Adelaide turned on another splendid evening for this years CCC, it couldn't have been a better evening for both riding and watching. I got myself a spot on the outside of the last corner and cemented it with a couple of fold out chairs, an esky and the PdC banner. Very little sleep over 48 hours (the joys of shift work!!) and a ride to depletion in the morning was making too much movement a little uncomfortable anyway.
The crowd was down in numbers from the previous two years peaks IMHO...not that I counted, but I've always wondered who does :-) It was only about five deep on the corners this year :-) The crowd was as cosmopolitan as ever, still a lot of Lance-alots and newbies so the sport continues to grow....maybe SBS having a live telecast cut the numbers.
The women's race was a prelude to the CCC and was about the best field of women's racers ever seen on the roads of Adelaide together. Australian Women's cycling has been leading the men to the front of the peleton in recent years and most of those responsible for that rise were racing tonight. Sadly, newly crowned Aussie Champion Alexis Rhodes was unable to race (already in Europe on 'commitments') and even more sadly...our own Miffy G didn't make the trip but I'd be certain she would have been ecstatic with her traning mate's performance.
Girls and flowers...how quaint!
Girls and power...even quainter :-)
Chloe started the sprint late and took Nettie Edmonson's wheel...the only way to beat Gilmore....these three took the placings, great ride by all girls...great racing!!
In between the Women's race and the CCC were the team presentations, a good chance to get up close and personal if you're that way inclined. The biggest ooooh's were still for the perennial favourites and Lance, Phil seemed to infer that Mark Cavendish had a small penis and Stuey indicated retirement was but a journalist's dream. It was great to hear the appreciation for Australias next cycling heroes...Meyer, Matthews, our Jack, Durbridge, the Sulzbergers and Matty Goss...word in the paddock had Gossy as favourite to take it out....nobodied fancied my tips Johnno or the Russian kiddie Galimzyanov...ignorance!!
I went in search of those with coloured bands around their new jersey's. Alessandro Ballan was simply a gentleman, we engaged in a long chat and I wished him luck...he shook my hand like a true friend...I like that in a man!
'Bling' Matthews was in demand...
Robbie loves this race and was humble that Radio-shack gave him a lifeline...he wanted to repay their faith.
I love this photo of the Suttons...the young lady in the background is my age and rides hard too.
And so...to the race.
Luke Durbridge was first to make a move...
A s they headed into the glorious sunset..
And soon there were 5...Durbridge; Izagirre; Mortensen; Irizar and Kuchynski
Which shrunk to three when Izzy and Morty called it quits
Steuy had a lap out with a mech...
But it all came back together when Rabobank took it up a notch
Then Omegapharm had a turn
Something must have caused a split (a Hendo crash I believe) or Ben Swift must have wings (hee hee!) because by the last corner it was Swift, CJ, Prince Harry and an inertly grinning Matty Goss....Robbie was leading the loose carriage
And there was daylight in between...
Renshaw was way too fast for the Team Sky boys and Gossy just slipped past him when ready. Robbie was awesomely fast to take third, quicker than the two boys in front of him and he dragged Viviani, Vigano, JJRG, Davis, 'Bling', Chichi and the Russian Kiddie up into the photograph of a smiling Gossy and an effortless Renshaw.
Stage two of the Women's race is the support for my B Grade race at Victoria Park tonight. Most of the girls are normally in my grade of local racing so i'll miss their company tonight...I kinda feel like a chaperone racing B grade with all the wee boys and girls :-).
Hope u enjoyed the race.