THE blood, sweat and tears of a dedicated five-year training schedule will come to a head for Hayden Brodie in one of the most iconic races on the Australian cycling calendar.
The 29-year-old will make his long-awaited Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic debut on Saturday as one of seven south-west hopefuls tackling the 277km road race.
Brodie, a track manager at the Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club, said the race had been “in the back of his mind” for a long time.
He said he took a break from the sport after a junior racing career but returned to the bike about five years ago.
“As a hometown, Warrnambool boy, you always want to have a crack at this one,” he said.
As a hometown, Warrnambool boy, you always want to have a crack at this one.Hayden Brodie
“It's just getting the hours up and the kilometres in to be able to do something like this. The stars aligned this year and I was able to fit more training into the schedule and stay at it to enter.
“It’s looking pretty good, I think. I’m a bit nervous, but once I clip in and get in the zone, I think I’ll be pretty right. It’s Australia’s biggest race and you’re coming up against professionals, so I’m not expecting too much.”
In the lead up to the race, Brodie has pegged back his training and tapered off in a bid to ensure freshness.
He said he tried to keep the race off his mind and to take a relaxed mentality into the final days prior to the event.
“It’s definitely the biggest race I’ve ever done. I’ve tried to not think about too much and just take it as it comes,” Brodie told The Standard.
“I’d like to get a respectable place but I’m not banking on anything. It’s exciting. I just want to do the best I can for myself on the day.”