Tour Down Under – Stage 3 Report – Jens, Jens and More Jens

This morning, one of my terrific hosts took me out for a ride and put me right into the hurtbox. He showed absolutely no respect for my “Norton Legs”, as I kept yelling at him. Tonight, my legs are shot. No ride for me tomorrow. Yes, that’s right, get it out of your system, I’m soft!

Now, onto todays stage. I decided that I was going to the start again as it provides the best opportunity to get up close to the riders. There were people 5 deep at some points, so it didn’t prove to be as easy as stage 1 for some reason.

There was one person that stood out as I passed all the teams. Julian Kern from AG2R La Mondiale. He hit the deck yesterday and it looked like the first thing to donate some skin to the gravel gods was his face.

Ouch!

I kept walking and got the following photos.

More Sky

Question?

Zoning Out

That Grin

Chatting to Chicks

I then saw a throng of people at the RST team mini bus. It could only be one person. The Jensie was sitting in the front seat, chatting away to his team mates and looking like he didn’t have a worry in the world. As I approached the bus a lady bought over a cup of coffee.

A Caffeinated Jens is a Happy Jens

He called out “I want to marry you”, which went down a treat with the crowd.

I got a closer look at his bike.

Madone

Jens By Numbers

That is a little hard to read, so from what I can make out of it zoomed in…

Shut Up Legs.
805,000 km
3,100 kg of pasta consumed
110 stitches
100 crashes
64 wins
40 years
25 screws
16 times around the world
11 broken bones
1 Jens!

Nice. I think at one point he was asked by a punter how many coffees he had had.

Caption This

As much as I was enjoying the Jensfest, I wandered off and struggled through the crowds. The start was only minutes away, and some riders were in a hurry back from their warm ups.

Hurry Hurry

The choppers were all over head.

Chopper Chopper

The count down began. Well I assume it did, those bloody helicopters are noisy.

They rolled out.

Sharing a Joke

Matty Wrapped

GreenEDGE

I did my power walk back to the car and jumped in to head to Stirling. After getting to Stirling, Mr Policeman pointed me down a road and because my bearings were shot, I expected it to take me where Carl and V were, somewhere in Stirling. Honestly, when I am in Adelaide, it feels like I have been spun around 100 times and told to walk a straight line. I fly off at tangents and the bloody GPS on my phone seems to have gone out in sympathy. I was sitting on 110kph on the freeway and the stupid thing told me to do a U turn in 100 metres. Imagine the carnage?

Anyway, this narrative is going about as well as my orienteering, so back to the story.

I was driving around, getting some generous applause from fans at times, when a police bike comes screaming up behind me waving his hands around like a Muppet on crack. I went around a corner and parked. As it turned out, it was a terrific spot. At the top of a pretty long climb. Before I knew it, a pair of Clarkes appeared. Simon Clarke (Orica GreenEdge) and Will Clarke (Argos-Shimano) were in the break and coming towards me. I didn’t have much time to get composed before they had gone past me. I managed this shot, with a few others that didnt quite make the cut.

Clarke Break Away

Not too far behind was the peloton. I love this first shot of Matty Lloyd.

A Man on a Mission

Not Happy with Said Mission

The Ladies Favourite, EBH

The peloton passed and I basically followed them until I got to another point of no go for cars. I hooked a left, then a right and somehow guided myself to another road block. God almighty. I told the guy at the barrier I had dropped my press pass, showed him my “Photographer” safety vest and carried on like I owned the place. He let me through but told me not to drive right down the street. I decided to park just up the road and started on the 200m walk he told it was to the finish line. What a load of Lance Armstrong that was. I walked for a good 15 minutes. Karma I think.

Eventually I got to the course proper just in time to see the peloton roll through.

Waiting

The Clarkes

I wont be needing this.

Now I have seen fans wearing their favourite riders jersey, knicks and caps. Even ride their bikes. But this George Hincapie fan has taken it too far in my humble opinion.

Hincapie Calf

Egads!

The peloton passed through and I wandered off down the road towards the finish line. Another long stroll. I managed to pick a spot that would mean I was too far from the finish to get a good shot of the winner, but it was jam packed, so I had to settle for a spot about 300m from the finish line. Given it was a nasty uphill finish, there was no way I would get the winner, arms raised, like I wanted.

As it turned out, I was at the end of the feed zone, so it promised to have potential.

Lotto Bags

Miss GreenEDGE

Old Mate Lampre

Innovative use of stockings.

Ice Hose

Then the peloton came through for the bell lap. There was a bit of time to get some shots off as they had slowed to pick up musettes.

The Grab

Mine Mine Mine Mine

Coca Cola Red

More Tongue Work from Stannard

And for good measure, more Jens.

They Are Some Quiet Legs

It was then another wait as they lapped for the last time. There was some jostling at the barriers as the late comers and people up the road tried to get a spot. It is pretty surprising just how pushy some people can get. Thankfully today, I didn’t have to reach for the Book of Nasty Norbisms.

And here they come. First home, Tom-Jelte Slagter (Blanco). Well, who the hell picked that?

Winner!

 

Matt Goss (Orica GreenEDGE) came in second looking completely stuffed.

Second for Gossy

Third home was current world champ, Philippe Gilbert (BMC).

And Third for Gilbert

So that was it, stage 3 done and dusted with a roughy taking the box of chocolates. Geraint Thomas (Sky) was still in the leaders jersey. A good days racing.

One thing that I still have a chuckle about. The riders have a drink, grab a snack, and then hop back on their bikes to ride back to the hotel. What is even better is that the punters get to ride with them. Here are a couple of photos of the pros riding home.

Tyler and Robbie Lead the Race Home from School

Nom Nom

And, sticking with The Jens theme, here he is towing a peloton of nobodies up the hill.

Jens Off the Front

Got a Coffee?

Hey Norbs

So there you have it. My stage 3 report. I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading.

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2 Responses to Tour Down Under – Stage 3 Report – Jens, Jens and More Jens

  1. There’s a competition on at the moment to win a Jens replica bike – complete with the whole Shut Up Legs transfer scheme.

    Buggered if I can find it now, but I entered. I don’t think I’d actually want to ride it, but I’d hang it on the wall, for sure.

    Wait, here it is!!

    http://trekbikesaustralia.typepad.com/trekdownunder/2012/12/spartacus-vs-the-wolf-win-a-custom-project-one-team-bike.html

    Knock yourselves out. It reduces my chances of winning, but FFS, it’s @thejensie

  2. Todd Baker says:

    Awesome report.. but please MORE JENSIE!! 🙂

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