Ask RIDE…Tour Down Under: Stage 1

Our cover boy did it again! Matt Goss from Tasmania powered across the line ahead of Andre Greipel and crowd favourite Robbie McEwen. The finishing straight was lined four deep as the winner of the 138km stage raised his hands after 3 hours and 17 minutes of racing.

While the racing may have been timid to start, the breakaway, that included Australians Simon Clarke (Astana) and Mitchell Docker (Uni-SA Australia) certainly worked hard under the hot South Australian sun. The heat seems to gain an edge when you enter the Barossa and as the riders rode amongst the vines – a vibrant green after recent rain – there were supporters waiting patiently on the side of the road for a glimpse of the peloton and Tour caravan.

Australians Mitchell Docker (Uni-SA Australia) and Simon Clarke (Astana) found themselves in the first significant break of the Tour Down Under. Forming after just 13kms of racing, the last of the escapees were caught in the last 10kms.

Australians Mitchell Docker (Uni-SA Australia) and Simon Clarke (Astana) (both above) found themselves in the first significant break of the Tour Down Under. Forming after just 13kms of racing, the last of the escapees were caught in the last 10kms.

Guess the legs...its obviously a BMC rider so its one of seven choices. Tweet Toby (@tobyshingleton)if you think you know!

Guess the legs...its obviously a BMC rider so its one of seven choices. Tweet Toby (@tobyshingleton) if you think you know!

That was Tuesday but the day before? There may not have been racing but here are some of the things I got up to in Adelaide yesterday!

The Monday before the start of Stage 1 is the last day that you can ride anywhere in the Adelaide region without having to make plans as to where you want to see the race. Well for me anyway. This time I went to Belair and down to Clarendon, following the ridge of the hills, before turning north and back to the city – not without a few wrong turns, as you will notice from the ride data.

The climb up to Belair is pleasant and one that I had done before but was not too familiar with. I went ahead with a group of three and my heart was racing! The final descent into Brighton is super fast…average of 9% downhill. That speed was carried all the way to the intersection with Anzac Hwy.

After the ride, it was off to the GreenEDGE Cycling announcement. The latest issue of RIDE features a Q&A with Shayne Bannan and the regular section Why Ride? explores Gerry Ryan’s contribution to Australian cycling. As you would expect RIDE will be covering GreenEDGE Cycling’s progress through the year.

Then it was off to a Team Liquigas-Cannondale presentation. Cameron Wurf, who wrote a fantastic piece on Aldo Sassi’s legacy to cycling, acted as team interpreter and spoke very well. Fielding questions from an audience of 20 or so, Cameron answered questions humbly and indicated that he will be trying to get a win on Stage 5 which passes over Willunga Hill.

Cameron Wurf (Liquigas-Cannondale) may find himself heavily relied upon as an interpreter for his Italian team-mates but Cameron was quick to point out that, when in Italy, his help is reciprocated.

Cameron Wurf (Liquigas-Cannondale) may find himself heavily relied upon as an interpreter for his Italian team-mates but Cameron was quick to point out that, when in Italy, his help is reciprocated.

After a dinner on Goucher St near the Hilton, I went to the Grace Emily hotel. Fantastic atmosphere around the bar and it has a nice beer garden out the back. I don’t think I will soon forget this pub as I managed to completely embarrass myself, somehow spilling an entire schooner of Cooper’s (in SA is there anything else you would drink – I couldn’t see anything else anyway) onto myself. I just let go of the glass. Rookie error!

As I explained in the last post, as I come around Adelaide over the next week, I will be trying to capture the people that line the roads. So here is the first, as an example. More to come!

Alan Schmidt (58) from Geelong is at his 4th Tour Down Under. He has a group of 12 mates that he has come to Adelaide with. Alan told me that riding was part of his life (judging by his bike it is a large part!) and with an age range of between 27 and 58, this group is a great example of cycling's power to level the field.

Alan Schmidt (58) from Geelong is at his 4th Tour Down Under. He has a group of 12 mates that he has come to Adelaide with. Alan told me that riding was part of his life (judging by his bike it is a large part!) and with an age range of between 27 and 58, this group is a great example of cycling's power to level the field.

As promised here are some more photos of the Campy electronic groupo. I was told by one of the Movistar mechanics that it is easy to use – not that he would likely say anything different you might think, but watching him work through the gears suggested to me that it wasn’t sponsorship obligations that were making him say that.

There is slightly more movement in the Campy electronic shifters than their Shimano counterparts.

There is slightly more movement in the Campy electronic shifters than their Shimano counterparts.

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No unsightly cable ties on Campy Tech Lab. These are rubber rings that secure this control to the stem, similar to the new Garmin ties.

No unsightly cable ties on Campy Tech Lab. These are rubber rings that secure this control to the stem, similar to the new Garmin ties.

Thank you for reading. Enjoy the rest of the Tour.

John

Author: design@ride

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