At the end of 110 punishing off-road kilometres, looks can certainly be deceiving for although Cannondale's Craig Gordon appeared spent after more than four hours in the Australian wilderness during the fourth Flight Centre Epic, his reply to the question, how much did you suffer out there? .. came quick and sharp. "I don't blow up, it just doesn't happen," Gordon said with the confident aura, one can only associate with champions.
And a champion he certainly is! The inaugural Australian Marathon Mountain Bike Champion to be more precise, Gordon clocked off duty at the picturesque Peppers Hiddenvale Retreat, some four hours, ten minutes and eleven seconds after starting his day at the Preston Peak winery near Toowoomba. The time was well outside of the race record set by Murray Spink in 2005, but on a sticky track, Gordon's ride was arguably of just as high a quality as that of the previous year's winner.
Better still, he did it alone for most of the journey, without the help of any fellow competitors, who might have been of assistance on the long road sections. "I think I went at about the 25 kilometre mark," Gordon said. "I thought the bunch would have come back to me on the road, but they didn't."
For complete results, photos and race report from the Flight Centre Epic, click here.