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Tour Down Under, Stage 1: Tuesday (or Monday for some) in retrospect.

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via photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net

I made a wanker of myself last night.. Being deaf, B, C, D and E can all sound the same.  I was surprised I'd been handicapped in C Grade as I've been racing Open A's but on a really tight course over 15 minutes anything can happen.  One of the Kiddies in the Junior race had a bad fall and i was called upon to do my paramedic thing until the Big Whtie truck with the lights and sirens arrived. This put everything behind schedule so they had to run two grades at once.  They called for the grades to line up so i lined up with my grade (well!!).  We lined up and the gun went off...fifteen minutes or therabouts plus a lap.  The pace was a dawdle in the first lap so i went to the front and picked it up a bit in lap two.  as we crossed the start/finish line on lap three the Commissaire was shouting something.  I had my Implant on but the wind makes it like being on a windy surf beach next to an airport to my brain so I didn't hear him try to pull me out.  i was in the wrong race!!! D grade(9sounded like c to me :-0  I was oblivious so still tried to win the race.  last lap and i hit the front with half a lap to go and sprinted away....sadly I chose just as we caught up the lower grade through a tigt section and had to slam on the anchors twice and try and pump a big gear from too slow a speed.  I still led into the straight and nuggeted down...but alas, i was caught just before the line....didn't matter i was Dq'd anyway!!

So..today I packed the Limo and we headed out to the Barossa Valley for stage One. There were thousands of cyclists heading out there for the prospect of a great days racing

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I'd decided to park the Limo where there was a good chance it might get some TV or Graham Watson time, then e up to the KOM...then back down to about 1km from the finish.  The prospect of HTC and Sky duelling it out had me at hello.

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There was a tail wind, the wind has moved round to the North so it will get hotter and they will be fast today.  I rode up to the top of the KOM at Menglers hill...there didn't seem to be as many there as in past years but I was pretty early. This is me about 800 metres from the summit of the climb with the vinyards of the Bbarossa in the background.

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The crowd grew to a multitude and when the freebie vans came through it was bedlam.  News came through that Timmy Roe was in front...I had goose-bumps as I'd ridden up here with him when he was but a skinny kid...wait, he's still just a skinny kid!  Tim was first across the KOM followed by his two breakaway mates, Kohler (BMC) and Kadri (AG2R)

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The rest of the Peleton were closing and a bunch sprint seemed likely.  Here's thebunch coming through the climb...if you want to see how your favourite man was travelling at the first KOM of 2010 just follow the link to my facebook and you can see the whole lot come through.

 

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As soon as the Green Light came through we were off down to the finish...The descent of menglers is nuts...cars, bikes and not much road...but I managed to reach 70 :-) It's a really long finish straight at Tanunda..You can see them coming from a long way off and i wanted to get the best picture of the leadout trains i could....as they approached I could see from the front it was Team Sky on the inside and HTC on the outside so i snapped away. Liquigas were heading up the inside and one of them just about cleaned me up...he was very wide though!

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Greipel was just too strong for everyone.  He did it without a very good lead out.  Both Sky and HTC went to early.  Baden Cooke might have got it had Steegmans and Wyss not impeded his progress.  Gert was strong though

Tomorrow' I'll be at the KOM again...then hopefully we can form a decent echelon and get ahead of them before the Balhannah pub by using a bit of local nuance.

My tip for tomorrow..Luke Roberts in a breakaway win with McEwan winning the sprint group home.

Here's the PdC Limo at the pub on the way home. 

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