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Tour Down Under 2009

Posted on 27 Jan 2009 | 0 comments

On Monday we go to Victoria Square to pick up the race jerseys. We arrive at the exact same time as Joe! We pick up all the jerseys and goodies bags and have lunch with Joe on Flinders St.

After lunch poor Jon goes back to work whilst Joe and Jude go for a nice ride along the beach (in the heat!). Jude tests the race jersey and although it all seems a bit tight (the arms and the elastic at the back pockets), it feels fine during the ride.

picking up the race jerseys

picking up the race jerseys

we bump into Joe when picking up our things

we bump into Joe when picking up our things

The week before the community challenge ride we did a major car shuffle in the Barossa to train and check out the route that we will be riding… It will be tough!

On Saturday we drove the 2 cars to Angaston, had lunch there and left Lara there. We then drove the Pajero with the bikes to Tanunda as we had decided to start the ride from there (just before Menglers Hill).

The hill is fine, the last 50km of the course are beautiful and take you on a scenic route through the Barossa Valley. We came back feeling happy and not too worried.We then drove home with the bikes and left on Sunday morning at 8.30AM from Burnside Village (which is where the start will be this Friday as well – about 2.5km from our place). OMG, that was a tough ride. The first 70km or so is uphill. Sure, you have a few bits that go slightly down hill, but overall it all goes up, up and up. We also suffered saddle soreness as the tarmac feels really rough in most places and struggled with a very warm head wind. We had a lovely lunch stop after Singleton and another quick stop in Lyndoch. By the time we got to Tanunda we decided to stop there and not do the last part of the course again AND have to ride back from Angaston to Tanunda again afterwards…

the finish line in Angaston is all ready for next week's community challenge, oh and for the professionals too of course

the finish line in Angaston is all ready for next week’s community challenge, oh and for the professionals too of course

We drove home, had a quick shower, prepared a fruit salad for that night and went straight to town. Pierre had invited us and other friends to watch the criterium of the Tour from a perfect spot: the balconies from his office on East Tce. A fantastic spot to watch and take photos! We enjoyed drinks, music and food whilst watching the tour and Lance race past. Awesome night!

watching the criterium from the balcony of Pierre's work place

watching the criterium from the balcony of Pierre’s work place

The Tour Down Under is the first race of the season for the professional cyclists and it is the only race for professionals that is not held in Europe! It is held each year in Adelaide so we decided a long time ago that we would ride the Community Challenge on the Friday. The community challenge allows cyclists to ride the same route as the professionals later that day and if you are fast enough you can even finish under the finishers arch before the professionals. It is a beautiful 155km ride through Gorge Rd all the way to Williamstown and then into the Barossa Valley past some lovely wineries and up Menglers Hill for the King of the Mountain.

Pete, Marcus, Troye and Joe also signed up for the ride and Pete entered us all as team Woop Woop. Mark, Ted, Jen and Adrian also joined us for the full 155km and Mel decided to tackle the 32km from Angaston.

It was an early start (up at 4.30!) to get to the start line on time. A massive sea of yellow in the street just before the 6Am start was quite impressive to see. The first 5-6km was very slow as 4500 cyclists tried to get started, but once we were on Gorge Rd it was a lot better. Jon and Marcus were excellent wind blockers and Jude sat behind one of them during the whole ride 😉 We lost Marcus somewhere after Springton and found Adrian at the last water stop. At the end of the ride in Angaston it was very busy, but thanks to mobile phones we found each other quickly and spend an hour or so relaxing and eating before we went to Denise’s place (Mel’s auntie) for a much needed shower.

preparations for the community challenge

preparations for the community challenge

dinner the night before the community challenge at our place

dinner the night before the community challenge at our place

Mark, Pete, Marcus, Jude and Jon

Mark, Pete, Marcus, Jude and Jon

early morning writing Woop Woop on our legs

early morning writing Woop Woop on our legs

Jon and Jude ready to ride

Jon and Jude ready to ride

Jude's legs pre-ride

Jude’s legs pre-ride

Jude and Marcus in a sea of yellow

Jude and Marcus in a sea of yellow

Troye and Mark

Troye and Mark

Pete, Troye, Joe and Mark

Pete, Troye, Joe and Mark

lots of riders in yellow

lots of riders in yellow

a watering stop along the way

a watering stop along the way

Jon enjoying lunch at the finish line with Ted

Jon enjoying lunch at the finish line with Ted

Troye and Pete at the finish line

Troye and Pete at the finish line

Marcus and Jon at the finish line

Marcus and Jon at the finish line

Jude happy

Jude happy

eating lunch

eating lunch

Ted, Adrian, Pete, Jude and Jon at Mel's auntie's place

Ted, Adrian, Pete, Jude and Jon at Mel’s auntie’s place

Pete tries Jude's bike...

Pete tries Jude’s bike…

we watch the pro cyclists zoom past from the front garden

we watch the pro cyclists zoom past from the front garden

a yummy and well-deserved bbq at Mel's auntie's place in Angaston after the community ride

a yummy and well-deserved bbq at Mel’s auntie’s place in Angaston after the community ride

sightseeing in the Barossa Valley - art

sightseeing in the Barossa Valley – art

lunch at a winery in the Barossa Valley

lunch at a winery in the Barossa Valley

Sunday, final stage of the Tour Down Under. It’s a city based stage where they do about 20 laps of a circuit with a tiny, tiny hill for the King of the Mountain points. This stage goes right in front of Adrian & Alix’ doorstep and we all go over for a bbq at their place. From the balcony you can see the riders zoom past, but we spend most of the time on the street. Walking to different locations to see them zoom past. Much better chance of actually taking one out when you’re on the street… 😉

Lance has one half-hearted attempt in winning this last stage, but after one lap at the front he kind of gave up? Very exciting all 😉

we go for a ride to the beach the day after the community ride

we go for a ride to the beach before watching stage 5 later that day

having a drink at the beach front

having a drink at the beach front

this team was having a coffee too (see team bikes) and weren't that fussed when all their bikes fell over

this team was having a coffee too (see team bikes) and weren’t that fussed when all their bikes fell over

watching stage 5

watching stage 5

stage 5

stage 5

Lance during stage 5

Lance at the front during stage 5

the view from Alix and Adrian's balcony over stage 5

the view from Alix and Adrian’s balcony

pretty good views!

pretty good views!

a hike up Mt Lofty with Pete after watching stage 5

a hike up Mt Lofty with Pete after watching stage 5

The next day is Australia Day and Pete, Marcus, Jon and Jude head over to the cricket grounds to watch the cricket on a very hot day.

Pete, Jon, Jude and Marcus at the Australia Day cricket after the TDU

Pete, Jon, Jude and Marcus at the Australia Day cricket after the TDU

cooling off in the fountain during the break - it is hot!

cooling off in the fountain during the break – it is hot!

sweating whilst the sun goes down at the cricket

sweating whilst the sun goes down at the cricket

cricket ground in Adelaide

cricket ground in Adelaide

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