Tour Down Under 2015

Road cycling & upcoming rides
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Dougie
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Postby Dougie » 09 Apr 2014, 21:00

News just to hand!

The Tour Down Under dates for 2015 have been announced as 17 to 25 January 2015.

One of the highlights of the cycling calendar for the year and perfectly situated in the School Holidays, the TDU is a fantastic week whether you are on wheels or not. So book your leave and convince your better half that the only place to be in late January next year in Adelaide.

Watch for updates. Read up on the last couple years escapades by searching tour down under here on the forum.

For more enthusiasm see me at the cafe.

Dougie

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Dougie
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Postby Dougie » 16 Jul 2014, 12:40

The Earlybird Registration is open in 31st of July for Bupa Challenge Stage 4 Ride at the Tour Down Under next year.

The course has been released
https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/ ... bd3a4f4c8c

http://www.tourdownunder.com.au/race-routes.htm

I will be registering for the 77km distance and plan to ride with William (my 11 year old son and Club Junior)

I will be registering a team, the "DHBC Domestiques" in the next few days.

Get on it!
Last edited by Dougie on 16 Jul 2014, 18:21, edited 1 time in total.

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JoTheBuilder
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Postby JoTheBuilder » 16 Jul 2014, 14:18

I hope to be there but the small problem of a 'honeymoon' keeps cropping up. Apparently Christian does not view the Tour Down Under as an ideal destination.

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Dougie
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Postby Dougie » 16 Jul 2014, 18:20


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Dougie
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Postby Dougie » 22 Jul 2014, 11:42

the DHBC Domestiques has been registered again for the next edition of the TDU in Adelaide next January. Enter the team code BCT109 when registering to join the squad!

Earlybird entries close on the 31st of July.

I will be riding all week following the Pro Peloton around the hills of Adelaide. This coming year in the company of my Son and Club Junior William. it's a great holiday and plenty to do to keep the non riding members of the peloton happy whilst you are out each day. Have a look at some of the previous ride reports from the Tour Down Under to better get the flavour of the event.

There are plenty of spots for you to wear you favourite Mankini and shout words of encouragement to the Pro's as they heave past. they really do love the help!

Any questions see me at the Café.

cheers

Dougie

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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 29 Jul 2014, 09:19

And here is what race sponsors, Santos, have been up to:




Adrian Miller
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Postby Adrian Miller » 15 Aug 2014, 13:43

Hello everyone, my first post - you may have seen me on the odd Waterfall ride or Wed morning LaPa rides
I have accomm booked for the week and have entered the 165km BUPA ride. Can't wait to watch the racing every day

Adrian

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Dougie
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Postby Dougie » 15 Aug 2014, 16:14


Adrian Miller
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Postby Adrian Miller » 18 Aug 2014, 12:11

Cheers Dougie, will sort out

Adrian

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Dougie
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Postby Dougie » 09 Oct 2014, 14:37

I received the following email from the Tour Down Under people. If you are riding the BUPA Challenge at the TDU I encourage you to join up with the DHBC Domestiques. Please email them at give them code BCT109 to add your name.

Hi Douglas,

Congratulations on registering your team “DHBC DOMESTIQUES” currently with 4 participants you are only one name off to have your team name printed on each team member’s jersey!

Team registrations close on the 31st of October. If you would like to add further team members, please ensure they are registered before this date.

If your team is complete and you are not expecting any other changes, please confirm your team list by responding to this email.

If you have any questions, as always – please shoot me an email or give me a call 

I’ll be in touch again once team registrations have closed off.



_______________________________________
Katherine Harris
Associated Events Assistant
Events South Australia

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Dougie
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Postby Dougie » 10 Oct 2014, 12:36

Current list of registered DHBC riders

Please see below your team as at 09/10/2014 – Happy Training!
GLENELG to MOUNT BARKER - 151.7km Adrian Miller BCT109
MOUNT COMPASS to MOUNT BARKER - 77.5km Douglas Kirkham BCT109
MOUNT COMPASS to MOUNT BARKER - 77.5km William Kirkham BCT109
GLENELG to MOUNT BARKER - 151.7km Andrew Belford bct109

Warm Regards,

Katie Johnson
Event Coordinator
Events South Australia


Please add group code BCT109 to your registration if you wish to join the group

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JoTheBuilder
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Postby JoTheBuilder » 10 Oct 2014, 17:39

I am sad. :-(

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Postby Julio » 10 Oct 2014, 21:50

I'll register for the team before the 31st (next pay day) and I'm going the whole hog.

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Postby Julio » 22 Oct 2014, 22:46

and done......

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Postby Stuart » 08 Nov 2014, 08:08

And more about those whacky funsters at Santos, sponsor of the TDU:

Santos' coal seam gas project threatens the lifeblood of Australia - the Great Artesian Basin.

News broke in The Australian today. A new report confirmed drilling from Santos' Narribri CSG project could "stop bores flowing throughout the basin, which is the sole water source for towns and farms across 22 per cent of Australia."1 Essentially, much of the Australia's groundwater could stop flowing. It's the worst case scenario, but the consequences would be unthinkable.

The basin covers almost a quarter of the country, and is the only supply of fresh water for much of inland Australia. No access to water from the Great Artesian Basin means no farming. It means no cattle-grazing. It means no irrigation, no drinking water for rural communities. Without overstating it, losing water from the basin would be catastrophic.

The pressure companies like Santos can put on decision-makers is huge, and standing up to a project of this scale takes a whole lot of courage.

Could sponsoring a bicycle race be Greenwash? Associating with sport, fun, fitness rather than Coal Seam Gas, fracking, poisoned water supplies and pollution? Just a thought.

rtb
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Postby rtb » 18 Dec 2014, 17:54

Dougie and rest of riders for TDU my apologies, I didn't get my act together to sign onto the team, nor did my niece Emma, we will both be there doing the 150, training is happening, bit behind schedule due to illness but will be ready by the day
Robert

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Dougie
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Postby Dougie » 06 Jan 2015, 09:17

BUMP

The TDU starts in fortnight. If you wish to be included on Daily Rides Texts please message me on 0434148612. Generally I will roll out from the Hilton in Victoria Square. It's not a training camp and I will be eating cake.

Cheers

Dougie

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Postby jermxx » 07 Jan 2015, 23:04

Leave approved, flights and accommodation booked. Signing up for the 150.

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Dougie
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Postby Dougie » 08 Jan 2015, 11:30


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James Rogers
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Postby James Rogers » 08 Jan 2015, 14:52

I made a , because I couldn't find one online. I thought someone might also find it useful.

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Dougie
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Postby Dougie » 09 Jan 2015, 13:17

Tour Down Under Itinerary

Sunday 18th January

People’s Choice Classic, 7.15pm
Twilight Crit on the old Formula One Circuit. A great atmosphere and great places to eat on Rundle St, Hutt St and East Tce. No ride planned. Enjoy your evening in the ‘Laide.

Monday 19th of January

Free day to pursue your favourite past time and enjoy the company of the non-riding members of the Peloton. I will do one of two options. Either a pleasant, flat ride with William, early in the day from the City to Glenelg and return, with some coffee and toast. OR similar to last year the “Phil and Paul ride”. Last year I was advised of a ride with Paul Sherwin and Phil Liggett. It was a gentle ride at Cafe pace to Glenelg. Once we arrived we were met by Mike Tomalaris whom had arranged for the bunch to go for a ride with Team Sky and the Sky Car. All very cool! Either way there is usually plenty of Rider spotting at the Hilton or Glenelg Park.

Tuesday 20th of January

Stage 1 Tanunda to Campbelltown

RIDE AND ROUTE SUBJECT TO CHANGE DUE TO BUSHFIRES AND ROAD CLOSURES.

Aim: To be on Checker Hill for the KOM at 1.30pm by 1pm
Distance: Around 50km one way.
I plan on leaving the Hilton Hotel at about 8.30ish with a view to being in the town of Forreston by about 11.30 to grab some lunch before heading to the KOM a few kilometres away.

The planned route will take us north east toward the Hills, eventually meeting up with the beautiful Gorge Rd. About twenty or so minutes up Gorge Rd is a right hander with a non-descript road sign saying “Corkscrew Rd”. This is an opportunity to take a quick detour and ride this fearsome climb. For those choosing to ride it you will endure 2.4KM at an average of 9.5% with some 22% pinches on the switchbacks. Last year I averaged 8.7KPH, Cadel did it in the big ring at 24.5KPH.

From there we continue on along Gorge Rd for another hour to the town of Forreston for lunch and nature breaks. As soon as we are ready we will head for Checker Hill Rd and find a suitable perch to watch the Peloton suffer the 1.2KM, 9% climb.

Once the Green Light vehicle has rolled through we to, along with the hundreds of other riders will wend our way back to Adelaide.




Wednesday 21st of January

Stage 2 Unley to Stirling

Aim: To soak up the atmosphere at the Stage Start (11am) in Unley and then enjoy the thrill of the Finish in Stirling.
Distance: Around 25KM one way with plenty of climbing.

I plan on leaving the Hilton Hotel with William (my Son) at around 9ish. He and I will ride to the Start location on King William Rd where we will have breakfast with my Family in a Café. Whatever you choose to do give yourself an hour to wander around and enjoy the fun. Grab some breakfast and fuel up as we have some climbing to do!

The route the Peloton is taking this year goes up into the Hills via Belair Rd. Belair Rd DOES NOT have a shoulder and is only one lane each way. There will be plenty of spectators whom choose this route, I won’t be. Once the gun has gone off William and I will be heading for the Hills via the Crafers Bike Path. This is a separated path that follows the old road out of town. It’s a solid 12KM climb averaging 4% with a few 12% hurty parts. Once we summit the climb at Crafers we will descend through the finish town of Stirling, through Aldgate and on to Mylor.

Plan on having some local produce at Mylor as we watch the Peloton whiz through on their first lap scheduled pass through at about 1.30pm. After the riders pass through William and I will head for the next town of Aldgate, arriving in time to see the bunch roll through on their second lap at about 2.20pm. We’ll move off again once they are through and head to Stirling and find my Family for the finish.

Bear in mind that faster riders can head towards other Hills’ towns such as Hahndorf and enjoy more spectating opportunities. You are of course welcome to take other routes.

Once the race is done it’s a short but sharp climb out of Stirling to get back to the Crafers Bike Path. From that point it is the most wonderful 15km descent back into Adelaide. If you keep your eyes peeled you will very likely see the teams riding back to Adelaide for the fit and strong jump on a wheel and enjoy their company home. Generally the riders are very accommodating, just keep your distance.

Thursday 22nd of January

Stage 3 Norwood to Paracombe

Aim: To soak up the atmosphere at the Stage Start (11am) in Norwood and then enjoy the thrill of the hilltop Finish in Paracombe.
Distance: Around 20KM one way with some climbing.


Paracombe is a comfortable 20KM from the Stage Start (11am). Similarly to the previous day, I plan on leaving the Hilton Hotel with William (my Son) at around 9ish. He and I will ride to the Start location on the Parade in Norwood where we will have breakfast with my Family in a Café. Whatever you choose to do give yourself an hour to wander around and enjoy the fun. Grab some breakfast and fuel up.

This is a short day and with the big one planned for tomorrow probably not a bad idea. After seeing the start we’ll follow the route taken by the Peloton. Lunch opportunities might be a little light on so a pit stop before heading into the Hills maybe wise. I have no doubt there will be a sausage sandwich fundraiser in Paracombe but best plan on something else if you have a delicate constitution.

I would think that once again the riders will take the opportunity to ride back to the Hilton. Happy days!

Friday 23rd of January

The Bupa Ride.

William and I are doing the Sportive Ride from Mt Compass with a 77.5KM distance. Whether you are riding in the Sportive or spectating enjoy your day. We might see you in Mt Barker for the finish.

As I will have only ridden 77KM I will most likely ride back to Adelaide after the riders have finished the Stage. Bear in mind that’s another 36KM on top of your already impressive 155KM.

Saturday 24th of January

Stage 5 McLaren to Willunga Hill

Aim: To soak up the atmosphere at the Stage Start (11am) in McLaren Vale and then enjoy the thrill of the hilltop Finish on Willunga Hill.
Distance: Around 60KM one way with some climbing.

It’s about a 55KM ride to the start at McLaren Vale and I wish to be there at around 10am to enjoy the start. I plan on departing the Hilton Hotel at about 8am. The beauty of this ride is that about half of it is on a segregated pathway much like the M7 bike path.

Again I will be meeting up with my family at the Start. Once the start has occurred grab some early lunch and watch the Peloton roll through on their next lap. After the riders are through, depart for Willunga and Old Willunga Hill. If there was any day to being wearing your DHBC jersey this is it. Your ten seconds of TV fame awaits. Plan in being as high up the Hill as you can get and enjoy the incredible atmosphere of shoulder to shoulder and three deep on the roadside.

Aim to be a the base of the 3KM, 7.6% climb by about 1pm with a view to securing a vantage point be about 1.30 – 1.45pm. Riders and walkers are EVERYWHERE and it is a ZOO! The breakaway should come through at about 2.30pm and the noise is incredible. The race ends at 3pm so you and 40,000 of your best mates will then try and get off the Hill all at once. Take your time. A great day. (There are no facilities on the Climb although I have seen portaloos at the bottom and top)
I am undecided as to whether I ride back to Adelaide or not. I will probably only decided that afternoon. William will certainly return back to Adelaide in the car with my family.

Sunday 25th of January

Stage 6 City Crit

This is not my favourite stage, although the route has changed slightly and there may be slightly better shade for spectators. If I ride today then it will be a flat café ride earlier than later. For those wanting a good hit out you could do the Mt Lofty Climb via Norton Summit Rd. 1000 metres over 50KM.


Don’t forget to enjoy the Tour Village situated opposite the Hilton in Victoria Square.

My mobile is 0434 148 612

See you there!

Cheers

Dougie

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Postby Peter T » 09 Jan 2015, 14:52

Absolutely salivating!

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Postby andrewb » 17 Jan 2015, 16:00

Hi fellow TdUers,

As per last year, a (small and mostly un-publicised) Women's Tour is running in conjunction with the TdU.

The crits in particular last year were exciting and accessible - looks the same this year.

Sunday's crit is prior to the men's, on the same course in the East Parklands.

On Monday there is a road race finishing in Campbelltown, in the same place as the men's race the following day.

There is another crit on Tuesday early evening, on the old Victoria Park racecourse grounds.

I won't get into Adelaide early enough for the Sunday race, and will likely need to be doing family stuff on the Monday, but intend to trundle over to Vic park for Tuesday's race.

Details of all races below, from the event website.

Cheers,
Andrew

Sat 17 Jan 15
Jayco Road Race - Stage 1
Start: 11:00 AM, Woodside
Finish: 12:41pm approx ETA, Murray Bridge
Distance: 59km

Sunday 18 Jan 15
Jarvis Subaru Criterium - Stage 2
Start: 5:45 PM, East End, Adelaide
Finish: 6:25pm approx ETA, East End, Adelaide
Distance: 40 minutes

Monday 19 Jan 15
Jarvis Subaru Road Race - Stage 3
Start: 12:00 PM, Tanunda
Finish: 2:03 approx ETA, Campbelltown
Distance: 71KM

Tues 20 Jan 15
Jayco Criterium - Stage 4
Start: 6:30 PM, Victoria Park, Adelaide
Finish: 7:40 approx ETA, Victoria Park, Adelaide
Distance: 1hr:10min + 1 lap

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JoTheBuilder
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Postby JoTheBuilder » 17 Jan 2015, 21:05

Fantastic look itinerary Dougie. Wish I was going though in current form I'm not sure I'd think it was a good idea halfway up Willunga.

Enjoy everyone! Will be a cracker.

Go Cadel.

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James Rogers
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Postby James Rogers » 26 Jan 2015, 16:56



Fantastic trip, quite a downer to return! We went down a bit early so that Taku could compete in the National Junior Track Series, so ended up spending 12 days in Adelaide.

I'd only visited for 48 hours or less in the past, so trying to work out how to view the Tour stages was a bit daunting. Really all I knew was that the food and wine were good.

For a TDU first-timer, Dougie's – and the Bolton family's – guidance was invaluable. We were thankfully able to lean on them for tips and (literally) a wheel. The tour was easy to access by bike, and we were able to move pretty quickly during the stages and get good views at most stops (even the finishes).

Taku stalked and talked to almost every pro, including a special meeting with Team Sky (organised by St George CC). I rode the hills every day. The temperature was kindly in the mid-20s for almost the entire trip.

We had some very enjoyable rides with many DHBCers. Leading Taku down Gorge Road at, ahem, a rather fast speed was definitely a highlight, as was a fairly indulgent side-trip up Corkscrew. The Adelaide to Mclaren Vale bike path was likewise an impressive bit of infrastructure. Dougie found me a climb up Kensington Road which is pretty much like WTF hill on the back of Falls – except with beautifully manicured lawns a few km's from town. I rode it in honour of those doing the Alpine Classic the same day. Solidarity, and all that. I think I ended up riding about 700km over the 12 days.



Tour-wise, I would have to say that Willunga Hill was the most spectacular, mad, and exciting stage. Although I am sure that is no surprise to anyone. William Kirkham got a good cheer from the crowd as he performed his own KOM, as did every other kid who came huffing up the hill. The circling choppers, the crowd, a teletubbie onesie, an overload of Attaquer kit, and a slightly irate bicycle cop brought a bit of anarchy to a pretty carnival-like atmosphere. Some people had camped out their positions for tens of hours (generally, though, this did not guarantee a good view). The speed that the Pros ride up that hill is something to behold; but more breathtaking is your sheer proximity to them. Really awe-inspiring.



Riding home with the Boltons, Simon and I accidentally terrorised a Big-Bastard Brown snake (scientific name), which coiled up and struck at me. Only good fortune and probably a large surge of adrenaline saw the snake bounce his fangs off my rear skewer. It was close enough that I did have to take my sock off and double check I hadn't been mortally punctured. I probably could have changed some other items of clothing at the same time, too.

I have quickly smashed together some images of (including a healthy dose of cheesey 80's music, which seemed to underscore every stage of the Tour).

It was inspiring, fun, and, um, educational. Looking forward to doing it again.
Last edited by James Rogers on 27 Jan 2015, 08:19, edited 3 times in total.

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Colin Campbell
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Postby Colin Campbell » 26 Jan 2015, 18:37

Great reportage and documentary film, James. A wonderful race this year!

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JoTheBuilder
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Postby JoTheBuilder » 27 Jan 2015, 10:29

Great report James... Looking forward to being back there next year!

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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 27 Jan 2015, 12:06

I'd say we're coming too in 2016, but that would ensure 35+ degrees every day.

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Postby Adam W » 27 Jan 2015, 15:13

Great video James!

Hoping to go next year also.

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Postby Philip » 27 Jan 2015, 16:26

Excellent report James, though I think I prefer 320 km's to Big Bastard Browns. They are after all one of the most dangerous snakes in the world! Scary *censored*!

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Dougie
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Postby Dougie » 28 Jan 2015, 10:04

Tour Down Under 2015

The protected rider was flanked by two domestiques in front and behind. The first kilometre of the three kilometre Willunga Hill climb is the steepest. The rider was hurting, the pain was etched in his face. Further up the road the crowd could be heard urging riders on. Campers lined the lower slopes and shady spots drew spectators like bees to honey and yet they climbed on.

The climb seemed relentless and the noise grew ever closer. Suddenly they were in the thick of it. The crowd spotted the lead rider and urged him by name to fight on, the top was within his reach. Suddenly he leapt from his seat like he’d been bitten. He launched his attack, taking his protectors completely by surprise. The supporters roared their approved of such a move. He broke away from his protective enclave, attacking riders in front and dropping them in his wake. Such panache rarely seen and the approval is swift and loud. The rider’s grimace of pain twisted into a smile of pure joy. This was going to be fun!

Extract reprinted with permission of William Kirkham, Winner of the Tour de France 2034 from his unauthorised biography Willunga Will, page 47 The Early Years.

This visit to the TDU 2015 was the first occasion that I would have William riding with me. William asked last year if he could take his bike for the 2015 visit. We could hardly say no. We are old hands now at the trip to Adelaide, although an additional bike was adding a level of complexity not previously experienced. Check in, the trip down and arrival at our friends home in Glenelg were all smooth.

The first order of business was to put the bikes back together with a view to visiting the Tour Village in Town. We rolled out to the Anzac Highway and immediately joined the back of Etixx Quickstep who were on an easy training ride. The riders graciously brought William up into the bunch and we enjoyed a wonderful, swift ride for the 10KM up to the city. We snapped a couple of pictures with the boys and they loaded William up with some energy bars. As William’s first on bike experience on the TDU this was both fantastic and a challenge to beat!

We took the opportunity when visiting the Village to collect the DHBC Domestiques team jersey’s for the BUPA ride on Friday. All was in order for the Team to ride once again. As has been the case in the recent past DHBC had a sizable contingent visiting Adelaide. Around about twenty club members had made the journey. For some this was their first visit and for others like us they had been in prior years.

It was around this time that William announced his strong desire to stalk, should I say ride with Trek Factory Racing. Alas without causing an international incident we couldn’t spot TFR in a location that was consistent with what could be considered reasonable human interaction. TFR would have to wait another day to meet William.

We rode home via Outer Harbour and Henley Beach. All up our ride about 40 odd Kilometres and grand total of around 40 metres of climbing. If you aren’t in the Hills Adelaide is pretty flat!

In the lead up to the TDU we had received information about various rides. Unfortunately we arrived too late in the day to ride with the voices of Cycling, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin. Having said that we had scored a ride with Lotto Soudal on Monday morning. Whilst I recognise that Lotto Soudal is NOT Trek Factory Racing I had hoped that it might be considered up there in similarity. Nope! Oh well I suppose I need to come to terms with disappointing my children on a regular basis. We formed up with the team and greeted a plethora of DHBC riders also coming along for the ride. added to this were about another fifty riders whom had spotted the team forming up and though this was their opportunity to be a hero. Sadly, this pushed us quite a long way back. We rolled out and managed to stay on through a few sets of traffic lights until the inevitable occurred and the bunch was split.

James Rogers gallantly moved to the front and soto voce asked if William could hold 33kph on this road with a view to catching the bunch at the next intersection. With the disappointment etched on his face I told James he could hold 35 and lets go! Will’s little legs spun like pistons and away we went. Considering his Junior Gearing Rollout is 5.5 metres or 34/12 he spun up to warp factor 9 sitting on 35+ in no time. We managed to get back on but were again split a little further on down the road. We arrived at a T junction and with no sign of the Lotto Bunch we resigned ourselves to a nice coffee cruise. Will wanted to go and hunt other teams however I felt that this was a winning proposition. That disappointed face had returned and it was one I figured I was going to need to get used to.

At that very moment I am sure I could hear the angels singing the chorus to Halleluiah for around the corner swung Trek Factory Racing in full flight. William screamed “Dad, Trek!” and with that he was gone. He used all his track racing skills and latched on to the back of the TRF train. We have a saying in our household, when you are crossing the road as a group, “when I say go, if you say what, you will be talking to yourself”. I found myself in a somewhat similar situation as the sight of Will’s little red jersey receded into the distance. A couple of things entered my mind. Only one of which can be repeated in mixed company, namely, “I have lost William, what am I going to tell his mother?”

As my Strava shows I immediately entered threshold and remained there for the length of the subsequent chase. I don’t recall working so hard in a long time. The Trek boys certainly took the corners in a forthright manner and William remained glued to their tail. They brought him into the bunch and certainly looked after him during my chase. I am most grateful as Will would have taken the corners and the traffic on anyway so at least he was being watched. Fortunately we rolled into a coffee shop at Henley Beach where William was able to get some pictures and score himself a genuine TFR bidon (the holy grail of the TDU) and I was able to get my breath back. Will impressed the guys as he knew each of their names certainly wasn’t afraid to use this knowledge. We sat enjoying our coffee other DHBC mates rolled in along with Team Lotto Jumbo. Team Sky rolled by as did others. The roll home was pleasant, flat and at a pace that allowed me to concoct a story that demonstrated that I was a good and careful father as opposed to delinquent and derelict in my parental duties. By the time we got home I was father of the year, at least in my own mind.


Will’s Trek stalking continued with a quick ride into town to the Bicycle Express store where TFR where doing an in store appearance. Will nonchalantly wandered up to the lads and was immediately recognised by them as “the kid from this morning”. They asked him how many k’s he had done today. When he told them he had ridden 67K each illicited an unprintable response when he told them he was 11 years old. Will was pretty pleased with himself at this point.

Tuesday Stage 1

We rolled out from the Hilton a little after 8am with a view to catching the Peloton at Checker Hill for the KOM. On my way to the Hilton I chatted with one of the female riders competing in the Women’s Tour. She commented that she had raced the climb yesterday and although it was nasty, the 100kph downhill on the other side made it all worthwhile. Hmm, time would tell.

Seven of us headed north east bound for Gorge Rd. A quick pit stop at the Athelstone BP and we entered the beautiful gorge. The program allowed for an optional climb of the famous Corkscrew for any whom were game to take on this beast. This climb beat me last year in the 36 degree heat. This year I was fitter and it was certainly cooler. I am pleased to report all seven successfully summited the Col de Corkscrew. If it’s not on Strava it never happened, right? By the time we reached the bottom of the descended one of our number discovered he had delaminated his carbon clinchers from the heat build up. I’ll leave that tale for him tell.

The climb commenced in earnest as we rolled on toward Forreston. We passed other bunches and other bunches passed us. Some even contained Club mates. DHBC was everywhere. There evidence of the recent bush fires was everywhere as was a somewhat confronting smell. With a 50km ride we learned to embrace the stink. We rolled passed a couple of little shops along the way full of cyclists secure in MY knowledge that Forreston would have all the sustenance we could possibly need. Sadly, Forreston’s most notable point was the sign that said “Forreston”. Surely there will be a food truck or a sausage sizzle at the KOM I grandly stated with a strained air of desperation. Suffice to say the KOM had nothing. I offered up my two gels and a banana lest I be stuffed into a barrel and disposed of in an unpleasant fashion.

We rode the KOM and indeed it was nasty. It just seemed to get steeper and steeper. The spectators cheered mightily for each rider as they rode by. It was all in good fun and the atmosphere was electric. The Breakaway rocketed past us with Bobridge trying for the leader’s jersey and the KOM jersey all at once. I just tried to remain balanced on this steep bit of tarmac. A minute or so later the Bunch rolled by, I was pleased to see that the sprinters where having a tough time of it. No one other than Ritchie Porte seemed to enjoy the climb. I swear Ritchie has a third lung.

Our gallant bunch of riders rolled back towards Adelaide in search of food, any food. We raided a little town much in the same vein as the Vikings laid waste to much of northern England. We inhaled things that resembled food before ripping down Gorge Rd at what could be best described as fast before finally finding ourselves back in town.




Wednesday Stage 2

William and I rolled to the start on King William Rd, Unley. I had warned Will that this is a day for the Climber. The “are we there yets” and “how long to go’s” started long before we started to climb up the bike path towards Stirling. To Will’s credit he gritted his teeth and got on with it. Once we arrived at Stirling Will decided that that was far enough for him today and that he would do the descent with me but climb no more!

I went on to the town of Mylor to see the Peloton catching up with regular and not so regular DHBCers along the way. I arrived back in Stirling to find William clipped in and ready to go. The Trek boys had said to him in jest that Will should lead them back down the hill as their legs will be tired from the race. Well, William took them at their word and shot off up the road in an effort to get to the top of the bike path before the Trek boys would get there. Yet again I played the role of Father of the Year as my unaccompanied Spawn disappeared into the crowd of lycra clad cyclists all doing the same thing. I caught up with him as Trek rider said “hey” to him as he went by. As far as William was concerned that was the ducks nuts.

We enjoyed the descent together with Will showing maturity and control beyond his years. We did come across a crash near the bottom that involved a local Sydney junior and a member of the BMC team. It would appear the junior suffered only road rash whereas the BMC rider broke his collar bone.

Thursday Stage 3

William decided not to ride today so I headed for the Hills once more with some DHBCers for company. Again we took on the beautiful Gorge Rd and a visit to the Corkscrew. The ride was short to the hilltop finish in Paracombe. It was a hot day, the hottest so far of the week. The highlight was witnessing Rohan Dennis’ attack and win, taking the leader’s jersey. Our roll home down Gorge Rd was spectacular and fast. The Team cars and riders rode alongside us including the likes of Ritchie Porte.

Friday Stage 4 – The Bupa Challenge

William and I had been training for this in the lead up to the Big Day. Will had completed a Waterfall and an M7 in the weeks before the visit to Adelaide. We had registered for the 77.5KM section of the Bupa Challenge. We managed to convince the Bride to get up at 4.45am to take us both to the start line at Mt Compass, south of McLaren Vale. We found the most difficult part was getting a hot chocolate and a coffee before the start of the event. I have only ever done the full length of this event in the past so I was intrigued as to what we would find. I expected a fair few juniors however I was surprised to find a lot of very expensive bicycles being ridden by portly gentlemen whom loudly trumpeted that they do a 50 kilometre ride each week.

We set off and Will rode strongly. In fact we didn’t get passed too often. He descended very well and climbed with determination. It rained for about an hour in the middle of the ride. It was enough to make the roads slippery but not drench us in the process. This gave way to clear and dry weather. We finished the ride in four hours of elapsed time. In hindsight we could have taken on the 115km distance without trouble. Will has already declared that he will do the full distance next year. I fear a monster has been created. By 7.30pm William was broken he inhaled his dinner and was having difficulty keeping his face from falling into his ice cream.

Saturday Stage 5

Willunga Hill is a great stage of the race. I really wanted for William to be able to ride up the Hill and listen to the roar of the crowd. I rode down to the McLaren Vale start and met up with the Bride and Spawn on arrival. William and his sister stalked riders whilst I ate too many sausage sizzles and the Bride looked on.

Five of us rolled out of McLaren Vale toward the township of Willunga where we met up with other families. Once the Peloton passed through Willunga we commenced our assault on Old Willunga Hill. With a sea of riders and walkers all heading toward the summit negotiating as safe passage up the road was just as challenging as the steep gradient.

William was given protected rider status and was flanked fore and aft by James, Taku, Jeremy and I. He did very well climbing and grinned from ear to ear as spectators urged him on. Big kudos goes to Taku whom encouraged Will and acted as an excellent role model. The top of Willunga is a zoo. There were guys with deck chairs and eskies full of cans, an excited fellow in a Tellie Tubbie Onesie, wannabe racers, ambush marketers and everyone in between. Having said that it was all in good fun and I didn’t see any poor behaviour or any push and shove. Oh and the cycling, fabulous!

Sunday Stage 6

The Crit is boring. There I said it. It’s dull and it’s past it’s used by date. I would like to think that next year they could come up with something else. After the excitement of Willunga Hill they day before its and anti climax.

Its probably a good day to go and visit a winery!

Statistics

William – 243.3 km and 2,854 metres climbed
Dougie – 517 km and 6,534 metres climbed

Who’s coming next year?

User avatar
JoTheBuilder
Posts: 1500
Joined: 19 Feb 2011, 15:32

Postby JoTheBuilder » 28 Jan 2015, 10:17

Fantastic Dougie... I think most members would be hard pressed to choose the Alpine Classic over the TDU after the reports from James and yourself! And congratulations to Will and nice work from Taku. I think it's great seeing so many Juniors covering those km's. Is Charlotte next?

I agree re. the Crit. Also very little shade, and is there any real danger of the standings changing? The only redeeming feature is the $20 knicks you can usually get from the Santini stand.

Until 2016!

User avatar
James Rogers
Posts: 457
Joined: 13 Nov 2011, 09:58
Location: Newtown

Postby James Rogers » 28 Jan 2015, 16:10

Great report, Douglas!

Jo, disappointingly the Santini stand weren't discounting the Festina kit, and cheapest knicks were $40 and had something about Texas on them. Taku did get a half-price Lazer helmet, though...

User avatar
Eleri
Posts: 1753
Joined: 31 Dec 2009, 08:43
Location: Erskineville

Postby Eleri » 28 Jan 2015, 16:58

Top reports James and Dougie! Thanks for taking the time to tell everyone about it. I'm glad William had such a great time and did so much riding. That's a lot of riding for an 11 year old. Congratulations!

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humanbeing
Posts: 709
Joined: 26 Feb 2013, 12:16

Postby humanbeing » 28 Jan 2015, 19:57

Fantastic write ups Dougie & James!
TDU is on the list, but what about the Back Of Falls.
You'll see in March - Dougie :D
Have a great ride,
Peter

User avatar
JoTheBuilder
Posts: 1500
Joined: 19 Feb 2011, 15:32

Postby JoTheBuilder » 30 Jan 2015, 08:08

James, the knicks I got last year had a German beer on them as they used to sponsor a team that was disbanded in 2009 due to drug use. Lol. Perfect for commuting though.


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