Adelaide Sunday January 17th 2011
Well here we are again for another Tour Down Under, 2011. This shapes up to be a cracking race in the Pro Tour, with the likes of Cavendish, Griepel, McEwan in new colours, a multitude of in form Aussies, Brown, Sutton, Bobridge and the old dog in his final International Tour, Lance. The stage is also set for a cracking Tour for Foster’s flying Tours. With “The Boss” Mike Foster missing in action, lost somewhere deep deep deep under cover in the snow drenched cities of the US for this years tour the scene is set for some new blood to rear its hand and take charge or for the ship to fall to pieces with the possibility of no direction and mutiny in the ranks if no one steps up to the plate to rule with the iron fist that we have all come to expect from the great Foz. Let the days ahead tell the story……….
Day 1 “The Stag/The Crit/The Hangover” Sunday 17th
Adelaide was still in anticipation of the arrival of the first of the Sydney crew. It seems Sydney as usual was needed to warm the city, coffee shops, bars and streets of Adelaide for the sheepish Melbournians to feel at ease when rolling into town. Shell shocked and beaten to pulp in 2010 the Melbourne crew have been super quiet in their preparation for the unknown and new routes that are on the table in 2011. I would go so far to say that we haven’t heard a peep out of the usually lippy Vics. This could be the calm before the storm and with the late inclusion of the old hairy sleepy dog in David Foster something could be brewing.
Buzz snuck into town well under the radar to be the first into the trusty Medina Grand. This I’m sure will be the first and last time he arrives first this tour. Tour veterans Johnny “Lard Arse” Miller and Sheepy rolled in with relative newcomer Sandy “Frodo” in tow. The only thing missing was their bikes!!! The filthy cursing coming out of Lards mouth re: Qantas was appalling to say the least. With the thought of having to hit the Stag without the bike safely built and tucked up in bed was playing on the boy’s mind. Luck has that all of Lards positive words and thoughts had the bikes arrive before departure to watch the Crit opener warm up for the TDU. Bikes built, the boys were off to invade with the great vigour the local Adelaide scene.
One of the crew (Frodo) was shaking in his medieval boots at the thought of having to go toe to toe with both Lard and Sheep on the sip. The pace was frantic in the sausage sizzle at the Stag with a round each hitting the stomach lining before the crit had even rolled off. Frodo was screaming for food to help with prolonging his night past 8PM. He ventured outside to the only spare table only to be called back inside to pull a turn at the bar. Dinner was set down for after the race. After a solid 5 man break in the crit the main bunch reeled them back with Aussie Matt Goss easily taking the win. With many riders watching his HTC teammate of Cavendish, Renshaw was able to lead Goss away for a great victory. Race over, Dinner was now a necessity for Buzz, Lard, Sheep and Frodo. In between longing sms’s from Danny the “Poolboy” and Mitch the “Navy Boy” both envious of not being in town for the warm up food was consumed at a great rate of knots. Frodo had been unhitched from the beer train and dropped down to the little chain ring and started on the Vodka and squash’s. Lard and Sheep were in cruise mode with Buzz not far from removing his shirt. Given there wasn’t a female in sight he felt he may well be targeted by some unsavoury limp wrist'd types floating around. Having missed the boat to get to the Grand in Glenelg the boys floated around the quiet streets looking for some noise. Sadly the only noise was coming from a sleepy bar with 8 guests in it and Sheepy’s arse. Time for bed.
With a couple of dusty heads team Sydney set off for the trusty café’s in Glenelg for some much needed relaxation and recharge. At a cruisy 39km/hr we made our way to Port Adelaide along the picturesque coast of Adelaide. A lazy 60km round trip saw the group home and the first sighting of a Victorian. The Velvet sledgehammer, Leigh Schilling had arrived with camera in hand a willing guest with team HTC as official photographer for the day. Keep posted for the shots to be posted on his site, I’m sure as usual they will be crackers.
So with the now constant flow of riders flying and driving in for FFT’s being guided by the French race director Kabel Michele’ the vibe in Adelaide is starting to build. With the city beautifully warmed up and lubricated by the first arrivals the scene is about to unravel. Stage 1 of the tour and Stage 1 of NSW V VIC is well and truly upon us. Let the Good Times Roll.