PORTLAND road cyclist Shannon Malseed took arguably her biggest step forward in her young riding career on Sunday when she claimed the lead in the Victorian Road Series with a fourth placing at the Alpine Resort Classic from Warragul to Mt Baw Baw.
The 103-kilometre event is regarded as one of the most challenging in Australia, with around 10 per cent of the field failing to complete the course again this year.
While the majority of the course is quite undulating, including one four-kilometre climb at a gradient of seven per cent, the final six kilometres is at an incredible 13 per cent.
To put that in perspective Bridgewater’s dreaded ‘Shuffler’ is also per cent, however it is only a little more than one kilometre.
It was Malseed’s second attempt at the gruelling course, slicing 20 minutes from her 2013 time on Sunday to finish fourth in the A grade women, enough to push her to a one-point lead in the series after three events.
She said she had never pushed herself as hard as she did during Sunday’s event, saying at one point she actually felt like she might pass out.
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