A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING
We further increased our property portfolio for breakfast, this time remembering to toast the sourdough bread. After the savoury course was complete, a simple freewheel around the corner to the Rapha pop up (bananas being cradled) provided us with Johandmade caffé lattes and pastries to help see us off through the outer suburbs of Adelaide. We would be returning to the pop up at the completion of our ride for a similar sports drink, one of the hops based variety. Further incentive to successfully execute the revised “plans of action”.
Distance: 261km (Alex)
Vertical Gain: +3789m (Adrian)
Beers: 22 (Honorary Soup Boy, Cam)
TDU Fedoras: 0
KOM Bucket Hats: 1
Highest Temperature: 43.6ºc (Adrian's Garmin)
Dropped Chains: 1 (Dean)
✓ THE HIGHLIGHT
Cam big-ringing it the entire way up the Paracombe climb, in contrast Hot Bread did nothing but complain about his lack of a compact crank the entire way up.
✕ THE LOWLIGHT
Gorge Road. Call it sacrilegious but we're collectively getting pretty sick of it. Or maybe its because of the headwind we keep getting every time we hit it up.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Best thing to read when taking a morning shit” – a close friend giving us a fond piece of feedback on our race reportage, or Ride Media's review of our website. We don't really know.
(?) BALL TALLY
PLAN OF ACTION
The days plans were mainly focused around catching as much of the race as possible, considering that current efforts had provided next to nothing (entirely our fault). We would hit Lofty and ride down into Stirling for the start, visiting old TDU favourites before the stage. Promptly legging it would hopefully result in us catching the final climb to the finish in Paracombe where if Janelle was as friendly as she was in 2015, we would be relaxing in the shade of her front yard as a BMC rider (Rohan Dennis last time) stormed to victory. From there it would be the long way home, a smorgasbord of roads on offer – and hops based sports drinks on arrival back in the 5000.
NOT QUITE BROADSHEET
Rapha pop-up caffé latte’s were the elixir that would get us on the road, with the exception of Dean who threw his all over himself. It would be around 20km before breakfast proper, but jersey pocket bananas and other assorted snacks helped us up Greenhill Rd, over Lofty and down into Stirling. When there we pulled into the relatively hidden gem that is the Stirling Cellars & Patisserie. No lines meant Cam and Adrian were able to waltz straight in and devour toasts with eggs, biscuits and caffé lattes – Adelaide maintaining the cute if rather confusing tradition of serving them up in mugs. By the time the Social Butterfly arrived to eat croissants in a single bite the line had grown to 20 people skrong, Adrian took the time waiting to browse the Prosecco section, still no locally grown produce.
The town of Stirling, and the loop that the race takes when it visits must surely be down as a wide crowd favourite. Unlike last year, where Jay McCarthy showed Gerro “watts up” in the uphill sprint – this time around the loop would act as the opening act of the stage before the race head on a windy, northbound route towards the finish in Paracombe. Classic vantage points of the roundabout of Avenue Rd Stirling (eurovibes) and the centre of town just past the feed zone provided plenty of happy spectating through the first 3 of 5 laps (time to leg it). Movistar were providing most of that entertainment with riders off the front, a team car treacherously behind their solo breakaway-ist, and handing out feed bags to local kids even if they were fair weather fans (we see your BMC hat/frothing Movistar combo...deep down we respect it).
Those folk in the background there? Loose as fuck. Pretty much what we will be like if the Tour Down Under ever goes past our homes or investment properties. Until Cam flogged his Speedvagen up Paracombe a la big ring, they were going to take home the coveted "Highlight" of the day prize.
III: ROLLING TRANSFER
Cue the "legging it". First Picadilly Rd, ducking and weaving between various groups headed in every which way. Next was a brief descent into Urailda, realising a wrong turn had been made and big ringing it back up to the aforementioned road. A shortcut to Marble Hill Rd decided by Adrian (with the confidence of a local) left even locals bemused but they followed hesitantly as the Soup Boys Express formed and skipped all stations along the ridges of the Adelaide Hills to Corkscrew. A rather zealous group of train conductors (Police Officers) were guarding the top of Corkscrew with their lives, and a series of traffic cones. This meant that our shortcut was no more, and it would be a descent of Montacute and the entirety of Gorge (again) to get to the finish in time.
Along the top of Montacute Rd there was a bit of a spill, with riders, cars and motorbikes weaving all over the shop it was unfortunate as well as avoidable. Take care out there kids, look after those around you. Wishing he who hit the deck, a guy who shared the breakfast bench with us in Stirling a speedy recovery.
IV: GETTIN' PARA (COMBE)
Harry sailed the Landcruiser down Gorge Rd with minimal fuss, pulling up skrrtrt a little way up a mound of dirt, right next to the Specialized tent which were no doubt in a jealous rage at the set up. Adrian and Cam made the climb in time, smoking Fred’s like they were freshly rolled cherry flav’d J’s and parking up at the final corner.
Judging by the photographic evidence provided by our Special Guest Correspondent Josh, the race must have been torn apart somewhere between the Landcruiser Park Up and the bottom of the climb. Because as exhibit a) the photo above – shows, there is an identifiable “peloton”. Not even two kilometres later however, it would be Richie Porte putting the race to the sword, everyone else following in ones and twos, aka not a peloton. SBS Cycling Commentators Dave McKenzie & Matt Keenan continued to remind us how much he smashed the field as he presented Richie with every stage award under the sun – including the most coveted of all time Billy Dawgz award for “Next Big Thing”.
V: ROLLING TRANSFER PT. 2
Hotdogs were left to digest, Jonesy picked up after a chain drop and we cruised to Cudlee Creek via the rest of Gorge Rd, only slowing to make various business calls. The doctor was called and provided a few 600mL doses of the good stuff, and we entertained the Cudlee Creek Café’s penchant for throwing mint on everything with a sweet spread for afternoon tea.
Kids on razor scooters provided entertainment and encouragement to Dean, motivation was building, the climb up Fox Creek Rd killed it. A brief break in the shade was enjoyed before we rollercoastered through Forest Range past the second largest apple orchard in the country. Something for Steve Jobs to aspire to.
!! #CORNERLIKECASEYSTONER LOBETHAL RD INTERMISSION !!
Joan met us out on the road at Lobethal & Deviation, and with a stray bull on the road we hit the descent, trying to out angle one another on the quest for Pythagorean greatness.
Our day out in the hills concluded with a summiting of Little Italy. The Catalan with the fresher legs taking us to the sword, with a wide smile on his face all the while. An exception was made by Dean, who missed the turn up Little Italy, instead heading up the universally recognised tougher Pound Rd.
VI: BRINGING HOME THE FACON
The final round, third of three rounds played out at Victoria Park as the boys descended Norton. With a forced promise of Harry being topless, and Alex cornering like Casey Stoner, the pressure was high to deliver. And deliver he did in the golden light of the setting sun, to the sound of encouraging yet violent screams of friends. Chapeau Alo!
"I was pretty keen for the last crit of the super series, not only because it was my last chance at relishing in the sweet taste of victory, but also because it was significantly cooler than monday's crit. 58 riders lined up at the start which meant that it was likely to be a bunch sprint finish, especially because it was a mostly headwind/tailwind course. It was a reasonably uneventful race where every move was chased down within a lap or 2 of getting away. I had a couple goes at getting away but gave up after 3 of my attacks were chased down. For the last 20 or 30 minutes i just sat in near the front of the group and made sure i didn't miss any important moves. The final seemed to come pretty quickly and i just tried to stay top 5 places with 2 laps to go. With 1 lap to go i was second wheel, the guy in front of me decided to try his luck and attacked around the first corner on the last lap. I jumped on his wheel and he towed me until the last corner. It was a bit earlier than i was hoping to start my sprint but people were coming around my left and right so i just started my sprint early and hoped for the best. I managed a third place which was my best result so far this season. Fuck ye! SOUP BOOOOOOOYS!"