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This week here is a quick overview of what to expect on Day 1

The start happens at first light, its dark, but not pitch dark. 
Chances are there will be drizzle and you will shiver for the first stretch of downhill road, under the control of race director Norm.

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There is a left hand turn off the Colac Rd onto Roadnight Ck Road and that cold feeling will disappear quicky as you start climbing straight away.
The sun will rise as you crest the first part of the climb, cleared logging plantation lets the sun creep through and warm your demeanor.  
A few pinchy punchy ups and very soon there is a left hand turn down Bridge Tk. Beware, it soon turns down and there are steep fast sections with corners that can send you to the outside very quickly.  Corrugated gravel sections are NOT good to brake on when needing to slow down, so slow down early!
Its early on a Saturday morning and at the bottom of this hill is a popular camping ground, Dandos. You may encounter traffic, expect to do so.

After some serious down that requires respect, a left hand turn on a 4wd track, will get you undulating trending upwards until eventually you reach the ridgeline at the top of the Otways.  Check point 1 - eat drink and get going!

A smooth and beautiful section of the beautiful Turtons Tk with ferns, corners and oncoming traffic. Again be careful of cutting blind corners here.
There is a right hand turn a few kms on from the CP 1 and onto Seaview Tk.  At this time of the morning there can be fog or cloud cover, and wallabies! And many pot holes that come out of nowhere.

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Thanks Adz for the great pic!

As you get to the clearing and up higher this is a spot where eagles like to coast on the thermals.  If you look over your RH shoulder, you might just see a bit of civilisation over the valley, you will get to Beech Forest many hours later!
Its a bit of a grind with lots of chunky blue metal on these logging roads.
And then the fun begins after a quick left left takes you onto Old Coach Rd, which tracks its way along a cutting slowly creeping down the valley. Its one of the best descents I have done.  I hope you enjoy!
The valley opens up from ferns and green lushness, into carpeted farmland that opens right up into the oceanscape that is Apollo Bay. Soak it up.

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Check point 2 is on the Great Ocean Rd, you must cross this and the road is not closed to traffic, obey road rules.
Stock up on food, grab your bottles and head off into the bitumen climb on the bike lane for about 5km and into the Cape Otway National Park where there is some lumpy grassy hectic climbing. Its only a few kms long, and will spit you out onto a beautiful track called Parker Ridge Tk. This is also used for bushwalkers, its a wide track, if you see them, just say hi, be courteous and say thank you!

As you spit out at the bottom onto Blanket Bay rd, its can be tourist central for a bit continue to be aware of oncoming traffic. 
Nearly at checkpoint 3....and its a beautiful surprise arriving at the entrance of a private farmland property.
Another chance to restock, as the next checkpoint is just there for a quick drink top up and emergency supplies for the latter half of riders.

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Soak up the chance to ride this unique and very interesting terrain. Sandy based, twisted trees, undulating with amazing views.
Evenutally ending up at Aire River camp ground, which is a really nice spot. A few kilometers of sandy corrugations on Sandy Rd and you will get to CP 4 where you may need to stop for traffic as you turn right.

The climb up Old Ocean Rd is a climb for all to enjoy boasting a 2% gradient, for about 7.5km its easy to overcook yourself here, so feel free to enjoy the views up the valley instead!
A quick entrance exit onto the Great Ocean Rd we ask you to exercise EXTREME caution as there is a right hand turn and a 100mt section before you do another RH turn. You can see traffic quite clearly and they can see you as well, but again, just use communication, and take caution!

Phew thats done, and now onto a road that will soon take you up in hurty lumps, for a long time, in fact it turns into a road called Wait - a - While rd.  Settle in here.  Just to remind you it took the top end elite male riders about 1.5hrs to get from CP4 to CP5.  From sea level you must ride to around 600mts but its not pure up and follows a few ridgelines.  Settle in for a good 1.5-3hrs dependent!

CP5 is a back at the ridge, at Beech Forest, and you will be thirsty and hungry! Make it quick, there is a downhill rail trail awaiting you and more kms to pedal. 
There are rumours that the boys on the front of the race enjoyed the Beechy Rail trail very much.  Its one of my favourite parts of the track too!
20km later you will pass through Gellibrand, no official CP, but there is a great cafe and general store and public toilets and water.  Stop if you need (or want).
The next CP is only 10 or so km away.
Up a climb - of course!
Climbing up Frys Rd, you might just feel the afternoon sun, the fatigue in the legs and a parched dry mouth, keep pedaling, final CP is nearly there.

CP 6 is just before you drop down into a gnarly 4wd track, why do I use that word? Big fat water bars that deserve "respect" -Fat and big that can ruin your day so close to the end, just ease it back and arrive alive.

Sandy and sapping this section of O300 is not like any of the others. Views have gone, and its white sand, hot sun and some fast fun as well.  
Keep it up, you are nearly there, every climb starts to hurt now. 
The final section is under wraps until we get the GPX file confirmed and released, but you will visit the single track at Yaugher trail head on your return to Forrest.  Save some energy for this or make your attack here!  

With an estimated finish time for elites of around 7hrs, and the final riders coming in with 12hrs ride time its a long day for all.
Next week we tell you about day 2 and have GPX files, as well as bottle drops etc.. all explained.