A DESIRE to do better will be driving Dylan Hately’s Campolina Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic campaign on Saturday.
It will be the fourth consecutive time the Camperdown local has made the 262-kilometre trip down the Princes Highway, and with limited preparation, he would be happy if he could better his placing from last year.
“Obviously I would love to win, but if I can better last year’s result I’ll be happy,” Hately told The Standard.
“Last year I finished fifteenth overall and second in B Grade.”
In his first Classic in 2009, he finished in the mid 50s, and third in C grade.
He failed to finish the race in 2010 after a bunch crash on the outskirts of Camperdown wrote off his bike.
This year he will ride in A grade as part of the John West cycling team.
He said an injury hindered his preparation and cast doubt on whether he would line up in the race.
“If you had’ve asked me three weeks ago, I would have said there was no way I would be doing it,” he said.
“I was booked in for surgery, and it looked like I would be out, but I managed to get on top of it with a few days’ rest.
“With only two weeks to go, I’ve been taking it fairly lightly.
“I didn’t go out and drive myself into the ground,” he said.
“My preparation has been less than ideal.
“I will just pick up where I left off.
“I’ve got plenty left in the tank.”
Hately said the key to succeeding in the Classic was ensuring he was in the right frame of mind.
“Psychology is a big part of it,” he said.
“If you are on the bike for seven or eight hours at a time, it becomes fairly easy to loose concentration. Getting into the right mind set is the most important thing in the Warrnambool,” he said.
He said wind would also play a key role in the race.
“There is always a strong cross-wind between Lismore and Camperdown, wherever there is a head wind or a cross wind you need to be switched on,” Hately said.
“If a group gets away there, and it contains the top twenty or so riders, your day is done.”
Hately said there were 30 riders who could win.
“Joel Pearson, Darren Lapthorne, Gordon McCauley and Luke Davidson will be the ones to watch.
“But you never know with the Warrnambool, it’s just one of those races,” he said.