I couldn't make next Saturday's actual event day so I did the W.C. yesterday. (110km route). Loved the first big hill - lots of turns every 50m or so and a constant climb to the top. Felt charged at the top. The temp was about 17c by 1pm so it was just right. There's also plenty of mountainy bits where you can see all the regrowth on the trees. Another couple of years and it will be hard to tell where the fires were. There were a few rebuilding projects going on and I paused to mentally salute them for their efforts.
There were some medium-strong headwinds on the long downhill after that first hill which meant that in many places you'd slow down rather than speed up on downhills. So that stole probably 10-15% of my energy trying to keep my pace consistent.
Once you plateau out to around Strath Creek you're surrounded by big nasty-looking hills and that mentally prepares you for the inevitable - that you have to somehow get out of this "depression" and it's "up and over" next.
The 2nd big hill was the standard Kinglake hill - long slow climb to the top. Pretty boring compared to the first (short, sharp) hill. The big gotcha is the 8.5% hill that happens after the 2nd hill - really feel it in the quads and there's little time to recover from the 2nd hill before this little one hits.
The rest of the route is rolling hills and long stretches. I didn't start the ride till fairly late so by the time I got to Broadford the temperature was starting to dip - probably 10c by 3pm. I broke a spoke on one of the bumpier downhills but managed to tie it off without bending it, but this meant I had to be a bit more careful about how fast I took the downhills from then on.
The remaining 30kms were pretty normal - rolling hills, straight patches, etc. but it's a good challenge in it's own right because you have to put your head down and just pedal through the monotony. Unlike the physical challenges of the previous hills and "walls", the final 30kms is all about the mental challenge of "just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."
Apart from the really cold temps and the head/crosswinds the ride was really good and exactly as described - a Challenge. Check the weather reports for next Saturday and bring sleeve/leg protectors, not just for the morning but for the afternoon if you don't think you'll be finished by 3pm.