12th February 2018
Written by Rod Harrod
Excitement is building for Invictus Games Sydney 2018 with the first training squad camp for cycling held from 11 – 15 January, in Adelaide.
Thirty eight serving and former serving military personnel took part in the camp centred on competitor’s participation in the debut of Revolve24 Australia, at Tailem Bend Motor Park.
Competitors participated in the 12 hour leg of the 24 hour endurance event, as part of the Santos Tour Down Under program.
Split into groups of 4, each team had to ensure at least one cyclist was present on the track for the duration of the event which kicked off at 7pm on 13 January.
The event was the first time that the Tailem Bend course was used. Hence, the tarmac provided a beautiful surface for bike riding. Given that the course was completely closed, there were absolutely no issues with vehicles. Hence, the event was extremely safe.
Early conditions in the 12 hour event proved to be very challenging, with extremely strong winds that blew up clouds of dust. At times the cyclists were challenged by the poor visibility and the strength of the wind.
The event was a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by all participants. Some quotes from some of the Invictus Cycling squad summarise the general feelings of those who took part.
George Acheson-Thom said it felt exhilarating to have completed such a brilliant sporting event.
“I was fairly tired after the race, I must admit, but also happy for the experience,” he said.
“The biggest challenge was getting up at 3am after a few hours snatched sleep in a pit lane garage to start the graveyard shift of a one hour ride around the track.”
“The weather was also challenging; with rain, dust, wind and an overnight chill, we saw all four seasons in twelve hours.”
George Acheson-Thom said he applied to be part of the Invictus Games Sydney as a personal challenge to himself and give him motivation to help his rehabilitation.
“I plan on building on the outcomes of this training camp as part of rehabilitation that will hopefully enable me to continue serving.”
“There are many inspirational stories amongst the athletes here and I feel privileged to be working with them as a team striving to achieve the best we can.”
Daniel Marsh said he felt absolutely exhausted following the 12 hour event but it was definitely worth it.
“The highlight of the event for me was the team work, it didn’t matter what team you were on everyone just encouraged and supported each other to keep going,” he said.
Ben Morgan said he was a little tired following the ride but felt deep satisfaction having been able to complete the 12 hour event.
“As a team we knocked over 3200 kms which I am really proud of,” he said.
“Sport has been absolutely key for my rehabilitation, the endorphins you get make you feel better and it also gives you something to work towards.”
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