In cased you didn't know... The Tour Down Under is on this week in Adelaide and I'm here playing roving/riding reporter. As I had hoped, we were able to tag onto a Green Edge training ride today.
Last night while grabbing some dinner at a local Adelaide Italian restaurant I noticed the Green Edge sports director, Neil Stephens, about to sit down at a nearby table. I coaxed Karen into asking him what the team were doing for a training ride the next day and could we tag along off the back. He said yes, 10am, and that was that.
So today we had breakfast waited out the front of the TDU Tour Village, where the team bikes are serviced and stored, and all of a sudden we were riding with the Green Edge 7 man Tour Down Under squad. Stuart O'Grady, Matt Goss, Shane Howard, Luke Durbridge, Robbie McEwen and Cameron Meyer were all there, closely followed by a Green Edge Team Car containing a driver and the team photographer. There was only Luke Durbridge's dad and mate, Karen, Deb, myself and a kiwi veteran cyclist named Peter McCarthy. That's it... it was like our own private Green Edge training ride. The pace was comfortable at around 35km/hour and the terrain was flat.
I proceeded to pinch myself and then snapped pic after pic and was able to grab some lo-def video too. All the other pro teams were out on their respective training rides and we often found ourselves surrounded by several teams at once. We were occasionally under the scrutiny of a Channel 9 camera crew (ha ha.. I just saw the footage on the TV while I was writing this) and Mike Tomalaris from SBS's Cycling Central was driving a black Pajero with a camera man capturing the teams every move. At the 30km mark, we stopped with the Green Edge boys for a roadside nature break and then 50km in we stopped by the beach near Glenelg for breakfast at a cafe called Joe's Kiosk. The teams bikes look fantastic too... gleaming new black and green customised Scott Foil Premiums. Check out the spec here.
After that it was a further 10km back to town before checking out the TDU Tour Village.
All round it was a great ride with great company, great scenery and great weather (I should mention that the Garmin topped out at 45 degrees Celsius nearing the end of the ride). It's going to be damn hot tomorrow!
I'm off to check out some local crit races this evening too.
Stay tuned for tomorrows TDU blog update.
The following photos and lo-fi video should tell todays tale.
Start of the ride - stopped at the traffic lights
passing the Quickstep boys was easier than expected
FDJ pro team followed the GE team car for a while too
Karen and the Green Edge Squad
Chasing the 1st Aussie pro team
Stopped - nature calls
A Scott Foil pile up... coffee is on, even for the pros.
Check out the softdrinks - thanks for the smiles guys!
The unofficial official Team Photo
Deb gets in on the action
Heading back to Adelaide
Proof I was really there
Maybe we should all buy a Jayco Caravan - the advertising must be working...
he new Green Edge Scott Plasma Premium TT bike at the Bike Expo