We arrived back in Brisbane a couple of nights ago. Even though there is an old saying that it’s always nice to get back home, I wish I was still driving the big Apollo camper and following the Tour Down Under with Sandra.
Can’t they make the race two weeks long? No, it is OK the way it is for an early season stage race and it gives us the opportunity to save a bit of our holidays for other events and our own races throughout the year.
The Tour Down Under was the second pro event we’ve been to, the first been the 2007 World Championship in Stuttgart. That was an exciting event but the TDU is by far the best of the two. I haven’t been to any of the Grand Tours but have heard a lot about them. What one might like about the TDU is the easy access to riders and the opportunity to see the peloton in different parts of the beautiful course. I did like that.
In Adelaide, my days started with a short drive to the start (I didn’t take my bike due to an injury) to check the team’s set up and catch a glance of the old and young riders. Then, I would drive to a spot to watch the bunch climbing or fighting for sprint points. There, I would meet Sandra who would be experiencing part of the course on her bike or I would separate from her as she would set off to one of the climbs herself.
Lastly, we would head to the finish and with luck witness the final efforts by the lead out teams. Unfortunately, most of the time we were a little late for that and couldn’t be bothered as the crowd leaned five deep against the barriers. Great atmosphere still, as live music, cafes, food stalls and a diverse variety of entertainment were found a short distance to the finish line.
Looking forward to the 2010 edition of the Tour Down Under, on my bike…