NOT THE CAMPAGNOLO SUPERCRIT
A year ago we launched this website and introduced you all to our humble world view. To celebrate, the club none of the Soup Boys are a part of (SKCC) were kind enough to throw us a birthday bash in the form of a bicycle race, the Shimano Supercrit. It would be the first time we would be revisiting a bicycle event as the Official SBC, and would really kick off our summer of cycling fiesta.
I: THE NIGHT BEFORE PLAYLIST
The night before had us at a house party to celebrate a colleagues birthday, and with this unseasonably cold evening came a suitable bonfire lit from a single butchered Christmas tree (highly seasonal). It inspired a double sided edition of the bicycle race playlist – Side A featuring suitable party tracks to compliment the atmosphere of the evening while Side B was simply a bootleg of Immortal's 2002 album Son's of Northern Darkness, recorded via the kind of DIY tape player you would definitely find in your whack uncles back shed.
The pre-workout situation took place at nearby Clement Coffee Roasters at an old Soup Boys (mid-week) favourite – the South Melbourne Market. Under the watchful eye of a shiny, and beloved Honda Repsol, caffé lattes and baked scrolls were consumed, providing us with the required energy for a day that last year had us bonking and sunburnt at the half way point, and all we were doing was back straight partying.
III: JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY
Ever since we sat in the background witnessing Frost/Nixon going down in '77 – in a year where the world has been well shook from the release of fake news, and after living through decades of "shaking our motherfucking heads" we're happy to announce that integrity is returning to journalism. Armed with our authentic retro vintage classic film cameras, notepads and accompanying, multicoloured pens...and most importantly, with a strong passion for seeking out the stories of the bicycle races we will be strutting our stuff at select races this summer. Be on the look out, we just might interview you, just (please) don't fact check us.
IV: BRIEF INTRO TO RACING
We arrived track side on our beloved back straight, the site of so many good times during last years single day of racing. With the final support race whizzing by every minute or so we went after the elusive Jonesy who we knew was volunteering as a marshall somewhere along the course since the wee hours. What we didn't know however was that he had arrived half an hour early, or what felt like eight hours early as the sun wasn't up when he got down to Port Melbourne. Chapeau Jonesy, there wouldn't be bicycle races if it weren't for people with your level of dedication and punctuality. Here's hoping you show the same traits on our rides.
V: ELITE WOMENS
The Elite Women's race last year was wildly entertaining, and as such super memorable. Not all, but certainly most of the focus was on the Men's field for the day – a field that was stacked to the brim with quality, but the same could certainly be said for those lining up for the Women's race. World champs, junior world champs, national and state champions form various disciplines, NRS riders and those from abroad took to the start line in what was probably the strongest ever field in the races history – and while it was easy to pick certain names as being shoe in for the victory you could never be quite sure.
Occasional breaks in racing action gave us the opportunity to recreate the iconique portrait of last year's race, right down to placeholder J and actual film camera. On the road, breaks were being formed, sucked back in and valiantly reattempted with some of the hottest bikes in the race unfortunately succumbing to the pace. Their time in the sun ending prematurely. Into the final portion of the race the speeds clocked going into the speed trap (final corner aka Rapha corner) were noticeably higher, leading to a violent but weirdly chilled out crash. Riders hurt no doubt, but it all happened in such slow motion that you could hear orchestral strings providing the soundtrack to it unfolding. For those that survived, it was stomping on towards the finish.
Even as they rounded the final bend it was hard to pick a winner. It seemed as though Annette Edmondson had it totally in the bag, until it was discovered that the finish line wasn't actually at the inflatable Shimano arch but a good hundred odd metres down the road. Rather confusing. Nettie-Edmo didn't win. Valentina Scandolara did, beginning a dominant summer of criterium racing on her behalf.
VI: FASHIONZ ON THE FIELD
As we will throughout the professional and/or semi professional (possibly even the amateur) racing season, we lean upon our very own Patron Saint of the Sartorial Cyclist young Dean to provide insight into what he considered the finest kit on the day of the Shimano Supercrit. We don't know if he was impaired by any illicit substance, in a super good mood or just buzzing from a sober night out on the town, but he opted for the Takashi Murakami inspired (probably) kit belonging to the Total Rush riders. It was so full of character that Dean didn't even have to say much, telepathically communicating that its design would transcend fashion. The final verdit? "Hella Rainbow Lit." You'll probably see that used in the marketing campaign of some high end techwear brand when they drop their new capsule collection so we're gonna copyright it now. Or not.
VII: ELITE MENS
Preface: the beautiful Catalan fixing us up with caffeinated elixir. The day was starting to get long, and we needed ultra concentration to analyse the angles of the final #cornerlikecaseystoner competition of the day. Matt Keenan doing his absolute best impersonation of all of our primary school PE teachers, combined.
As an aspiring World Tour team of the future, we took important notes on the pre-race preparation techniques of some of the bigger guns right before the start of the elite men's. To do this we sent Jonesy and our friend DH, when they were busy wheeling and dealing Silca pumps to photographically document the important rituals seen in parc ferme. What we noticed worked best once we witnessed photographed riders out on the track was that chilling and/or jersey bananas would provide much greater benefits to performance as opposed to warming up or stretching. Considering we are already experts in both those fields, we can only assume it's a physiological anomaly that is stopping us from hitting the big time, nothing more nothing less.
Once the race was up and running, the Soup Boys patented UAV drone came into action as we head to higher ground for the ultimate shot of the opening laps, and to immerse ourselves in the forest of Port Melbourne. A semi constructed apartment complex on the site of our former university, the site of our founding played host to us now, years later as spectators despite various international laws being broken in the process. Once the race began to heat up (break apart a little thanks to the banana chilleurs legs having properly warmed up by lap 4) we descended below 3000ft to ground level, to pet lil dogs and heart eye the fuck out over Conor Murtagh driving the pace on the front.
!! Scotty Cam Construction Site Gun Show Intermission !!
It’s not so well known, but getting a pump on before entering any social situation is ultimately important. Olympia gym being an impact through the Montague St bridge away from the St Kilda CC crit circuit, Harry chose to spend the early hours of his AM training arms to ensure no competition press outlets would dare step foot in the (photo) pit. Because we’re a generous bunch of carb loading (another v. important tactic) teens, you can have this arm workout to try out before your next trip to the local discotheque. I like to start the session with triceps, finishing with biceps, so you walk out of the gym with maximal visual effect.
Triceps Pushdowns superset w/ body weight Dips
- 4 sets, (12-15 reps) for Pushdowns, Dips to fail
Single arm overhead dumbbell extensions
- 4 sets (8-10 reps)
EZ Bar Skull Crushers
- 4 sets (8-10 reps)
Single Arm Cable Extensions
- 4 sets (15-20 reps)
Alternating Dumbbell Curls
- 3 sets (20/15/12 reps)
Single Arm Machine Preacher Curls
- 5 sets (15 reps)
Concentration Curls -or- Hammer Curls
- 4 sets (8-10 reps)
- 4 sets (15 reps) finishing with 3 drop sets.
FEEL THE BURN.
Beyond turn 2 was the busiest section of the course, and the place which drew the most hustle, largely thanks to the admirable work of a marshall. While there was a 40 metre grassy photo put ready for the taking, he ensured that no traditional media outlets, not even the Soup Boys Press Clüb could get in, it would only be for him and his iPhone 4S. This left us to document the Turn 2 #cornerlikecaseystoner competition from the inside and exit of the corner.
Dodging and weaving unfortunate crashes, we made it to the back straight where this year (much to our disappointment) there was no party. What there was however was an aspiring mountain climber scaling the local wire fence, and numerous photographers, some of them mates crouched in the bushes, ready for their ultimate shots. Seeing the quality of photographer along the back straight, Adrian opted for a point of difference, singlehandedly scaling (if you discount Harry's boost) the white cliffs of Dover to document the race from way high up.
Featured throughout the ages, and truly timeless - the field of Holdens of the Shimano Supercrit.
Around some familiar faces, and a friendly atmosphere due partly thanks to the Rapha DJ spinning hella beats nearby we took in the final few laps of the race, which caught us by surprise. It had truly been a day of attrition with plenty of racing incidents forcing riders out through hitting the deck, mechanicals or unique, ultra-exclusive combinations of both. Only thanks to an over zealous but rather well dressed marshall (chapeau!) did we find out that there was 3 laps to go. As far as we were concerned at Soup Boys HQ proudly sponsored by Sportsbet was that Caleb Ewan should have been a shoe in for the win at shortish odds of $4.20. What we didn't count on was what effect the market activity during mid race betting would have on the race. With a few laps left, and while not in such striking Borussia Dortmund kits the Inform Tineli Shinkansen formed, Harry burning an entire roll of film capturing the frenetic pace – and Scotty Sundo immediately dropped to out and out favourite at 69 cents. Naturally he would go on to complete the treble amongst some esteemed rivals on the podium. But careful, we're taking notes and will be in the Elite Men's field with you soon. Enjoy popping that cristaaaaaaal while you can.
VIII: DYNAMISM OF MITCH DOCKER'S HAIRCUT ON A LEASH
There are bona fide mad-legends of the peloton, then there is a one Mitch Docker of Orica Scott. He is a man that seems to ooze mad-legend-ness if that's possible. He features in a triumphant return to our Dynamism series (now 3 editions deep) as we pay homage to not only the strongest look of the race, but the most off the chain – despite placing him into the hero of our "on a leash" series. He was kind enough to spare a moment or two before probably heading out for a post race Kinglake loop to answer a few brief questions, a transcript, while delayed through issues with our fax machine at Soup Boys HQ can be read in part below. For future exclusive transcripts from the Soup Boys Press Clüb you must subscribe to our Insta-Stories.
"The pre race hair and moustache preparation? Well, nothing really I guess."
We understand that he may not want to share his secrets, however at Soup Boys HQ through extensive research and watching of conspiracy films on YouTube we believe that Mitch Docker, through his cranial (now a word if it wasn't already) and facial hair has managed to sculpt physics and biology for his own benefit, and to a truly incredible outcome.
"As for my perfect Sunday? Well I wouldn't be racing a pacy, leg burning criterium like this."
Kinglake, permanently on the mind. Chapeau!
IX: ALL OF THE LIGHTS
Bicycle racing. Very cliche but it gets stronger every year. And that's not just us talking about the start lists and the winners or the podiums, but the off course atmosphere is getting bigger and better with every race. There is more #internet #socialmedia coverage than there ever has been, and it's coming from a wide variety of perspectives which greatly shows the diversity of the cycling fan. We can't wait to see it grow further in the coming months and year(s)(?) Chapeau & all that!
Crashes. We made light of the ultra HD slow motion crash that took place in the women's race, but no doubt riders left it hurt. There were numerous big crashes in the men's race, and in the support races before we had arrived. While the element of risk and danger are what makes racing or watching a bicycle criterium so electrifying, we pray to Tom Boonen or even to Thibault Pinot mid alpine descent that riders and spectators in close proximity to crashes walk away relatively unscathed.
X: A FINAL WORD FROM OUR EDITOR
The good thing about being the Soup Boys Press Clüb is that unlike us, our editors have yet to find the hole in the space time continuum, thus they are still stuck in the 1980's. While this holds many advantages (you know...not having to really answer to anyone), the major downside is turn around times. Heading back in time isn't as smooth sailing as you would think, especially when there are things like photography dark rooms, fax machines, telegraphs and perms to deal with. Either way, from us currently working as journalists in the year 1984 we extend gratitude and apologies for the delay in getting this here birthday bash bicycle race coverage on-line. We also extend deep apologies and regret for lack of coverage of the Bay Crits, despite not holding any officially sanctioned media lanyards, or even hi-vis vests. Turns out we all got far too lit on New Years and ended up in the void once more. To make up for it we can direct you to the fine folk who through their artistic vision turned it into the baecrits; Simon, Riley and The Wilko Show. Their fine work filled the no-spectating-bicycle-race-sized-gaps in our hearts during the first 3 days of the year. Bless.