia. Why get your knickers in a twist over something so insignificant? Just chuck another tinnie on the barbie and all will be well.

    • Peekaboo

      Because i’m sick and tired of how Rapha Australia is merely a boy’s club for the elite in the city of melbourne, come over and see for yourself…

    • Rupert Nathanmademedoit

      Peekaboo, just go organise your own ride. You don’t need Rapha to organise a ride for you and take ultra cool shots and slow motion video. There are plenty tracks out there. Just ride it

  • Howiebigmac

    FGS grow up. The fact that Melbourne is the capitol of all that is hip, cool and trendy isn’t beside the point, it is the point. For Rapha, it’s probably their biggest market here, and an indicator of where the rest of the country will follow. Don’t forget that Sydney is the only city in Aus with and official Rapha store. Just get out there and ride.

    • Peekaboo

      Check your facts, the city that has the highest sales is the same part of the country that provides the country with its money!
      Melbourne is the home of hogans and amateur cyclists who take performance enhancing drugs to race criteriums!

      • Howiebigmac

        yep. ok