A COLAC district cyclist finished a gruelling endurance race despite suffering from injuries he received in a car accident days before the ride.
Calum Middleton, of Corunnun, endured more than just distance in the 2012 Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic, riding with whiplash he sustained in a car crash.
The 19-year-old said he was happy just to finish when he placed 106th out of 234 riders in the 262-kilometre cycling race.
“Through the race, I was hurting a lot,” Middleton said.
“It’s the biggest ride I’ve ever done. It’s a long way.
“I was happy to make the distance in the end.”
He said he spent Saturday’s race, which he finished in 7:25, trying to stretch his shoulders tight to relieve the pain of Thursday’s crash.
“I was just trying to get out of the saddle,” Middleton said.
The cyclist said he thought about pulling out three times during the race but each time found the strength to continue.
Middleton said he reconsidered at Inverleigh, Lismore and then decided to finish the race once he was at Camperdown, despite falling back from the leading group of cyclists.
“When we got to Camperdown, I couldn’t stick with the main bunch,” he said.
“I definitely wanted to finish it once I got to Camperdown. It was just going to be a sore ride.”
Professional cyclist Floris Goesinnen, of the Netherlands, won the race in 07:00:23.
“Everybody in Australia and even in Europe knows the Melbourne to Warrnambool,” Goesinnen said.
“Honestly, the Melbourne to Warrnambool was the only race I knew about before I came over, so it’s pretty cool to win it.”
Middleton is doing recovery rides this week but will then take two weeks away from his bike to heal.
“Then I’ll be back into full training for the summer and the nationals in January,” he said.
Middleton will compete in the Cycling Australia Road National Championships, at Mount Buninyong, near Ballarat, in January.