THERE'S not many things New South Wales sportpeople love more than getting the better of their Queensland rivals, and several Bathurst cyclists helped fulfil that goal during the final round of the State of Origin series on Thursday.
Ray Thorn, Luke Tuckwell, Mark Windsor and Cadel Lovett all took part in the last ride of the series to help the Blues achieve a 3-0 clean sweep of the event while Thorn came home with a top three finish in his grade.
Thorn has been a big fan of virtual cycling events, and when the opportunity to take on the state's northern rivals emerged he jumped at the chance.
The Bathurst rider gave it everything in C grade and gave the blues a reason to smile during challenging times.
Thorn said the online series was great to be a part of.
"It was very tiring but thoroughly enjoyable. It was great to do something different. I'm obviously looking forward to a return back to the road, but the Zwift platform is its own beast," he said.
"Once you get the hang of it it's really enjoyable. I signed up for this straight away, and when I heard about young Cadel and Luke taking part that was great to hear. I'm surprised the uptake wasn't higher."
Lovett and Tuckwell had an adventurous time in the series, with Lovett scoring a high finish in D grade and finding himself bumped up to the next level while Tuckwell had a result voided due to high energy output but had it reinstated.
Thorn said the professionalism of the event and the strong measures put in place to make it a fair race were both big positives to come out of the series.
"There's races every day on Zwift but that State of Origin aspect was a big draw, and they policed the grades well. One issue with Zwift is that it's rampant with weight doping," he said.
"It was a very well run event by Koa Sports League with live commentary through the events. It was really engaging with the live broadcast.
"They learned a lot from the first round with the way it was presented and they way that they did the grading. I'm a bit nerdy with all the power numbers and all that so it was really enjoyable for me."
Cycling Australia recently announced their own foray into the world of virtual cycling with the upcoming FulGaz Tour of Australia.
The tour will take in five different venues across the country and participants will be able to take on the circuits from their own homes, in a similar vein to the recent Strava series.
Bathurst's Mount Panorama will be the third round in the series, and Thorn has expressed his interest in the event which has been underway since Monday.