17 July 2019


Struggling through a freezing southern winter, the inaugural winner of Velothon Sunshine Coast 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.

Taking all before him at Velothon Sunshine Coast 2017 Sean’s experience was something he will never forget, but his defence in 2018 left him totally flat. After months of preparation his event finished abruptly, with Sean totally out of contention only kilometers into stage one.

“Last year was incredibly disappointing. I think I got about 20km in and my leg just cramped. I tried to push through and got off the bike and tried to shake it out and the support crew behind me tried to give me massage. I got back on again and tried to work through it but it got so bad that I ended up on the side of the road crying in pain. I got picked up by the ambulance and got a green whistle for the pain, went off to hospital where I was off my face for a few hours.”

“I was totally frustrated about the race but very disappointed because it also ruined my holiday I had planned in Noosa. I couldn’t even walk down the hotel steps without my leg cramping again. So, I literally had to sit near the hotel and not walk anywhere for a good few days.”'

“When I got back home I was resting up and I thought I would jump on the bike in the garage and turn the legs over. If I felt any pain in my leg I was going stop immediately but the pain never recurred.”
“It was bizarre but in hindsight I think it was a combination of over training and probably losing too much weight too quickly. I was trying to get really light for the event and I think I pushed my body too far. I have never had the problem before and never had it since. I don’t know for sure, but I am thinking it was a combination of those two factors.”

“Eventually back into the swing of things and then straight back into the Victorian Road Series in Melbourne, aiming towards the Tour of Bright where I took the KOMs out and finished second on GC in the series in Masters B. Then I got kicked up to Masters A and I have been having my butt handed to me in that league every since,” he laughed.

With the lessons of 2018 etched in his memory Sean is approaching Velothon Sunshine Coast 2019 in a much different manner.

“Velothon is a great way for Melburnians and people down south to get some decent weather and enjoy some temperate conditions. We are escaping horrendous wind and rain. The last time I did a decent ride it was minus two, it was wet and I couldn’t feel my feet for about two hours after the ride and they were purple. So that was the last time I have been outside and I have been training in the garage. It is not worth it, it has been so bad.”

“I am heading up to Velothon by myself this time. After last year I just want to be focused although I am not taking it too seriously. When you invest too much into it and get it wrong you have much more disappointment.”

“So, this year my goal is to just enjoy it more and look up from the road more and look around more and embrace the atmosphere more than I did previously. I am just going to enjoy the ride for what it is and not worry about any potential outcomes. If they happen, they happen and if not, the worst thing that will happen is that I will have a ride in some nice weather.”

A strong climber, Sean is keen to be back and reacquainting himself with the course and some old friends like the famous Obi Obi.

“With Obi Obi on day one everyone will be fresh but then you have the biggest climb on the last day, so you will have more fatigue in your legs then. It depends on your perspective. I like the Obi Obi climb, so it will definitely be a good opener.”

“My advice for anyone riding for the first time would be have a compact crank on the front (50/34) and an 11-28 or similar at the back. 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.