Tuesday, 17 January 2012

New South Welshman Dominate Day 1 at FFT TDU 2012

Getting ready
We all rolled into Adelaide last night, Mark Hardy and I arriving around 7pm. Bikes arrived all ok, so we were set to go. We went down to Gouger street behind the Hilton hotel where the TDU riders stay and had a plate of Spag Bol...carbo loading for a big day on the Tuesday (with a couple of golden ales to wash it down). Mitch, Buzz and Johnny Miller had arrived earlier and were down the road at "Bluncky's Chinese". The boys wandered down after their meal, where Buzz continued his dinner with Tiramisu, ice cream and a latte to keep the carbs up!!

I woke early and decided to get an early ride in. The temprature was forecast to be around 40c, with 40knot hot northerly's so it was going to be a hard day in the saddle.  At 6am when I left for my warm up ride, it was already 27c! I did a easy 35k, heading out the towards the home of the 1 flag wonders who lucked into a flag a few years ago, Port Adelaide.  Turned towards Semaphore and over towards the beach, for a little loop, then headed back to town, taking advatage of a blustery tailwind.

out front of the hotel
discussion at Prospect
I got back to the room around 7.30 and the boys were hooking into breakfast. Cereal, Toast, fruit, porridge, etc. You need to load up. Today for me would be over 180k of riding in the heat. Suncreme on, bikes checked, we left the room to meet outside our hotel at 8.30 sharp.
There must have been 30 riders waiting on a very hot pavement,outside the Medina apartments. Riders from NSW, Queensland and Victoria. We decided to head down to Glenelg for an early morning coffee and then roll back up along the beaches and over to the start of the race at Propect in Adelaides Northern Suburbs.
As the rather large group was heading down the Anzac highway with a howling tailwind, the first test of FFT was looming, Any truck or bus that was doing around 60k per hour would be pounced on with vigour, as you get a major "tow" in the draft of the bus, and no one can catch you as you burn down the road towards Glenelg.  About 3k down the highway, you could see anxious past FFT's looking behind the group for a draft. All of a sudden, a truck comes out from behind. Mitch attacks down the left, Buzz down the right, with me right on Buzz's wheel. We picked up the truck, and we were away.....no Hampton boys to be seen. First Blood to the KMD racing teams, the result looking like Mapei going 1,2,3
Mitch winning from Buzz (left) and Le Foz

Coffee done, the group cruised up to watch the real pro's at the start.  Lots of very(young) riders hiding in cars, clearly not relishing 150k in 40c and a roaring headwind. 

We took off after the pro's raced off and headed up towards Gawler for some lunch and a 116k loop. Hot weather started whittling down the peleton very rapidly. Damo and I got on the front and David got caught behind a couple of sets of lights and we didnt see him again for 50k. We were now on country road, and hit the first real climbs of the day. The group shattered. Ritchie was gone, turned back for an early shower. De Luca put some pressure on, but the heat was flattening his battery and he wasn't as dominate as past years.  Dave Evans had him covered, victory in the KOM going to Sydney, followed by De Luca, Gus and me.

Have these Hampton boys been away from too long?

Damo all of a sudden started to come to the front, all eyes watching him, attacked went up the road and it was on again, a few of us got away, and when the sprint coming into Gawler came into sight, Mike Cole (another Manly rider) took the points from Gus.  It was becoming a route!!! We fueled up at Gawler for lunch, a little bakery doing very well out of 30 hot, tired, thirsty riders.

We took off after being refreshed and the group was a lot more subdued. We met up with David again after his "wander" around the lower Barossa at Williamstown. 52k back to Adelaide down the famed Gorge Road.  All of a sudden, Damo (with his what I call his Italy plan) attacked. This resembled Italy in the 1930's when knowing they could not win a major war against the superpowers, attacked early on the hope of suprise and a quick victory.  Damo suffered the same fate as Italy in 1943, meekly surrendering.

French KMD Sprinter Kay-belle Mitchell
Bec...Best on Ground today
 Many of the Melbourne riders went missing in this last blast of the day. Gus....gone, Jay....gone, David....gone, Leigh....never seen today, De Luca isolated and looked like he could be easy meat. Buzz was strong, Mitch getting stronger, even Justin was there at the top of the Gorge. Bec Snell has BOG today with a great ride, mixing it with the boys,  Sydney was strong with me, Mitch, Dave Evans, Mike C  and Buzz in the last break. We even had the luxury of resting Johhny and Mark today, saving them for later in the week.  After the gorge didnt allow anyone to break clear of a break group, it would get down to the last uphill spring at the end of the Gorge Road. De Luca went in a big attack and got 75m on Dave Evans. However Dave got over him 20m from the top to take more Sydney points. 
We hit the last servo to regroup and re hydrate, then back into town.

The missing Hampton Boys!
One of the hottest days on a bike, but great fun.....and we get to do it all again tomorrow!


  1. A VERY BIASED ACCOUNT FROM A NSW PERSPECTIVE. I'll be talking to the Hampton boys today and get a more balanced view. Probably another example Mike and exaggeration. Phil Foster.

  2. There is clearly a bunch to realize about this. I feel you made some nice points in features also.
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