I had a few beers on Saturday night as I finished off the Limo.
I set the alarm for 0530, had to be at the registration desk att The Ride Like crazy by 7 at the latest. I've been having some real bad sugar lows recently, not diabetes...maybe getting old, maybe something to do with my rather erratic hormonal status...who knows.
I guess it was about 1.9 when the alarm went off and even when my brain realised WTF that infernal din was, I must've lay there with my I-pod dock in my hand foer a good while after. Sugar, carbo's, lots of water and a good deal of indecision later and i had 15 minutes to make the start. As I rode toward Adelaide, head down, arse up I was thinking...am I struggling or is this one fuck of a headwind?
I made the start.
The speeches were quite emotional for those of us that knew Mick, had been touched by cancer, had cancer themselves, or, like me...all three. The rain came down just as we started but no-one in Adelaide dare complain about rain. A right hand turn about 50 metres from the start had Adelaide cyclists shwing their skills and as i looked ahead there wer at least 500 ahead of me and more behind. We were under escort until the start of the climb into the hills but there were still opportunity to pass once the incline started.
I was the dick-head with the out of whack Dura-ace that had to stop several times to re-align my gears...(it runs better with my Sram cluster!!).
As soon as we hit the freeway i was off in search of clear air as I was a little claustrauphobic with so many cyclists around. Once over the back and into the glistening Adelaide hills I was TT'ing it catching up to and driving splinter groups until they could hold my wheel no longer. I caught one large pack around half way and we were working well together until a steep incline broke us up. I followed a wheel and a couple followed me. It wasn't until I'd blown a valve at the top of the hill that I realised this dude was on a 'fixie'.
CycleGirl did the short ride and i wondered if I'd catch her. I did, on a hard little section before you drop down the gorge (a 70km/hr+ descent). She was battling on an I took a few snaps...
We both made it to the finish safely...I just managed to top 30km/hr average for the ride...it was hard. In the afternoon was the Cancer Council Helpline Classic in 'DownTown Adelaide' (I love it when Lance says that). Lots has already been written so i won't bore you with the details. I took the dog down as she loves to watch, I also took beer and a good selection af both Belgian, Dutch and Aussie cheeses and fromage. We settled at the mid point of the hill under the biggest tree. I took some great snaps.
I like this one of the 'down to' four man break. The Sagan kiddie was having the time of his life but Oscar seemed to be driving harder than Lance for me. The Caisse guy had been hanging on from the go and dropped just after I took this.
The lead out to the sprint was one of the best and most exciting I have ever seen...they were giving it heaps and you could just sense the desire to win. The Sky boys were superbe...i take my hat off to them. I missed getting a snap of them celebrating as Komen had decided to chase possums and was upsetting someone. However...they may as well be celebrating in this shot!!
This is going to be a great race.
Tomorrow is Stage 1 of the STDU. It's not an easy one to follow as a fan but the TDU limo will be heading to the feed station at Seppeltsfield should anyone wish to photograph them passing through an iconic backdrop. It's also a good opportunity to grab some freebies and feedbags if you get in the right spot and are prepared to fight with fellow vultures. It's occupants however, will be choofin it up to the top of the KOM at Menglers Hill then back down to watch the finish after they pass through. Look out for us.
My tip is a break with at least one FDJ, SIL, UniSA, Garmin and Caisse rider in it but a sprint finish with a more organised HTC Columbia bringing Andre the Gorilla home.
I'm racing in the Masters crits tonight. There's a top class field in the Women's race so I'll be taking the long lens.
Oh...by the way Chris...knowing your profession and all that...shall i leave the Volvo as is and not make any direct reference to podium cafe on it..you know...for legal purposes..
And Lou...PM me if you can still drive Magnus down to Goolwa on Friday or you need picking up.