The Melbourne to Warrnambool, or “The Warny”, as it’s affectionately known and abbreviated like most other nouns by the Aussies, has some big changes coming this year. It’s the world’s second oldest race and was the world’s longest UCI sanctioned race at 299km. You may remember me going on and on about the Warny in the humble beginnings of this blog when I was training for it last year. I’ve done it 3 times now and I always hold a special place in my heart for it. Just like a big night on the piss though, I always vow NEVER to do it again. BUT, with some exciting changes being implemented this year, I’ll publicly state that I’m gonna give it another go!
The Warny will now be shortened to 265km because of traffic safety concerns. When I first read this I thought “why bother now that it’s not the longest race in the world?”. However, the 299kms that many of us have endured time and time again was the most excruciatingly boring and monotonous ride of my life in my opinion. It’s promised that “The riders will wonder what hit them, but the race is now a genuine European-style classic, with a huge challenge at the 200km mark“. I like the sounds of this and will have one last hit-out. The shortened distance will take nearly an hour off the finishing time. There’s a big difference between 6hr and 7hrs on a bike.
The other change that I’m pumped about is that there’s a 115km Shipwreck Coast Classic the day after the Warny, or “the Shippy” I’m preemptively nicknaming it. By CycloSport Victoria’s description, it’ll look something like this:
Read all the details about the Warny and the Shippy changes here
In the weeks leading up to the Warny 6 months from now, I’ll be posting tips and advice from some of the champions who have raced it and who have won it. For the rest of you in the world, you’ll have to come to Australia to find out what all the fuss is about! Either way, a long race is a long race. These tips will be relevant to any sufferfest over 4hrs long.