Amy's Gran Fondo× 20.09.2011 (photo courtesy of: Veeral Patel)The first event of its kind in Australia, Amy's Gran Fondo was one of the most impressive cycling events ever staged in Australia. Over 2500 cyclists took to the Great Ocean Road in Lorne to tackle a challenging 110km course featuring breathtaking views of Victoria's coast.Bike Gallery team members lined up on the front row of the start line (for a cheeky photo opportunity) and once the flag dropped the pace was on. Those who thought the ride wasn't appealing due to the mass participation aspect were definitely wrong! Amongst the field were a number of current and former pros who ensured the ride was painful with the front bunch averaging over 35km per hour...A full road closure ensured a safe ride, however remarkably it was hard to break the habit of sticking to the left. Skenes Creek Road split the bunch and many went into survival mode to ensure they had enough left in the tank to make it to the end! In the battle for the teams competition, consistency proved to be the winner. Strong rides by Bike Gallery Team members Dean Appleton, Dave Fisher, Andy Harrington, Rick Horvat, Lincoln Brown and Cam McDonald ensured Bike Gallery finished in 3rd place out of 52 other teams! Apart of the UWCT, Amy's Gran Fondo also acted as a qualification event for the World Amateur Cycling Championships to be held next year! Due to the excellent performance by the team, all riders received a entry into this world title event.Regardless if you took on the course to win, or just to finish the event, every competitor had the same opinion after completion. The Amy's Gran Fondo was a truly amazing experience. If you missed out this year, make sure you sign up next year for what is one of Australia's greatest cycling events!