(c) Tim Bardsley-Smith
  • jules

    I only went down to the Sun Tour. watched some of the others on the telly. so I guess that’s my highlight. enjoyed cruising down with the CT bunch!

    • De Mac

      I won’t say you picked the best day to watch from the sidelines, as they were all equally great, but Arthur’s last Sunday was a fantastic place to be!

    • Jake Hollibone

      I have to say that was an awesome day. Probably only beaten by the main tdu stagea

  • I am non-Specialized

    The best time to be an Australian cycling fan is actually 3-10 April…

    • Paolo

      That’s the best time for any cycling fan. Btw, where was Aussie “almost world champion” Bling in all of this? So excited that he stayed in cold hard Europe?

      • Dave

        Being saved for a later start to the season, like Cadel Evans (Australia’s actual world champion) did for every year (except 2010) throughout the prime of his career.

        The downside of having a team with too many Australian riders to put on the start line for any one race is that not all of them will get a start on home soil. Orica-AIS managed to rotate them all around, but Orica-Greenedge did not.

      • Common Wombat

        Grow up !! Nowhere is he OBLIGATED to race the AUS season if it does not work well with his planned race schedule ….. and doing so would most likely not be advantageous for his more important targets later in the season.
        Different riders have different race schedules and he, and OGE, are just following what worked very well last season. OGE is now well past the stage that they need to have all their AUS riders ‘showing the flag’ during the AUS season.

  • Simon

    Watching the development of Caleb Ewan. With the right guidance and more endurance he should be competitive against the best in years to come.
    Listening to Robbie McEwen as he describes what’s likely to happen and then add value about why it happened. (Very few ex pros in this country have made such a seamless transition to being behind the mike that it underscores yet again why do we persist with Phil and Paul.)
    Pat Lane’s 3rd place in the national road race was a great effort from a local team that often punches above its weight.
    The lovely weather apart from a few high temp days which shows off the countryside well.
    The TDU continues to offer attractive scenery and good racing but is, dare I say it, getting a tad stale.
    Finally on another tangent, apart from the win in the ST prologue, what’s with Drapac this year?

  • Rogo

    3rd time to TDU best yet. Riding back from stage finishes with the pros beside you having a chat, dining out & on the next table Phil Ligget Paul Sherwin and then they come over for a chat with drink in hand, Gelato in Rundle st. talking with the Trek team mechanics about where off to next. The ride back from Wallunga is always an event & not to forget the slow ride up the hill with the masses. Bike bling everywhere, Got to love Adelaide tdu week.

    • Dave

      The most interesting encounter I had was sitting in front of a soigneur from Lotto-Jumbo at the Adelaide Strikers v Hobart Hurricanes BBL match the week before the TDU, it turns out SATC were handing out tickets to anyone linked with the Tour who wanted them. He was bewildered by the sport, impressed with the professionalism of cricket’s approach to sponsorship and promotion, and also impressed to learn that the Netherlands has a half-decent national team whose best batsman plays for South Australia.

      I also spotted Phil Liggett at the BBL semi-final during the tour week itself.

      A reverse spot happened a few years ago during the final stage – Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Ishant Sharma were standing outside Adelaide Oval watching the race after their training session had finished. For Sachin in particular, it must have been a novelty to be out in public like that with almost no attention at all!

      • jules

        cool stories (bro) :)

  • Bob

    Highlight for me was Jack Bobridge’s ride to win the National Road Race. The audacity to throw caution to the wind in an almost reckless manner appeals to me in an age where racing is very controlled and measured. The fact he was able to upset the race plans of the major teams and win the race with the odds stacked against him, stood out head and shoulders above anything else that happened over the summer. I vividly recall me hoping against the odds he could make it stick with 10 laps to go. As the last 100km counted down I was almost riding every climb up the hill with him. When it became apparent he would win I was rapt for the bloke, and my only connection to him is as a fan of the sport. The humble nature of the post race interview immediately after he crossed the line was a gem too. Jack epitomises the reason I am a cycling fan. He has his good days and like the rest of us mortals he has his off days as well. He has had his share of success and failures and the fact he keeps bouncing back after being written off shows the character of the guy. Possibly I’m bit of a romantic, but in sport there is something special about someone who is prepared to risk losing big, in order to win big. I think that sums up Jack.

    • Nick Clark

      Likewise, great to watch and not something you’ll see often at this level!

      • CB

        Until he decides to do it again! Agreed it was THE ride of the season.

  • Il_falcone

    Not being from Oz but from the northern hemisphere I wonder why the Australian Summer of racing already ends mid-February. Is it because the European racing calendar revs up again at that time of year?

    • Dave

      It’s mainly because there are not enough international-level races to extend it out any further. There’s not enough money in cycling here to add any more races, and no will to shift all four events back a few weeks as they would miss the spectator-friendly summer holiday period. Across all sports, fixtures in Australia are geared towards catering for the real fans who show up in person, not so much TV ratings as in some other places.

      The whole schedule is anchored by the dates of the Tour Down Under in South Australia being confirmed and the others slotting into place once they are announced. The TDU is the jewel in the crown and takes prime position in the last full week of the December-January school holidays. The other races then slot into place around the TDU – and this is with the full cooperation of the Victorian state government as they will not support any other major sporting events clashing with the tennis in Melbourne that also runs through the last two weeks of January – even Cricket Australia have a gentleman’s agreement to not schedule international matches in Melbourne during the tennis.

      • Il_falcone

        Thank you Dave for the detailed explanation. Much appreciated. I haven’t been aware of the dominant role of the TDU.

  • Phil Stephens


  • Keir

    What a great Summer of cycling. The Bay Crits were terrific and Geelong along with Portarlington were terrific to visit. TDU was great albeit from my couch. Crit Night in Ballarat is a great night and Bobridge’s performance in the road race was astounding. Arthurs Seat has got to be one of the best days on the calendar with everything else that goes along with it. My guilty highlight was Phil Liggett and Rochelle Gilmore coming up here to Daylesford for a morning ride with a few of us. Pretty happy the massive roo that bounded across the road at speed didn’t clean up either of them. Not part of Summer as such but the appearance of Australian cycling shows dedicated to cycling enthusiasts both on Foxtel and free to air was a real bonus as well.


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