Welcome to Radelaide!
The 2012 professional season is still a day away from officially beginning but the Tour Down Under has basically begun. Thank goodness. We can now begin talking about racing instead of reading about team bootcamps, transfer rumours, season wrap-ups and upcoming predictions.
Adelaide has been buzzing all weekend with all the teams arriving and fans beginning to trickle in. As a spectator it’s one of the biggest weeks of riding you’ll get in all year. Waking up at pro-o’clock, watching the race start, and riding to a few of the key parts of the race course. This is what makes the TdU a magnificent race to be at.
If you’re looking for rides to join, myself and a few others have planned some Rapha rides throughout the week which will take in all of Adelaide’s highlights.More details here and the starting location is at Red Berry Espresso (1a L’Estrange St., Glenside) at various times. It’s not going to be a smashfest and everyone is welcome to join along.
Last night was the TdU Cancer Council Classic. It’s a a quick 30 laps around a 1.7km circuit (51kms) around Adelaide’s Rymill Park. It’s not officially part of the TdU per se because the format doesn’t comply with UCI rules for stage races, but it’s a great opener to establish a pecking order in the minds of the sprinters.
André Greipel won the opening evening after a week of sprint and leadout training with the rest of his team (reportedly hitting just under 2000 watts in training). Greg Henderson completed a perfectly executed leadout last night and Greiple brought home the goods.
The prize money for last evening’s stage was:
If you’re interested in what the prize money up for grabs is for the Tour Down Under stages and GC, here’s what’s on offer:
We were having a chat about this last night and comparing this pittance to the Australian Open prize money. I know it’s not a fair comparison and I understand what the reason behind this is, but €700 for 10th place GC against some of the best riders in the world? These guys do it for the pure love of it.
Norton’s Summit challenge
So after a few too many Leffe Blond’s last night I tweeted $100 for anyone who rides under 12 minutes up Norton’s Summit. Then Mark Renshaw retweeted it to 70,000 people, so it looks like I’m committed. For those unfamiliar, Norton’s Summit is one of the famous Adelaide climbs where many punters and pros like to compare their times. Brett Aitken used to hold the record of 12:39 up the 5.5km, 5% climb. As local folklore goes, Aitken offered up $1000 to anyone who could beat it. Jack Bobridge had a crack and holds the new record of 11:50. Did he ever receive the $1000? who knows…Here are the Cycle2Max and Strava leaderboards.
So here’s the challenge. Anyone can crack 12 minutes up Norton’s Summit and prove it on the Strava leaderboard during any time this week (before Sunday, Jan 22), I’ll offer the same amount as getting 10th place in a stage at the Tour Down Under: €100. (if it’s beaten, I’ll only give it to the best time under 12mins, not to everybody who does it!). Rules: Two witnesses are required, it has to be uploaded onto Strava, and Matty Lloyd is ineligible.