TOUR DOWN UNDER '16: GETTING CORKSCREWED AF
Gene formally requested that we eternally refer to it as being #corkscrewed and we were happy to oblige. Today the pro's we're going to be giving it their best shot up Corkscrew Rd, with team Tinkoff Saxo under the watchful eye of their Eiffel 65 sister team who were stationed up near the top. It was a day where we got to skip the start and just catch the #action somewhere near the end. Would there be a famous duel to match that of Adrian vs Riley last year? Only time would tell...
I: (NOT SO SECRET) PLANZ
The days stage was starting in Glenelg, which made organizing our morning quite easy as the last thing we want to do is be in Glenelg more than 1 time per calendar year. Instead some slept in, some joined the Rapha ride which then disintegrated into one million cyclists lost in the network of Adelaide bike paths, retreating for their hotel rooms 20km in. A breakfast location was chosen, and green lights scored the entire way there as plans were made weaving between buses and clueless taxis.
- Plan what we were going to do for dinner. At breakfast time. Priorities.
- Which way were we going to head to Corkscrew. Again the climb up to Bel Air was unfortunately out of the question, possibly to be saved for the ride to Willunga on Saturday.
- Was there a way in which we could prize Ron from the clutches of his work so he could come ride with us.
- Who else would we be riding with this afternoon? The answer as it turned out was nobody else.
- Acquiring several bottles of freshly chilled Coca Cola (original & vanilla).
- Saving the legs for the next few days.
III: BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS x BONUS PRODUCT REVIEW COLLAB
Breakfast in the sun on what was a pleasant morning, at an hour worthy of champions (11am). It just so happened that our lookbook shoot location was Penny University, an establishment that graciously colour matched their milk crate alfresco decor with Jonesy's #newkitday kit by our friends at Pedla. As good music reigned down upon our ears from speakers at height, we sipped cappuccino's, juices and ate our meals atop these matchy match milk crates. Dean has officially endorsed their salads as the best in Adelaide, and asked (more ordered) that we come back here. Who are we to disagree?
IV: THOMAS FOODS STAGE 3 FALSE FLAT PREVIEW
The site of the now "traditional day one in Adelaide" false flat, Corkscrew Rd (whilst we haven't uncovered/ridden ALL of them) has to be up there as one of if not the most challenging false flats in the Adelaide Hills. We are happy to accept corrections on this as we are sure there are plenty more out there. The fortunate part for riders is that when you reach the end, you have the pleasant descent of Montacute Rd, which we are hoping Jay Weatherill will announce a national treasure following our formal written requests. As the name suggests, the road is shaped like a literal corkscrew, with a number of hairpins smack back in the middle of a smooth, cruisy section of just a few kilometres. Last time our Jonesy was able to spin away from everyone including Chris Froome as he had the famous 32t cassette fitted, and today he found the going even easier on a mid compact to 28 set up. It's when the hairpins kick in that you realise that Corkscrew Rd being widely referred to as a false flat is something of a ruse as you immediately have no option but to deliver the mail for a few, very twisty hundred metres or so. Once you get past the "Black Spot" hairpin, that is where things start to calm down a bit, but still formally requires you to sling it back into the big dog (55t) and head for the summit as the gradient drops back into single figures. While at the top, take a break amongst the shade, smash a descent down to Montacute, or uncover a gravel road that loops around the skyline of Corkscrew and watch the TDU crowd slowly build for the days stage.
V: PROFESSIONAL CORKSCREWING
We had already had our fun on the first afternoon we arrived in town, now it was up to the pro's to see if they could do any better. Turns out they could quite easily, and that there is the difference between them getting paid to ride bicycles and us working regular jobs. Last time the race head up Corkscrew Rd it was a duel between Richie Porte and Cadel Evans, but this time around there was a crash towards the base of the climb which would shake things up just a fraction. Riders hammered through one after another, managing to score some crucial #cornerlikecaseystoner points despite it being quite a steep climb. Spotted towards the end of the race (and 3rd wheel in the 6th last photo of this chapter) was Tyler Farrar, covered in dirt and aboard an unusual bike. Whilst there was some concern from those on the roadside when they actually saw his grazes, it is something of a feel good story that he finished the stage. Read about it here. Simon Gerrans (Orica GreenEDGE) who came through towards the front of the field took line honours some 7 or 8 kilometres later down the bottom at Campbelltown with Rohan Dennis (BMC) in second. Reportedly the riders clocked 98kmph down Gorge Rd in the lead up to the climb up Corkscrew Rd (also the site of the crash) and 105kmph on the short descent down Montacute Rd towards the finish. Pretty much faster than the McLaren Honda F1 cars put out last season. You can feel free to disagree but we will gladly and sternly tell you that you're wrong, but the whole descending to the finish after a climb thing has to be when bicycle races are at their absolute best.
VI: GOOD, BAD & UGLY
- Penny University, for reasons already mentioned. When we first arrived we were hardly eating, then we were eating but it was all junk. It's edging closer towards a week and we are finally eating things like salads and other things with green stuff in them. It's almost impossible to believe that most of us live out of home.
- Vanilla Coke, regular Coke. It did the job again on a heated mission out to the Corkscrew. This time it was being enjoyed on the tiled floor of Newton Village, a place which was described by one twitter user as "Adelaide's wog epicentre" and that of course Adrian had ended up there sprawled out on the floor.
- The Montacute climb/descent. It's fun either way, you smoke other riders either way.
- The vibe on corkscrew, everyone was in good spirits. Once the race passed through people got their iPhones, and their iPads (apple exclusive crowd) and huddled around watching the final few moments of the race. It's like "back in the day" only in the future.
- Gorge Road. Head to the bottom. Only one image required.
- It's something that we have experienced a bit this last week. And maybe its just because we are such young whipper snapping cute teens, or that we hold a rather brisk pace, but there sure does seem to be a lot of other bicyclists happy to sit on our wheel and take the effort off their shoulders. Fortunately they redeem themselves by acknowledging the pace line we have kept as they turn off for whatever reason (from experience it is mainly Gelati. They suck wheels then mainly bail to get Gelati).
- The amount of rubbish that was left by the roadside along Corkscrew. Wasn't a good way to leave the place considering the vibe was so friendly and whatnot. Sure there are people hired to clean up after the stage has been run, which we certainly saw, but it was something that certainly shocked us as citizens of the same planet.
- Headwinds, naturally.
- Drivers speeding up at cyclists, something that unfortunately was experienced a number of times today.
- Technically not being able to ride through Rundle Mall, but "accidentally" doing it anyway. We are tourists how were we supposed to know?
- Corporate Kit. But in an extremely good way. In a way that can never be understood by us folk with such little experience. We will no doubt have a moment of enlightenment regarding them when we hit about 55.
- The way Adrian's brake pads looked when they were changed out before descending Corkscrew. Handy and pretty much required.
- Again, belonging in the ugly column, drivers speeding up at cyclists. It truly was that bad this afternoon.
- The scene that was the car park of the Lower Gorge Village, what could possible be another "wog epicentre". Scroll down to find out more.
- Adrian's face as he devoured a burger in 2, possibly 3 bites. Practicing your solo break aways is indeed hard work.
VII: CHURCH OF THE DAY
If you've climbed Corkscrew, chances are as you're having a moment of divine intervention, popping champagne over your time, or receiving CPR, you would have come across the church positioned at the top of the climb, aptly on "Church Rd". Locals (or those who claim to be) didn't actually know if there were mass services held there at all, but what we can tell you is that it was built in 1886, is Anglican and belongs to St Paul. That makes it the oldest church we've found yet, and possibly will find considering we keep forgetting to stop at the damn things.
VIII: GORGE ROAD
Some times there are roads that exist where you shouldn't be stopping every kilometre or hundred metres or corners, instead choosing to hammer along and just enjoy the ride. Gorge Road is one of these, linking Campbelltown at the base of the Adelaide Hills to the slight north east, to places like Cudlee Creek, Chain of Ponds and Checkers Hill. It was the former which we rode out to for coke, frosty fruits and respite from the heat.With this ~glamour shot~ already captured, Adrian took the chance to Time Trial it to the very end, or technically the very start of Gorge Rd some 22km away. A decision he would later regret as he spent a few moments vomiting in the car park of Lower Gorge Village in the company of an Italian woman that would normally be leaving his jaw dropped.