Today’s edition of Bikes of the Bunch is a little different. Less focused on the bike itself and the reason the owner bought it, this edition is about the story that thrust this particular bike into the spotlight at this week’s Tour Down Under. Dave Everett has the story.
Anthony Tooman is the man that came to the rescue of Tyler Farrar on stage 3 of the Tour Down Under. Involved in a crash late into the stage, Farrar was left high and dry by the roadside. After picking himself up, dusting himself down and jumping back on his bike it was only a few kilometres later that, due to the impact, his rear derailleur shifted into his wheel and ripped straight off.
With no working bike and only the rear of the race convoy behind him it looked as though Tyler was going to have to abandon the race due to a mechanical.
Anthony picks up the story from his perspective.
“A friend and I were following the tail end of the convoy. They’d passed and we’d cheekily got in amongst the support vehicles. We came around the corner and there was the green van (broom wagon) and a police car.
“Tyler was on the left-hand side all by himself, stranded just trying to flag anyone down, trying to get some sort of help. There was no riders around him, so there was no one left to help him.
“It was looking like he was going to abandon. There were no other fans about; no other team cars coming forward with anything. Just me and my mate and the remainder of the convoy. Sneaking forward we asked him if he needed a wheel or something. The police weren’t too happy at us sneaking forward though.
“Effectively we just started with the obvious, asking him what pedals he runs, but unfortunately he uses Speedplay and we were both on Shimano. Then we were like: ‘What size shoe are you?’ He was a 43, I’m a 44. Bang, it was done. ‘That will do — just take this stuff and go.’”
With Tyler back on the road Anthony jumped in the broom wagon, not the usual place a fan gets to view a WorldTour bike race from.
“It was quite interesting. I was in the back so I got to check his bike out — the rear derailleur had clean ripped off.
“I guessed he was going to have a pretty hard time on my bike as it’s a little too small, but I’m sure he didn’t have any problems with the gearing and all that.”
At the finish, it didn’t take long for Dimension Data media manager Veit Hammer (yes, possibly the coolest name in cycling) to reunite Anthony with his De Rosa. Back at the hotel the team offered Anthony a full Dimension Data kit, something Anthony was quick to share on Instagram.
“It’s been crazy,” Anthony said. “I had maybe 200 followers on Instagram. Now I’m at something like 500.”
So what about the bike itself? It’s a De Rosa Protos with full Dura Ace Di2 groupset. The bars, stem and seatpost are made by 3T and the saddle is Prologo. The wheels come from Maker and they’re wrapped in Continental tyres.
But will his next bike be a Cervelo as used by the Dimension Data team?
“Strangely enough I’ve been playing about with the idea. Who know, maybe I’ll shoot an email off and see how much it will cost me.”