My Opening Weekend at Otway Odyssey – On-Road Diary. E5.S7

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My “Opening Weekend” of racing looked a little different this year. I swapped out the brutal cobbles of Belgium for the beautiful, yet unforgiving, trails of the Otway Ranges in Victoria, swapping out my classics bike for my Mountain Bike and Gravel Bike. It was my first race of the year, and one hell of a baptism by fire into the MTB/Gravel racing scene, a 100km marathon MTB Race backed up by a 100km Gravel Race. It wasn’t quite Belgium but it was for sure on another level of epic (that I was very underprepared for!) Join me as I take you on the road at my Opening Weekend – Otway Odyssey 2022.

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When I finished my professional racing career last year, I knew there would still be an itch – a part of me that wanted that thrill of racing my bike. Even though racing at the highest level on the road was no longer for me, I just love riding and racing my bike too much to let it go completely.

Being back in Australia has allowed me to go back to the scene that I started in, and to discover some new forms of cycling that I had missed out on the first time around.

After getting involved and chatting to people here, I started to understand that the Otway Odyssey, held in the Otway Ranges south of Melbourne, was an event that I could not miss.

The Otway Odyssey is legendary for anyone who lives over here, and it is an amazing event. The first day is a 100km Marathon MTB race over the Otway ranges, starting and finishing in the Victorian town of Forrest. If that’s not enough then we had to back it up on the second day which was a 100 km gravel race in the same area.

The Otway Ranges are spectacular and there was some absolutely beautiful riding: but holy hell it was tough!

I went in unknowingly very under prepared, and I payed for it.

After being in the World Tour for over a decade I was in for a big shock to go well out of my comfort zone and step away form the luxury of team busses and a high group of staff dedicated to helping me go faster.

This was in fact my own “Opening Weekend” of racing: the start of my new adventure. It all came as a bit of a shock, and you can hear in the episode just how I got on (and how hard these things are!).

I also got the chance to meet a whole new crew of people, and be part of a new peloton (but this time it was me who was the total amateur). In the name of the pod, I threw the mic in there and started to document just what my new life in the peloton is going to be like..

I hope you enjoy coming along for the ride!




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Show Notes

Episode breakdown:

0:00min to 2:25 – Episode Intro

2:25min to 24:20 – Day 1 – 100km MTB Race

24:20min to 39:00 – Day 2 – 100km Gravel Race

39:00min to end – Outro and next episode preview

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Read more about Otway Odyssey:

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This episode is brought to you by Rapha, makers of the world’s finest cycling clothing & accessories and the worlds largest cycling club, RCC. Find out more about Rapha: their kit, their club, their events and awesome clubhouses at

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Theme Music

The theme music for Life in the Peloton was composed by Pete Shelley, who was lead singer of the punk band Buzzcocks. It was commissioned by the production company behind Channel 4’s coverage of the Tour de France in the 1980s and was used as the theme music for the nightly highlights show. Pete died in December 2018. We were given permission by Pete’s widow and his manager to continue using the music for the theme tune to Life in the Peloton. To hear more about the music, listen to the Andre Greipel episode of Life in the Peloton.


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Released: March 9, 2022