Tour Down Under – Stage 4 Report – Meeting Real People

Brisk, that was the first thing I thought this morning when I rolled out of bed. I looked out the window and it was indeed overcast. I ventured out the front and it was cool. Well this is a nice change from the bollock melting weather of the last few days.

I headed over to the start early as I was home on my lonesome. Carl and V had left earlier to ride the stage themselves with thousands of others in the Bupa Community Challenge ride. What a terrific idea. Riding the same stage as the pros do.

I arrived at Modbury, the start point, very early, but there was already a group of hardcore fans claiming their spots right at the start line. The start line was on the grass.

I had a quick wander about, and with nothing doing, I walked over to the supermarket and grabbed some breakfast.

I scoffed that down and then went searching for photo opportunities.

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The team cars and buses hadn’t arrived yet, so I was standing around doing nothing when I hear, and not for the first time today, “norbs?”

Ah, finally, I meet up with Tony Corbett, a Twitter buddy, and Tara. We had a quick chat before he met up with some other people and I wandered off. I think I was sending an SMS when he snapped this shot of me looking truly magnificent as usual.

I then spotted SBS cycling megastar Mr Mike Tomalaris. I called out to grab his attention. He looked up and said “norbs!” and gave me a great photo op. A very quick chat and he was off to fulfill his tasks for the day.

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A few minutes later i see Mark Gunter, renowned aussie cycling photographer coming by. I said hi to him and had a chat. He is a top bloke.

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The team cars started arriving so I walked around to the other side of the barriers. I ran into Marty and his dad from Stage 2. The young bloke seemed very happy that I remembered his name, pity I still can’t remember his dads name. And, he had his cow bell, apparently, only to be used at the cycling.

I also bumped into Rob Arnold from RIDE magazine and had a quick chat with him. He told me he was in the Garmin Sharp car again today.

Here are a selection of shots from the start.

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Mr Schleck seemed reluctant to get out of his team car.

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A couple of shots of Serge Puawels for Toby at RIDE.

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I heard the call for 5 minutes til the start and did my fastest walk a to a spot I thought would give me a good view of them as they passed.

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With the riders heading into the hills, it was time for em to do the same. Luckily, I managed to pick up a media car just in front and followed that all the way to Tanunda. Then, I parked about a 25 minute walk away from the finish line. Luckily it wasn’t too hot.

Wandering around Tanunda sizing the situation up, I ran into Tony and Wendy. They had organised the Adelaide to Geelong charity ride last year. We had a brief chat before I headed off to my spot about 20mm from the finish.

Whilst I sat in th sun going through my photos from this morning there was another “norbs?” Terry and Jen, from Victoria this time. Terry reads the blog and knew to look for a guy in Hawaiian shirt and straw hat. We had a chat until his lovely wife suggested they get a spot soon. Back to the photos and about 1 minute later, “norbs?” Mick and Shelly. Sadly, i can’t remember where they were from. My apologies Mick and Shelly. It was great to meet you though. Shelly’s story of Mick’s knicks was hilarious, but not for the general public. 🙂

For the people that know me well, you are probably wondering how I remembered all the names. An Android app called Evernote. 🙂

It was a long wait, but soon the on course commentator was going crazy describing falls and crashes everywhere. Once again, the people who couldn’t see made a point of cramming into any spot, available or not. My finish photos reflect that.

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Greipel again. Breaking Robbie McEwen’s stage win record as a bonus. Here is part of his happy lead out train.

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Then there were a few shots of riders as they rolled past to get drinks.

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So that is day 4. Another good day, albeit a long day. There are some issues with the photos formatting, please forgive me for that. My website host is playing up and editing the post is laborious. Back to my usual high quality content tomorrow. 🙂

PS : All the photos, including some not on the blog can be found here.

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One Response to Tour Down Under – Stage 4 Report – Meeting Real People

  1. Brian Smith says:

    Haha – name-dropper! Nice reports old chap.

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