Defending Champ Back For Winter Warm Up
16 July 2018
Struggling through a freezing southern winter, Velothon Sunshine Coast defending champ Sean Vintin can’t wait to jump on a plane with his bike and head north to the winter warmth, the glorious roads of the hinterland and some post-race down time in Noosa.
Sean’s Velothon 2017 was an experience he will never forget but he is expecting a much tougher event this year despite being better prepared and having spent his summer gaining valuable experience against some of the best riders in the nation.
“It was a great inaugural event in 2017 and I am looking forward to spending some more time on the Sunshine Coast and in the Noosa region and escaping the weather in Melbourne, where the mornings are still single digit and it is pretty difficult to find motivation to train outside on those cold, wet mornings.”
“In April last year, before the first event, a friend of mine sent me a link to the Velothon social media releases. The course length and profile suited my riding style and having never completed a cycling stage event before I was really interested to experience the event. It was also a good excuse to visit a place where I had never visited or cycled before. I flew up to the Velothon event with no expectations and I cannot speak highly enough of the way the event was organised, from the road closures, the volunteers who sacrificed their time, pre-event information and post-ride presentations.”
“I was especially impressed with the social media engagement, the mobile app and how quick the Velothon team pulled together the professional-looking post-race video highlights of the day so we were able to sit down and watch them at the Clubhouse in Maroochydore before the presentations. Those are sort of little touches that have brought me back to participate in 2018.”
“Velothon in 2017 was essentiality my first non-Gran Fondo, competitive event where you got first, second, or third awarded. I returned to Melbourne re-invigorated with having achieved something that was so unexpected and I started to take cycling a little more seriously.”
“I dipped my toes into the National Road Series (NRS) completing the Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic (280 km) scratch race in tenth place (Men B Grade) and won a few hilly races in the Victorian Road Series (VRS) around Melbourne such as the Baw Baw Classic (Men Masters B). Then in January 2018 I thought it would be a great experience/story to enter into the Cycling Australia Road Race National Championships at Buninyong (VIC). For a very brief moment I got to ride in a competitive race alongside superstars such as Richie Porte, Rohan Dennis, Caleb Ewan, Matthew Hayman and Simon Gerrans. I managed to last about last 42 minutes of the five hour race around Fed Uni before being spat out of the back.”
“It was the hardest 42 minutes of cycling I have ever experienced. I came away with an increased appreciation for the level of suffering that you have to put yourself through event to be able to hang the pro-peloton. It’s indescribable. But it was a great day and a fantastic experience, the weather was amazing and friends from my cycling club in Melbourne (NBRCC) had rode out to Ballarat to show their support, so it was great to sit with them in the sun and have a few beers and watch the rest of the race unfold.”
Vastly more experienced and with a solid year’s training in the legs Sean is keen to be back and reacquainting himself with the course and some old friends like the famous Obi Obi.
“I learned last year that the hills are a lot steeper and shorter than I imagined they would be or what I was familiar with training around Melbourne. I went to Velothon without looking at the course profile and with no expectations to compete for a jersey. But when you get that Leader’s jersey on your back you kind of get attached to it and you really don’t want to give it up without a fight. I am hoping I’m more prepared for some of those short, steep pinches in 2018 and have been incorporating some low cadence (<60 rpm) standing efforts into the training to re-create the fun that lies in front of us for the infamous Stage 3 Obi Obi KOM.”
“With the success of Velothon 2017 I am anticipating some seriously high calibre cyclists in 2018. I didn’t know what to expect in 2017, none of the entrants did I guess, but the success of the event and the social media coverage definitely set a precedent for how events of this magnitude should be executed. My goal for 2018 is simply to try and better my times from 2017, to control the controllable and not worry about placing or jerseys. I want to come away knowing I have improved as a cyclist in the last twelve months.”
“My advice for anyone riding for the first time in 2018 would be have a compact crank on the front (50/34) and an 11-28 or similar at the back, especially for Stage 3. But also to enjoy yourself, ride safe, take some time to talk to the people around you during and after the ride, thank the volunteers at feed zones and organisers for their time, show your support at the evening presentations while enjoying a beer and after all the spend some time after the event exploring Sunshine Coast and the Hinterland,” he said.