Image Gallery + Videos: Tropical Downpour Fails To Dampen Spirits At Debut Noosa Classic
A torrential mid-day downpour was no match for the spirits of the 1200+ riders who attended Sunday's Noosa Classic, Bicycling Australia's fourth Gran Fondo event and its first for Queensland.
As the sweet sound of freewheel hubs filled the glorious coast to country roads of the region, riders of the 45km, 120km and 160km distance events enjoyed some of the most memorable cycling imaginable.
With the heavens dramatically splitting open around noon, the Noosa region experienced its first significant rain in more than two months, the torrential downpour adding to the challenge and etching memories in the minds of the many riders we spoke with.
"I loved it," an absolutely saturated Sharlene Harding told us shortly after crossing the line after completing the 120km Challenge Classic. "That was fantastic - sure we are soaking wet and have never ridden in rain like that, but the ride was magnificent. It was so well organised, such a brilliant course," she continued.
Sharlene and four equally-enthusiastic cycling friends made the journey from Adelaide to 'the Sunshine State' for the event. Like many interstate participants, her group made an extended trip of it and managed to lap up some stunning sunshine in the lead up to Sunday's ride.
With participants of all ages, abilities and reasons lining up for the event, we spoke with male and female enthusiasts from right around Australia as well as New Zealand and Malaysia, and aged from 18 to 73.
Making the trek from Melbourne to Noosa, partners David & Ann explained what they enjoyed about the ride.
"The temperatures were great," David said, "We loved the course and the variety of terrain. I have experience in managing races and events and I can tell you this was very well organised. The course was well signed and laid out, and to see supporters out in the rain, standing under umbrellas, ringing bells in the torrential rain and cheering us on, it was just astounding."
"You really needed the rain," Anne told us. "Plus it was warm rain, and no one melted ... we will definitely be back."
Full Noosa Classic Results Can Be Found Here. Stay Tuned To Bicycling Australia For News On The 2019 Noosa Classic. Our Next Event Is The 2018 Bowral Classic On October 21.
All images (C) Dave Gleeson SurfShots Noosa