THE SOUP BOYS MOVIE MARATHON
In the space of 24 hours, Melbourne was treated to a sensory feast of cycling. Eyes, ears, noses all indulged by their surrounds at two iconic locations in the inner sanctum of the city. One historical, one a relative newcomer – each worthy of their own prestige and status in their own right. We grabbed some friends, some 3D glasses, some panettone and some #vibes and let the last lot of racing for 2017 guide us to a happy ending.
Like the cult classic, Tommy Wiseau's "The Room" we simultaneously shot this on digital and film, Harry snapping out 12 whole rolls in under 24 hours in a modern showcase of efficiency and shutter spamming. Just like the feature film we emulated, the 35mm work is what dominates the final cut, while also feeding into the narrative of this being THE underground film festival of cycling blog posts. If you're here as a runner that's cool too, after all this is a movie MARATHON. Grab some popcorn and get comfy.
I: SUNSHINE (2007)
Like Ron Burgundy and his gang of merry co-anchors Dean and Adrian marched their way down William Street, still reminiscing upon the Mint Carpark. Turning onto Flinders Lane, they weren’t just greeted by the bright sun, but something much more heartwarming. It was Kip. Aboard his new bicycle he held us like a warm embrace as we haphazardly weaved our way down the middle of the street, the music blasting from the Secure Carpark getting louder, and louder, and louder.
The opening of our Movie Marathon was the Secure CPC, where CPC stands for Carpark Climb while Secure is the company who takes care of said carpark. A racing format and spectacle pioneered by Melbourne’s very own VTWO began a little while back, leading to attempted bootlegging north of the equator. As with most bootlegging, an inferior product was delivered and they would all come up short. The original and the best at this very particular game were back for another round, having enjoyed success at Tour Down Under the previous January, and a number of private, corporate affairs.
II: FAST & FURIOUS (2009)
Considering this is a car park race, something of an underground exercise we’re surprised nobody came to us asking for some expert advice on either racing dirty (read: smart) or looking to get every last bit of performance out of their bike. Sure it doesn’t #payrego, but Harry’s Barina is the perfect example of how you are able to squeeze every last drip of gains out of the marginal oil rag – so why didn’t anyone approach him to request a similar job of performance enhancement? From the outside (spectating) looking in (watching riders warming up mere metres away) it seem’s that many were simply relying on lighter bikes, aero wheels, or for some…a lack of brakes. There were plenty of roller sessions, and headphones on during warm up, but nobody was moving, pulling skrrts, or busting caps to suggest that they were listening to anything close to Ludacris or Busta Rhymes.
No doubt a select few bypassed the “soulful sounds” of ‘Cris and Busta – we’re putting our money on those in SBC kits. Don and Okky were repping the squad for the evening, probably hyping themselves up with RiFF RAFF, Death Grips and Windows XP Start Up Slowed Down to 24 Hours.
Don was back for a second bite of the cherry, racing on his brand new bike in the road category. Okky, as comes so naturally to him was smashing it out in the fixed category with legs hardened by a whole year of doing Ludacris rides on his brakeless Cinelli Mash.
III: RUN LOLA RUN (1998)
A new addition to the Secure CPC was the running category. Those with much healthier knees took to the same start line, and challenged each other 1v1 up a course that offered a higher difficulty rating than the Flemington Drains. Hunter Athletics and some local guns for hire showed us what can be imagined when ACL’s and all that aren’t cooked from years of ball sports or bad running form. We were saddened however to see a distinct lack of runners wearing Nike TN’s – everyone knows they’re the best shoes for legging it.
IV: PUMPING IRON (1977)
“Hey do you reckon I could get away with not having a shirt on?”
We had just strolled by the famed carpark number 420, and on a mild, definitely not hot night our DS was ready to get the rig out. The upper levels of the course were in some need of a makeover, and taking the guns to town was the perfect answer. Not even in his prime, technically in the early stages “of getting lean this season” didn’t stop Harry from sporting the freshest rig at the bike races. Given the average physique of the typical road cyclist, this is prize that won’t really be under threat until we go and watch the inevitable Theo Bos vs Robert Forstemann Battle Royale. The paparazzi, not sure who they were there for before we showed up, swivelled on the spot and nabbed a few snaps of the (rare) free gun show. No doubt they’ll be ending up in Men's Health magazine, and on some large campaign billboards for the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party.
V: TALLADEGA NIGHTS (2006)
Whether it was a stirring of the loins, or the space/time continuum breaking we’re not quite sure, but time stood still during the Gun Show Intermission. With the sun disappearing behind the Grand Hotel, and servings of paella scoffed, the second round of bikes took to the start, our 2 boys included. Looking to improve on his 13th from the maiden Carpark Climb, Don was well on his way to ticking the boxes, entrenched well in the top 10. In the fixed gear category, despite Okky racing his first heat with only one foot clipped in, he was towards the top of the field – looking to improve as opposed to win, Lucas Pittaway well clear of any others.
With NOS interchanged between bike and mind, riders used whatever they could to psych out their opponents. The Brian Eno levels of subdued vibes during the first heat had now been replaced by an army of dads humming along to the opening of ACDC’s Thunderstruck. Music loud, the light dimmer, chewing tobacco spat out – it was time to get back to racing.
VI: SPEED RACER (2008)
And on the sabbath...
The crowds began milling around the famed industrial block just south of Citylink. In technicolor glory they womens race began in a flurry, possibly something of an understatement considering the shredding of the pack in the opening 2 laps. Among some of the pro’s we could spot two young up and comers, Elizabeth Nuspan and Sarah Gigante. With more and more experience they are bound to be at the business end of elite women’s racing in Australia at the bare minimum in the coming years as they both more than held their own in a field that progressively becomes more stacked in domestic and international level talent year on year.
More than a pretty face behind a camera. More than a big rig, even though the fans are constantly flocking when its even slightly out. Our Fearless DS has been posting some straight fire through the lens on his website. It’s so fire that we’re lucky things haven’t gone all Inglorious Basterds on us. Check it.
In an economical breakthrough, Harry was able to nail the film shoot of the Elite Women’s field first time, every time. Even with those at the front doing their absolute best to stretch and snap the field like an elastic band the race came down to a sprint. Ashlee Ankudinoff taking a very special win in front of the big crowd, knowing she had it in the bag with a few metres to go. All hail the Supercrit Queen.
VII: REMEMBER THE TITANS (2000)
Sips of solo, of water, probably of beer, but there was no Gatorade keg in sight. There was no Denzel delivering one mighty pre-game pep talk, but there was Justin in a Panama hat, delivering the race plan with such firm and assured words that the fear of god would be struck into their opponents. It was the first big outing for the newly formed Cannondale x Pedla team, riders emerging from the huddle focused and armed with the knowledge of their first mission, jumping aboard the steeds that would take them up to the gates of Valhalla.
VIII: MAD MAX FURY ROAD (2015)
A race start that was more Fury Road in name than in nature, for once we, and the raceurs of the Elite Men were blessed with an incident free start (praise be to Maldonado). While it wasn’t a super hot day, the sky was clear and sun was harsh, and to make up for the lack of an Entombed-like backing track, riders flicked it into the big ring and got to work after a lap or two of soft pedalling. Sitting in the shade of Rapha corner for the start, we held hands, bowed our heads and prayed that the prayers led by the two Pedla teams would provide them with safe passage. Otherwise those clutching of rosary beads would have been for nothing. With warmth in the tyres, and Immortan Joe not yet able to visualise and verbalise an outcome through the mic, Conor Murtagh aka Yung Chickpea shot off the front from the first #cornerlikecaseystoner.
Conor Murtagh aka Yung Chickpea bka Breakaway13.
Going fast has never looked better than when displayed in the true Film Noir Style.
IX: CANDY BAR INTERMISSION
This is the part of the movie marathon where not much is going down. In case you haven’t figured it out by yet, Conor Murtagh will attack, get brought back a few laps later, then attack again. Occasionally he will be joined by Mitch Docker, counter-attacking only for the sake of reeling him in, letting him know who has the best haircut in the race (probably). Perhaps you’re feeling hungry? Or a little thirsty? Don’t succumb to the thirst traps of 2016, indulge yourself like its the last time you’ll see bike racing in 2017 (it will be). The Cannondale x Pedla Candy Bar has Solo: The Thirst Crusher, and CocaCola ice cold and ready to drink, for something savoury try Red Rock Deli chips. Accompany it with a traditional festive snack. The peoples bread; Panettone. After all it is that time of year. While you let the buttery bread melt in your mouth, kick back, relax, and watch Conor breakaway in 3…2…1…
X: THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA (2006)
And it was with a few laps left that Immortan Joe burst to life, grabbing the mic and dropping the hottest, most fire bars since the Crazy Frog climaxed back in 2005. Not dressed like an evil warlord at all, he had the stature of a man who just happened to have stumbled upon this particular Supercrit straight from a Melbourne Fashion Week afterparty. Expressing himself wholeheartedly and describing the last few laps of the Supercrit with such passion and enthusiasm got the crowd mad geed up for the finale. If GQ Australia had any staff in attendance at all, for one we would be nothing short of shocked, and two: he would have featured amongst the best dressed. Not since hyphy Kim Jong Un has a world leader, or lost-world leader had a fit that was so fire. Shop the look.
XI: RUSH (2013)
Conor Murtagh was reeled back in once again, the tension around the final bend and onto the home straight increasing with the heavy breathing that could be heard over the PA system. With a severe lack of Scotty Sundo’s at this years Superscrit, the Soup Boys were about to head into unchartered territory. The man had had the Elite Men’s field on strings for the last few years, but this was all a few minutes away from changing.
With the skill, talent and determination of Senna in the wet at Estoril, our good friend and cyclocross teammate Ben X Lehner snapped arguably the set of the day – capturing the enormous Elite Men’s field in all its sun baked glory. His methods simple, his editing of photographs in Adobe Lightroom, revolutionary. And best of all, he does it without a smile. Go check his site.