TDU DAY FIVE

 

While not intended, the previous days itinerary left us post-bush doof season cooked. The pro’s took a rest day on Monday, and to prove that we’re not too far from hitting the big time, we decided that it was time to experience a day of rest ourselves.

 

I: TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES

 

Long story short right. So we’re all huddled around the central dining table of Temporary Soup Boys HQ. There is the distinct aroma of freshly cut Dominican cigars wafting throughout the room. Cam is sat on his makeshift bed in the corner, Alex and Harry studying current digital channels scouring for intel while Adrian stares off into the distance pondering what move to make next – increase colour temperature, or decrease? How much HDR is acceptable before it reaches the lupus stage.

 
 

Before there is time for Dean to hit another Instagram landmark (14.4k isn’t really that far off) – the doors burst open and in a flash of blue and what might have been brown, laptops filled to the brim with fresh content are stolen, cameras are missing and the shirt Adrian wasn’t wearing was back to being draped over his gangly torso. The Soup Boys run out onto the balcony of their hotel, stare down onto the street some 13 floors down and see a fleet of bright blue bikes, arranged in a Flying V formation hammering up North Terrace and towards the hills. In an attempt to identify our newly formed nemesi, Dean grabbed his 128gb Space Grey iPhone 6s, and using zoom mode on the regular camera app scanned the horizon line, able to track the kidnappers to the bottom of Norton Summit. When mentioning this to Cam, a guest rideur who had yet to summit the famed Adelaide climb, we set off in hot pursuit, slipstreaming Harry as he sailed us towards the bottom of the hills in the Landcruiser. Every so often Dean would pull his 128gb Space Grey iPhone 6s out and again using the camera, locate them up the climb. With the captor in sight, Dean engaged his 32t big dog technique and soloed it up to the perp. Unsure of what to do he simply flashed his Instagram profile, and like it was realised that he would soon have an army of almost 15,000 people chasing him down he pulled to the side, got off his bike and lowered himself to the ground. As the others (only running 28t big dogs) caught up, we noticed that the would be captor of all our content was wearing a Domenico Pozzovivo mask. Immediately we had forgotten about the fact our livelihoods had almost been taken away from us with a single 10 minute summiting of Norton Summit if it wasn’t for Deans relentless attacking style – now we just wanted to know who would possibly want to disrespect the man on such a level. So thats why we took off the mask to reveal..

 
 

Domenico Pozzovivo. You’ve got to be fucking kidding us. If we had known we would have let the laptop go. He would have logged on and seen the numerous draft email love letters we’ve been too afraid to send, the 1TB photo gallery we have of him attacking up the hefty climbs of Continental Europe. He also would have seen our spreadsheet and brainstorm notes on how we were going to get an interview with him. Initially we thought that by sliding into his DM’s at the start of the week we had rubbed him up the wrong way, and now he was out for revenge. Turns out he had accidentally deleted our message, seen one of us lighting it up Mt Osmond and followed us back to the hotel. Through coming into the hotel late at night and stealing the laptop, he thought that he would be able to log in, find the word document in the cloud, answer the drafted questions and return the laptop by sunrise – all of us none the wiser. Unfortunately he forgot to count on a few things. The power of the Instagram follow. The power of Dean Jones’ quads. And the fact that we make our interview questions up as we are waiting for the stars to descend in the lift into their respective hotel lobbies. No drafts. Having finally caught up with one another, we decided to call a truce and conduct the interview in typical on-the-fly fashion by the roadside halfway up Norton Summit, with Durian Rider flying past on his e-bike to cop an 8 minute Strava time.

Anyway we got mad sidetracked by the hotel pool. Shit is so wavy. We didn’t leave it for 36 hours, we’re pruned as fuck but well recovered after back to back centuries, one of them in the middle of the desert. Domenico hasn’t actually replied to us sliding into his DM’s – we really wish he would. Back to regularly scheduled programming.

 

II: REGULARS

LEADING STATISTICS
Distance: 261km (Alex)
Vertical Gain: +3789m (Adrian)
Beers: 34 (Honorary Soup Boy, Cam)
TDU Fedoras: 0
KOM Bucket Hats: 2
Highest Temperature: 43.6ºc (Adrian's Garmin)
Dropped Chains: 1 (Dean)
Spilled Caffé Lattes: 1 (Dean)

✓ THE HIGHLIGHT
We were all calling an appetite that couldn't be fulfilled home when we arose the morning of the 19th day of the year. The menu at Exchange delivered.

✕ THE LOWLIGHT
Pristine conditions the day before, the perfect excuse to head out and tap away at a "pretty good value" century. Back to the regular kind of weather with a mild 38ºc for most of the day. Stifling.

QUOTE OF THE DAY
"A Dingo stole my crack.” – immediately followed with old mate legging it out of the Tour Village as security guards approached. Swear the same guy asked us for a hit in the exact same place last year. Are we in Westworld or some shit? Did we just find an android on a loop?

(?) BALL TALLY
Downball: 8
Handball: 9
Foursquare: 2
Kingball: 1

PLAN OF ACTION

There were some very tired hamstrings and knees at Temporary Soup Boys HQ in the morning, so a universal decision was made to spend as little time throwing legs over bicycles as possible. The only thing louder than Adrian complaining about his left calf was the creaking of Dean’s Ritchey, meaning that a trip to the Rapha pop-up would double as a chance to re-service his bike for about the eighth time since arriving in town. Plans for the rest of the day were to re-energise the body through café hopping and hopeful utilisation of massage apparatus at the Tour Village – even if that meant briefly kidnapping one of the pro-team masseuses.

NOT QUITE BROADSHEET

Initial stop was the Rapha pop-up for a re-grease of the Ritchey and caffé lattes. Almond croissants for those that could. With stomachs still yearning for more, Dean took the opportunity to test out his bike with a new lease on life with a ride to Abbott’s and Kinney, a place he had been raving on about since our arrival on Sunday. The coffee was good, the croissant okay if not a little delayed (operating on East End Providore time) but Adrian was still festering over the lack of nut free options. A third café hop would be required.

Enter Olde Faithful; “Exchange”. With a new lease on life since our last visit approximately 365 and 13 hours ago one look at the menu sent most into a delirium of joy at the range of choices. Cold filters ensured a steady awakening sans heart palpitations, and as each meal came out we became more jealous than the last. Alex eventually joined the #squad at the communal table outside, angering the local Colnago afficianados by leaning his prized BMC Dennis up against a “classic” Mapei. It was 11.30, we had visited 3 café’s but even then on the ride back a detour was made towards Kopi Tim for lunch, daring to go against Soup Boys neighbourhood favourite Laksa King (dire times).


III: CIAO BELLO

 

For the last few days we’ve had Josh kicking it in and around Adelaide in his first visit to this wonderful city. Halfway through the day it was time to say goodbye as he begun the trek back to Riverina NSW via plane and rail. He’s taken some banging photos as we expected of a man with such talent. We will be sharing his photographs throughout the rest of the week on here, and on our Instagram – but you can follow him yourself right here.

 

IV: HOT OR NOT

 

For those after some actual race reportage from today, let us direct you to the following link. You should know better than to be heading here for the numbers. What we are into though is Bike Tech, the shortening of the term Bicycle Technology. Traditionally the stage from Glenelg to Victor Harbour gets a big “fuck no” from us as A) we’re none too fond of a bootleg St Kilda, and B) Victor Harbour is so close to the Great Ocean Road that the temptation to just head home and order a bunch of Jovanis, Laksa King and wild out on the balcony of Soup Boys HQ is far too real. Instead we laze by the hotel pool, and send our resident expert Tech Editor Alex, a yung boi Bachelor qualified in the science of Bike Tech to divulge what he deems is Hot or Not this bicycle season. It’s all well and good to hold things like Interbike, Eurobike, and FYXO pop-ups every now and again, but until you start talking to the real academic experts you can just be going and releasing stuff with reckless abandon. Read on. P.S The following is what one of these Bicycle Technology Experts look like.

 

WILIER TRIESTINA

VERDICT: NOT

The head tube; not about it. It looks just like the Specialized one, just like the Trek one. Needs to be more original, there aren’t enough bikes willing to be cutting edge with their head tube design and its making front triangles all look they are cut from the same cloth.

VERDICT: HOT

This on the other hand, awesome. Dope. Not quite sure what it is, but Wilier have integrated it so well into the frame that it just works. It’s so good in fact that it makes you forget all about the disaster of a head tube up front. Overall I think with the cable routing, with the adjusters and with this paintjob I’m gonna give these the tick of approval.

 

PINARELLO

 

VERDICT: HOT

Not that we were invited but I don’t remember seeing this at Interbike. By far the most unique and cutting edge of all the concept bikes that are out there. It seems Pinarello are starting to really bring things back to their glory days of the 80’s and 90’s. Hopefully this spells an end to the forks and rear stays that resemble Pipeline on a good day. Bravo!

 

LOOK

 
 

VERDICT: HOT

Look 795. Straight up hot. There’s not much to say about it, I mean the seat post is a little bit high but other than that. The cranks, the smoothness of the entire design is really just something special. The paint jobs pop, they’re total classics and I’m a huge fan of the smooth junction box matching in with the stem for that extra aero.

 

MAVIC

 
 

VERDICT: NOT

I don’t know enough about this goddamn wheels other than every single set I’ve had has broken on me. NEXT.

 

 

BMC

 

VERDICT: HOT

GVA’s Team Machine is easily bike of the year. That paint job man, no doubt a massive process to get it looking like that and on a frame with a shape that is so on point. Would any other brand have done such a sick job to pay homage to an Olympic champion? No.

 

BOSCH

 
 

VERDICT: HOT

E-Bikes are the future, and this Bosch one looks so sick. There will come a time where the only way to beat my existing mark up Norton is to wait for a strong afternoon westerly and hit it on one of these. Apparently theres some people that get sub 8 minute times up the climb when getting aero on one of these.

 

V: TOTO - AFRICA

 

We did have a whole bunch of extra-curricular activities planned for the Thursday evening of Le Tour Down Under – but the once every 10 year storm, the one that was supposed to hit at 2pm, then at 6pm, then 9 actually hit around 8, dispelling the prediction that every hour on the hour the storm warning would teeter out into nothing but a sporadic shower over the patrons of an open air Travis concert. The wind was too intense to drive let alone ride, let alone walk, let alone remain alive. Instead we put a playlist of Toto - Africa and Darude - Sandstorm on and took it all in from the balcony.

 

VI: CHURCH OF THE DAY

 

Red square, the holiest of holy. A place where worship is the only thing that is more sacred than being fingered on the dance floor. A place where young men and women gather to celebrate their eighteenth annum on this earth by drowning themselves in red square voddy lemonades and double dropping energy discs. A place where the air is so full of sweat that if you closed your eyes you could be sure that you were actually in a giant shoe with an inbuilt sound system. And a place where the bangers are aplenty. Red square is probably the most sacred church in Adelaide, the only problem is it’s $20 entry.