Thursday, October 31, 2013

Race Report from Wellington Cycling Club website

article by Chris Webb

Sunday 27 October, 2013. In northern New South Wales, the final round of the National Road Series was wrapping up at arguably Australia’s hardest and most prestigious one-day road race, Grafton to Inverell.
Two thousand kilometres further South in the Gippsland Region of Victoria, a difficult but shorter and younger race prepared itself too. The Stratford to Dargo, a lumpy, winding race along quiet country roads, exposed riders to a pick-a-plank bridge and a myriad of short sharp and long draggy climbs, punctuated by the sting in the tail; the wall. The final 10km come at 8%, although that obscures the 21% gradients hidden near its end. 

A nervous energy passed throughout the Stratford football grounds carpark, with riders checking and double checking their equipment and supplies. Riders were overheard hypothesising in the final minutes of the virtues of gels throughout versus only within the last hour, one banana or two, water or electrolytes and as is common for Victoria; arm warmers or bust.

Under scattered grey cloud, the Mens A grade rolled down Llowalong Road and began the battle. The remaining grades, like lambs to the slaughter, dutifully lined up and awaited their turn. Those who had turned up with form champed at the bit, whereas many return victims understood the sensible cycling that would be necessary to arrive under their own power.

The rolling hills greet the riders within the first 10km and become an unwanted passenger from thereon. Ascending the local Stockdale loop in reverse, riders legs quickly warm up in preparation for the rollercoaster that is Beverleys Road. Sharp rises with long drags at the top do their bit to seed the riders before the first real test; Bairnsdale River to Daveys Knob. For the fast boys it’s a big ring effort. For the rest, 9km at 4% is however it gets the job done. Not many races can claim to have a long climb begining with a standing(ish) start – a classic pick-a-plank bridge is a neutral zone at the start of the climb and has claimed many a cyclist scalp (or should that read tooth?). That didn’t stop many grades from attempting to ride it, with varying degrees of success. All to be snuffed out by the commissaires ensuring no advantage was taken. Risk versus reward?
The sun was now warming up, the clouds were parting and the roads were wearing heavy. Climbing to the feed station at 60km, the grades now represented those who would race for the podium, those who pushed on in need of points for Tour of Bright and those whose main purpose was to conquer the impending pain.

The Stratford to Dargo (#S2D13) continued to grow in reputation, with it being placed on the Victorian Road Series Calendar for 2013, making it a stepping stone to the Tour of Bright for many cyclists.
The race could not go ahead without support and assistance of many volunteers, community groups and organisations. A huge thanks to Mike Renehan and co. for herding the cats and ensuring another memorable cycling event.

Other excellent reports from the weekends racing are listed here:
An interview with the overall winner, Brendan Canty:
And beautiful photography, capturing the anticipation, the pain and the relief/joy:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Race Reports and Photos from the Stratford to Dargo 2013

Two race reports and the link to the Pics taken by Jo Upton are in the right hand column.....Share the event and check out some great pics.

All the race RESULTS are HERE.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Start LIsts are Up

The Start Lists are up for the 2013 Stratford to Dargo
A Grade, B Grade, C Grade
Masters A B C
Women B & C

Click Here to see the Start Lists

PS. Thanks to this tweet for the A Grade Italian advice........

right now there are a bunch of a-graders googling an italian rider. let me save you the trouble 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Rules of the Race (The Fine Print)


A 105km Road Race with 3 major climbs from Stratford to Dargo via Beverley’s Road with the finish at Hibernia Road, 16km North of Dargo on the Dargo High Plains Road. The final 10.58km rises 918m with an average incline of 8.3%.
  • Graded scratch races - Elite Men A, B & C Grade, Women - A, B & C Grade, Masters Men - A, B & C Grade. ALL grades will be subject to sufficient entries being received.
  • Feed Zones for the event will be located at approx 60km race distance and again in Dargo prior to commencing the final climb to the finish.
  • Riders are to supply their own support at the feed zones.
  • Neutral water will be available at the Dargo Feed Zone and all riders must ensure they have sufficient fluids with them for the final 16km climb to the finish line at Hibernia Road.'(Due to the steep, narrow and winding road on the climb, support vehicles will be heavily restricted.)
  • In the event of extreme heat on race day, additional on course water will be arranged. Should this be necessary details will be provided at the rider briefing.
  • A cut off time will be applied by the Race Director, details provided at briefing. Riders not in Dargo by this time will not be permitted to begin the final climb to the finish.
  • Return bus transport from Dargo to Stratford may be available, cost will be $15 per rider. Seats will be limited and must be booked and paid for in advance, direct to Wellington Cycling Club. Bookings will close Wednesday October 23rd. Contact the Secretary for details;
  • Roads used for this event offer limited overtaking opportunities for support vehicles. Patience and courtesy will be required by all support vehicle drivers. Support vehicles will be advised to use an alternate route, via Fernbank, to get to Dargo ahead of riders. Police will be on course to ensure all riders and drivers comply with the road rules.
  • Presentations will take place at the Dargo Hotel at the conclusion of the race. ALL placegetters are requested to remain for the presentations.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Due to Popular Request, we have  included a MAP of the RACE START for the Stratford to Dargo.

1. Drive into Stratford
2. At the Roundabout where the Princes Hwy turns right, PROCEED STRAIGHT AHEAD and then turn left into Llowalong Road.

We anticipate having signs up to make it easier for everyone.

Map of Stratford

Monday, September 9, 2013

Change to the Start of the Stratford to Dargo for 2013

The Stratford to Dargo will start at the Stratford Tennis Club this year. This means good parking and plenty of places to warm up that are nearby without interfering with the course.

Secondly the Dargo Hotel is on board as a sponsor again this year with presentations to be at the Dargo Hotel at the conclusion of the event......A perfect place to get all the troops together and start the post-race discussion before the long trip home.

Source: Google Images

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