There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day!!! The Podium Cafe Limo is almost nearing completion and will be parked in strategic places along the route over the next week or so. I hope the hood is not too lairy for a Volvo.
So...the 2010 Tour Down Under, what does it have install for the cycling afficionados worldwide?
It has Lance...again. This year with his new Radioshack team (Radioshack stores are still called Tandy in Oz I think) and some very handy seasoned riders. Popovych, Impey, Vaitkus and a rather handy sprinter called Steegmans, Gert used to lead a guy called Robbie to the line with perfection....it's Impey's turn to do the same. The cancer thing seems so passe this year and most of Lance's talk is about riding, and The Tours, and Classics...wierd!!
It has Lance's old team Astana, who will be trying to get TDU legend Allan Davis over the line first (but I'm sure the QS Director Sportif might have something to say about that). Vinikourov you're not welcome here.... wanker!!
It has Cadel's new team BMC. Hincapie, Kroon, red lycra what more could you ask for? When was the last time we had the current World Champion of the Road Race riding in the Tour Down Under....never, that's when!!
Then there's Columbia HTC or HTC Columbia or whatever. Greipl has to be the favourite to take overall honours should a breakaway not be successful.. Grabsch, Rogers, Eisel, Greipl....not a bad B Train!!
Team Sky seem to be over here to get sun-tans,
AG2R were first team to arrive so if reconnaiscence has anything to do with it Elmiger or Dessel could be adding to the already impressive list of AG2R TDU vanquers....I doubt it.
Katusha win the award for having the most letters in their team start list...and Robbie. Robbie has won 132 stages of the Tour DownUnder and kicks arse!!
Stuey will always be the sentimental favourite for the TDU...and with Big Jens in what might be his last year on the Pro Tour team SaxoBank have more guns than just Cookie, who i know would just love to get a stage victory here and especially go one better than his second behind Greipl at the CCHC last year.
Milram will be looking at getting someone into a break on Stage 2 as it finishes in the Germanic town of Hahndorf...Luke Roberts on his return to his home race perhaps.
FDJ and OPL always tend to have someone in an early break and Stge 1 looks like it will again be a decider if the right group get over Menglers Hill first.. One of the local cycling clubs in Adelaide choose an 'unknown' to cheer for every year...this is Arty Vichot's year they think.
And then we have the almighty pairing of Sanchez and Valverde for Caisse D'Espargne....but my man for this years TDU.....Rojas, If Jose is not kicking arse by stage 3 he's gonna get hose B somewhere unpleasant .
I hope the Euskatel Euskadi boys appreciate the fact that I have painted the hood of my belove Volvo in their Basque colours and will not be doing the usual lazy-arse effort that they normally put up in the TDU.
Or is it Rabobank orange?? Perhaps the PdC logo is Rabo orange not Euski orange and i have fucked up!! Graeme Brown and some Dutch guys...what more can i say that Frinking already hasn't!
Liquigas....no Bennati, no Liqigas for this lover of all things smooth and tanned....another team out to get an even tan i reckon.
Garmin Transitions with Jackie Bobby at the helm. He should know the course so if they follow him they'll be right...who needs a flamin GPS anyway! For some strange reason I like this squad...it has balance and poise and plaid or whatever it's callled.
Quick Step are only here to nobble Alfie and prepare for the TOQ.
Finally Team UniSA. And not a finer collection of cyclists could one find at such short notice. Kemps only got the nod last week after finishing a distant second to Mini Meyer at the Oz Champs.
I'm tipping at least one stage win for the local boys even if it means me parking the Volvo across the finishing straight to impede the fantastic sprints that will be on offer. Steegmans, Greipl, Sutton, McEwan, Elmiger, O'Grady, Cooke, Forster, Arty Vichot, Rojas, Brown, Hunter, Van-Impe and whoever else is brave enough to take on the PdC Volvo had better watch out for young Matthews.
Armstrong has Twittered and the masses will be rising early in Adelaide tomorrow morning to join him on a ride. It should be huge but way too slow for me. I've got training to do so am heading out with one of the other teams. Sunday morning CycleGirl and I are riding a charity ride. Monday night I'm racing in a Masters Crit. Tuesday is souvenir day..I want me a BMC feed bag and i will take no prisoners. Wednesday is back up day for Tuesday and the PdC Volvo will be parked temptingly near the feed station with it's windows open. Thursday is Pub day...I count 11 so far with three laps of three pubs and one on the way there and home. Friday is E'Tape du Tour day...160kms then i gotta hoot it back to do another Masters Crit....yay!! Saturday is the usual photographic feast...the beach, Willunga Hill, the Vinyards. Sunday too far away!
I'll be writing a daily report each day....we know that you are just hungry for racing..and sun.