WELCOME TO TDU '17
The Tour Down Under – Australia’s premier professional road cycling event if you’re discounting the weekly SKCC meets during the warmer months. As the Soup Boys it would be our third time venturing across the border into South Australia to strengthen ties with the Adelaide Division of our collective of cute teens, and participate in the spectacle of professional bicycle racing.
I: ROAD TRIP
With a simple flip of a coin it was decided that we would be cruising the land in our famed DS Harry’s vintage team car. A pre-packed vehicle led to an uncharacteristic early (on time) departure as we head due west (slightly north) on a highway we have traveled up and down more times this week than the previous 55 years of our collective lives. Timed stops were made in the name of hydration and gains, with all occupants of the vehicle sure to smash down some avocados, dates, bananas and tuna (we got them boxes) in the tight window on offer. Residents of Nhill, well at least those passing through the local truck parking were treated to a brief country town gun show as we swerved past the full peaking Koala and into the Victorian wheat belt surrounding the border.
A brief stop off at Keith to sample the local fare led to a $20 lunch for Adrian which was made up of a soggy chicken sandwich (probably a dollar), an apple custard tart (50 cents) and a litre of water (most likely eighteen dollars fifty). Never again, until the drive to Adelaide is once again required. Either way, you’re going to want this series of albums in your repertoire if you’re going to block the memories of a wasted twenty on a shitty lunch in the middle of that 7 hour (minimum) drive.
Meek Mill - R.I.C.O ft. Drake (certified roll into town, windows down, speakers blaring song)
Just beyond Keith we came across the Curve Cycling tdu pilgrimage which had Jonesy throwing himself out of the car handing up bananas to at least slightly aid the brave riders through the last 300km to Adelaide.
II: MAKER CYCLING
Hosted by the wonderful folks at Treadly, Maker Cycling is a showcase of the finest wares from some high quality Australian brands. Our close friends at Tenet Supply used the afternoon to launch their debut collection to the physical world, with one half of the brand (returning Guest Correspondent Vic) snapping some photos and conducting some highly important surveys of attendees. We will have much more to share on this wonderful event later in the week, but for now admire the following photo of JR from Rogers Bespoke fame. It speaks volumes of the amount of shit talking and general frothing over bikes that occurred. Pay extra attention to the locally brewed red tin. Fkn Heaps Good SA.
III: A TRADITIONAL CORKSCREWING
Ever since the dawn of time (#TDU2015) we have kicked off the week long proceedings with an ascent of the mighty challenging (for the non-pro) Corkscrew. With weather much kinder than last year, that is it was below 40 degrees celsius – a diminished-through-work-responsibilities-or-not-being-in-Adelaide-yet squad rolled out through the more Mediterranean outer suburbs as we hit the Gorge, roasted each other up the Corkscrew and after taking on extra water as ballast, listening to Joan's Mortirolo war stories and throwing a rap squat or two to loosen the legs a little more – flew down Montacute Rd, freshly paved like it was only for us.
IV: THE BUSINESS END
SBS commentator David McKenzie’s favourite saying when you hit 3 laps to go in almost any criterium race (except for the Dauphine), and also all the action we got to witness of the People’s Choice Classic. Following the 3 solid #cornerlikecaseystoner efforts we saw the race perform, Ewan took the win leaving Sagan well in his wake. We were stationed either at the first corner, or the final corner. Turns out we were at neither. Hard luck story when you consider there was only 4 possible options. Brief introductions to the fashions and overall Tour Down Under vibe was well on show, it has us licking our lips at the week ahead.
Weaving our way through something akin to Epsom Rd Ascot Vale post Stereosonic (rip) – the festival like atmosphere shifted into town where we copped a sweet dinner at NOLA, aka the Beaufort Hotel of Adelaide, and then EST because second dinners, and pizza’s equivalent if not better than Doc’s are important. Plans were hatched about the week ahead.
Those plans planned were about as half baked as whoever it was that originally decided chicken should go on waffles. Once again the Tour Down Under acts as the perfect setting to host a reunion between Victorian and South Australian chapters of our cycling collective/council/conglomerate/club – thus a sufficient amount of celebrating will go down while we also take in the sights and sounds of a festival of cycling like no other here in Australia. A little bit of what you can expect from us, outside of the regular grind includes:
We will have your breakfasts, your morning AM talkback radio playlists and all that stuff to get your day started just right. Last year proved to be quite the challenge to Melbourne as “top dog” and while this year might not change the standings at the top of the table, at least the gap to Sydney will absolutely be widened.
#TDU2017 will go down in the history books as one of the best yet. We hope. We assume. Have you seen the line up? Everyones favourite adoptive son Peter Sagan is in town among a whole host of huge names to help bring the party to the pavement at this years race. It’s kind of the reason most of us are here isn’t it? So why not cover its every move. Or at least most.
HIGHS & LOWS
Bicycle races, both as athletic endeavours and turning spectating into a hobby can be a rollercoaster journey, filled with ups and downs. We are going to discuss the highs and lows of each days action from on and off the parcours. We might even open up the comments section here or there to garner some reader feedback if the temptation to share thoughts may be so hard to resist.
Short for Bicycle Technology. We will be sending our resident Tech(nology) editor deep into the Tour Village to see what is big for 2017 – despite the fact pretty much everything got announced/released/discussed/prototyped and all that in the second half of last year. Or maybe its because we want the inside scoop of what is to come for S/S18.
CHURCH OF THE DAY
There are more than the 6 churches we covered last year in the “City of Churches” (Adelaide) – in fact, we can see approximately 9 to 10 of them from the balcony of our hotel. Time to find these suburban places of worship and bestow upon them a holiness never seen before.
Naturally, we have a few tricks up our sleeve that we are hoping to pull off, but you’ll just have to wait and see how it all goes down. Hopefully not pear shaped.
VI: APPLE STORE PSA
While we’re not here to maliciously kill the data on your phones, we understand that sometimes the worst can happen. If your hotel internet isn’t all that crash hot (which we just discovered ourselves) we recommend the Apple Store Adelaide as your go to spot for leeching wifi. Not only can you take a moment to pay homage to the Steve Jobs monument inside, buy the latest golden iPhone, but you can also cop a hot load of Soup Boys content as it comes directly to your digital device via Cayman wire transfer. The Soup Boys hold a steely bond to the company so go tell em we said hey! If android is more your thing then I guess we will see you leeching the wifi of the nearest McDonalds.