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For the past week I’ve been neglecting my media pass responsibilities (if there is such a thing). I have to admit, being offered media accreditation was a flattering notion at first. This is the first Pro Tour event where I’ve had this privilege. My initial thoughts were that it would magically gain me access to amazing insights and fun stuff to share with you guys. However, after spending some time in the media areas I quickly realized that this special access just put a massive barrier between myself and everyone else. I would get the same photos, same interviews, same footage, etc as you see on all the other media outlets. They have teams of people working on this stuff with years of experience and they’re basically all doing the same thing. Even if I did want to compete with that, I’d still always be on the outside looking in.
I decided to give this media pass thing a crack today anyway. My mate James and I went to the start of the race, flashed our media passes, took some snaps. and chatted with a few PROs. James being the clever and perceptive guy that he is simply walked around to all the empty areas where all the other media weren’t loitering and inevitably all the big names would end up there – away from the rest of the media crowd. That meant that James was able to get some sensational shots of the big guns before the start of the race.
After a while both James and I agreed that we gotta get outta this rat race. It’s just not natural to me, nor it’s not why I’m doing this gig. I’m in the D-grade of media coverage and don’t have much desire to fight it out with the A-graders. I’m a big fan of the sport and I want to be out there with everyone else, not behind the security fence making small talk with the pros and getting happy snaps.
The one thing that I can tell you about being up beside all these pro riders is this: they are SMALL! It’s hard to get a good perspective of their size when they’re on the bike in amongst each other. Of course Big George looks like a giant when he’s riding beside Matty Lloyd. However, when you stand beside these guys you realize how small most of them are. There are some exceptions of course, however anything over 75kg would be considered enormous. I guess that puts me in the obese category.
Once again the formula of riding out of the course, watching the finish, and riding home proved to be a winner. I’m starting to get the hang of how to watch the TdU and get some fantastic riding in at the same time. 40C didn’t exactly make it comfortable, but we etched in some laser precision tanlines.
As we talked about yesterday, the accessibility in the sport of cycling is what makes it great. On our ride home we were joined by Katusha, Rabobank, Omega-Pharma, Sky, etc. I chatted with McEwen for a while and these guys were all of a sudden on the same level as we were. We all were just a bunch of bike riders going in the same direction having a good time. The media posse didn’t get that experience standing behind the fence!
Here are some pics from the day. Some are WITH media accreditation, some are WITHOUT media accreditation. Which ones do you think capture the spirit of the race better?
photo James Broadway
I almost forgot. It’s true…TC has begun his Tour de TdU. Three days from Melbourne to Adelaide by bike. May tailwinds and the force be with him. See photos and read about his crazy adventures here!