Julia Emblin joined more than 1400 cyclists when she rode for the first time in the Noosa Classic last Sunday before she heads off to the 2019 UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in Poland next week.
Last year for its inaugural event the multiple award winning rider was competing in the Gran Fondo in Italy where she took out second place in her age group.
The 67-year-old Noosa Heads woman took up cycling seriously after she sold her High Street Cafe in Melbourne, moved to Noosa at the age of 50 and joined the Sunshine Coast Cycling Club.
While working seven days a week in a cafe, road racing had just been “a wild dream”.
Julia won her first major award, the Australian Masters Road Race 50-55, in 2005 and was hooked on the sport, going on to claim numerous national and international titles, including first place in the UCI Gran Fondo World Championships in South Africa (2012), Perth (2016) and France (2017) as well as Japan’s Niseko Classic (2016).
Julia rides 300-350km a week and puts in an even greater effort for three months leading up to a Gran Fondo. Up before dawn Julia heads out along the hinterland roads through Kin Kin, Cooran, Mary Valley then back through Boreen Point.
“It’s just having fun with people enjoying the same things,” she said.
Riders came from around Australia and overseas for the Noosa Classic. Many praised the event for being well planned and safe with a great atmosphere. Riders reported enjoying the hinterland roads in perfect weather and stopping off at the villages for food along the way.