Welcome To The
PHR - CYCLING
Challenge - 2015
Gold for the Principality of Hutt River
The RHR Silvertails "Hunting" team (i.e.
on Mountain bikes) will once again be part of the Gibb River Challenge for
The Royal Hutt River Silvertails "Hunting"
Team, led this year by Captain Joe Young, will again take part in this gruelling
700+ Km Mountain Bike, team relay mountain bike event, held in the rugged
Kimberly region of Western Australia.
HRH Prince Leonard asks that you join him
in strongly supporting this foundation
DONATE TO THIS WORTHY CAUSE HERE!
TEAM COMPRISED OF:
(Click thumbnails for larger view)
Report from the Gibb River 2015.
For the uninitiated this 700k smashfest has become an iconic off road MTB event on the Australian and International cycling calendar, attracting elite riders from all states and territories and a growing number of overseas countries.
It is held over 5 consecutive days in May along the Gibb River Road in the Kimberley.
While it’s not billed as a race it is worth recapping the RHRS recent record.
2013: Silver Medal Open Teams
2014: Gold Medal Open Teams
This year without our intrepid, loud and disciplined Master @ Arms Macca “I’m not competitive” McMillian, who was overseas on anniversary duty, the team consisted of Gibb veterans:
Wayne “the mountain goat” Chapman Tasmanian Chapter
John “big heart” Saul Tasmanian Chapter
dog” Young Kojonup
And new recruit:
Guy “the new downhill specialist” Marquis Tasmania Chapter
It had been decided that we would do the event solo. However the 224k, 122k, 143k, 101k and 48k stages weren’t to be taken lightly.
The team assembled at the ‘Spini’ Hotel in Derby on Saturday the 16th May for all the normal pre race briefing.
Then at 9.00 pm , following RHRS protocol and the proven lead up regime we fronted the bar and the Karoake.
As is tradition we led out with Helen Reddy’s “I am Woman”, which again proved to be a crowd favorite . . . . I think.
dominating the floor for the third year in succession Chappy and Joe closed
the session with the Pogues classic “Dirty Old Town”.
We had nailed the prologue . . . . again.
Sunday saw a 5.00am start for the Solo’s and Duo’s for the 224k stage to Imintji.
As we left the transition zone and embarked on the Gibb River Road it was quickly apparent that the loosely assembled 20 odd peloton had no idea how to work together. So again with a little help from the Tails we were soon rotating smoothly as if on the Shelley loop.
This worked well for the first 50k when Duo’s started to rotate out and some of the Solo’s started to drop off.
The Silvertails stayed tight and worked well as a team through the 110k mark, halfway.
As the day started to heat up and the corrugations started to get bigger we were refueling every 30k with support vehicle stops.
At the 165k mark and 60 still to go the seams started to fray.
The roo dog was lying on his back in the gutter grunting ‘I’m OK’ when passers by enquired about his status.
Big heart Saul had found solace in the support cars air conditioning.
Our replacement downhill specialist was seriously contemplating the wisdom of endurance MTBing two weeks after arthroscopic knee surgery to remove bone chunks that had come adrift a week earlier.
So that just left Chappy to fly the flag.
He was let loose in pursuit of Marcus the tattoo kid, who we think could have been young enough to have been any of our sons. In true Chappy form he hunted him down and buried him with 20k to go.
First blood to the Tails.
Meanwhile back on the track Guy had decided it was wiser to forego the battle and conserve to win the war, while the roo dog had made a Lazarus like recovery and towed Saully in for the last 50 k arriving just before 5. 00 pm.
Days summary . . . . BRUTAL.
Tally at the end of the first stage:
RHRS in the Pindan jersey with riders 2 & 3 sharing the third step on the podium.
An 8.00am start saw the Tails settle into the second and larger group and work well through to 30k and our first stop. At the 60k mark the previous days 12 hours in the saddle for Saully was starting to take it’s toll and it was again decided that Chappy should be unshackled to chase down tattoo man and that Joe with Guy, whose knee had made a remarkable recovery with liberal splashing’s of red wine overnight, remain and help Saully home.
So it was again Chappy in the Pindan, Saully, Guy and Joe sharing the 3rd step on the podium.
On reaching Mt Elizabeth it was evident from comments made that a team debrief was in order.
It had become apparent during the day that even elite cycling teams can sometimes make slight tactical errors and the one we had made was not doing a preemptive fixamoul taping prior to day 1 and it was coming home to bite us on the arse . . . . as it were.
Saully, Chappy and Joe had developed reasonable saddle sores with Saully’s certainly into the flesh and approaching leasehold status in area. Chappy and Joe don’t have much flesh so they’d only got rid of the first few layers of skin.
After some team assessment we secured a reasonable supply of fixamoul from Georgie in first aid, a contact Macca had developed over the previous years with his eye obviously on the possibility of the current situation.
We were set for Day 3.
Day 3. Mt Elizabeth to Ellenbrae. 143k.
Again an 8 o’clock start for Duo’s and Solo’s and again Silvertails discipline ensured the lead group worked well for the first 30 k.
The day was hot – mid to high 30’s – with some deepish sand, rocks and a decent river crossing.
Chappy was given free rein to defend his lead and although punishing himself over the 20 k of sand consolidated his lead and firm grip on the Pindan jersey at the end of the third stage.
Guy was in the groove and rode at his pace and performed admirably to secure a podium finish.
Joe and Saully made the most of the river crossing with a cooling soak and managed stops, pace and fixamoul applications to bring home a long day in the saddle.
Day 4. Ellenbrae to Home Valley Station. 101k.
With the final timed staged to Home Valley in front of us, the team plan was to let Chappy and Joe have their heads and for Guy and Saully to work together and “bushwalk” their way through the heat.
With temperatures predicted to be 38 degrees by 10 am and a winding, lumpy section of white dusty road it was going to be a tough day at the office.
It culminated in the “fat boys roll” downhill but as with most good downhill’s the climb up was brutal.
The plan unfolded well as Chappy and Joe went off the front with two others from the get go a held a good pace - 26 av – to the 50 k mark and their first stop. After this the support vehicle logistics became a little tricky but with some timely help and a fluid refill from the Panna Boys, silver last year, we touched base with support at 75 k, then it was a brutal last 25k in the 39+ degree heat. We found respite around the 90 k mark in a duo support vehicle that gave us both 2 bottles of near frozen water and offers of champagne if we required it. It was an absolute savior and timely reminder of the old adage. “Don’t lose any sleep over dickheads as there are a lot more good people around”.
Chappy rode strongly over the last 10 dragging the rapidly failing roo dog up the last hill.
It was then the final roll into the finish for the two lightweights.
Back in the heat and dust Saully and Guy had set a more sensible pace and were looking after each other and with regular 15 k heat management in the air conditioning came home mid arvo.
After several rehydrating refreshments, a shower and a dip in the home Valley pool it was dinner and bed.
Day 5. The “neutral” stage to El Questro. 48k.
With a shorter day on the cards it was a later start and a group ride to the Pentacost River where the traditional nude leg crossing was completed, no falls I might add and only 1 of 5 to ride across.
It was then onto the compulsory team photo at the turn off and the final 16 k to the official finish line at the ELQ campsite.
Lunch, swim, beer, not necessarily in that order, then the final dinner.
The tiredness we had all felt over the last 5 days seemed to be driven away the more refreshed we became and although we stayed with the tradition of at least one member falling asleep during the evening it was only a brief interlude of a couple of minutes due to the fact it was Saully’s buy next so we had to wake him !
Gold Medal Team Solo over 50’s
Gold Medal and Pindan Jersey Individual Solo Chappy
Bronze Medal Individual Solo
The Boys from Pannawonica, Mark, Jim, Jason and Paul, silver last year, dominated the teams event from day 1 this year and thoroughly deserved their Gold Medal status in 2015. Well done lads.
The team would like to thank:
- Prince Leonard and the Principality of Hutt River for their ongoing support.
- The Silvertails for the privilege of riding in their colours.
- Our fantastic support crew in Kate and Angie, you are true legends.
- Our families for their support.
- Finally to all our supporters who have generously donated to this years cause, “The Kyle Andrews Foundation”, a big thank you.
As an aside this year’s ride has so far
raised more than $500k.
As for 2016, give us a week or so to heal up . . . . .
Yours gingerly sitting . . . . just.
Joe “roo dog” Young.
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