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Tour Down Under 2009. Stage 1 (the return of the king!)

Ok guys...I hope you're all going to be glued to your internet following the 30 minute highlight packages for the next few nights....I know I won't be (gloat gloat!!)

The classic has been run and won.  About all i got from the race was that Greipl struggled to hold on to the Columbia train in the leadout. He still finished off well but I don't think he'll get a job on the Cavendish train.  Hansen, Hincapie and Renshaw were too strong for him and Graeme Brown of Rabobank kept getting in the way.  The big impressors for the night were O'Grady, Rojas, Eisels and McEwan I guess and all the wee kiddies and TV stars that had a go.  Lance looked a bit stiff to me and Pereiro looked all spazzy.  The guys in the pack all looked pretty comfortable with the heat and only Michael Rogers DNF'd it.  I think heat and EBV not a good mix perhaps.

Moncoutie impressed me in the fact that he was able to ride the whole race with a heart rate less than mine....lazy french git!!! (am I allowed to say that...i hope you guys know I'm in jest!!)

So...on to Stage one and the actual start of the first Pro Tour event for 2009.  It's gonna be hot, not as hot as the 100 I had to race in this evening (I won again by the way but it's not about me anymore) but up in the high 80's and there's not much shade out there tomorrow.

The race starts in neutral through Adelaide's north eastern suburban road and the flag goes down when they hit the main road to Perth.  They then wind through a card-board cut out suburb called Mawson Lakes (which is where it will finish should a strong wind not blow all the houses down) then through Elizabeth (which is where i was dragged up) and climbs up a rather steep hill towards the Electricity sub-station (I bet that's not on the map).  This is where the first break of the day will form and first day breaks have won the TDU in the past so they'll be putting the hammer down.  There'll be a few local boys in the group to show the way if the marshalls are stoned (they chew gum leaves while they wait).  All the big teams (which I predict will be Caisse, Columbia, Saxo Bank, Garmin (surprisingly enough)....and perhaps Astana...will need to watch whether their opposition are sending aces or jokers across to the break.  I'm bored...here's the map Tdu09_map_stage1_600__medium

via www.tourdownunder.com.au

The roads then become windy and undulating through a gorgeous road through the reservoirs around Chain of Ponds.  Plenty of shade on these roads but i don't think anyone will be setting up the massage table.  There was a sprint somewhere back there but the break would have squabbled like gulls for a tid-bit for the dollars on offer and the prestige of the sprint jersey, which, like it's sponsor will be a lottery.

Now on to the serious shit.  The KOM (sponsored by a crap car company)....that's where i'm gonna be perched giving CycleGirl the live bradcast via text message.  This is a short but seriously painful climb...I will be seeing pain on the 10% bit of it (resplendant with PdC logo'd artwork) and the false flat at the top is a killer too.  The descent is awesome.  I've done 87km/hr down there so these dudes will crack the ton for sure.  Then there's a boring section through some parched dry fields and past the occasional undernourished cow or sheep.  The feed station might be exciting though...who will be first to get the Lance Armstrong cast off...they better have security!!

More bush...the occasional Kangaroo and some serious breakaway chasing is what will be happening here.  The bunch should be all back together before the descent back to the plains where CycleGirl and her sister should be well and truly pissed and waving underwear in the air.  The pointy end of the field will be made up by the teams that have got fat guys that still have some energy left for what has to be the longest home straight in history.  From when they go past the pub where I had my 18th and broke my arm slipping into the pisser (The Old Spot) to where they turn out for Stage prop city (Mawson Lakes on the map) it's 8km of straight dual carriageway.   I want a perfect arrow formation here boys... I wanna see Jensy, Georges, that ugly mean Kiwi guy Dean and even Lance driving it home here.  I wanna see the ariel view so that I can see if the trees we planted for a school project still read 'AIRPORT' They'll probably all be too f***** to be arsed sprinting for the line so my moneys on Eisel perhaps.

I hope you guys enjoy it.

Flatbagger two....one nut nil!!!

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