Wow. Just spent 4 days in Adelaide to watch the last few days of the Tour Down Under and had an awesome time.
Friday - Arrived in the morning, but everyone was either out riding the stage or had ridden to the KOM to watch the race go by.. Chilled out of the day before riding in to Norwood to have a crack at the Elite Womens Crit that was on.. Big prize money on offer meant all the top names were racing, and because of bay crits putting me in a hole with my glandular and having not ridden much for a few weeks, but I decided to still start. Pre race prediction - I'd last 10 minutes MAX! And that's what happened.. It was on from the start, and I just couldn't get my legs going. The Nacional Boys were on one of the corners and had beers waiting, so I pulled off and went for the recovery drink :)
Had some pizza with Jen and Titch and then headed back to Marg's for an early night. Pity I had a red bull before the race and was pretty wired! Struggled to get to sleep..
Saturday - Stage 5, Aldinga to Willunga via Willunga Hill x 2. This morning we rode to the start of the stage to see the riders take off, as it was a course with several flattish loops before heading to willunga for a couple of times up the hill. Saw the start, WOW they start fast! Headed out towards Willunga on the road that the race came down so got to see them on the way out there, then a stop at the Bakery in Willunga for a Sausage roll and a boston bun finger, another sighting of the race, then time to climb The Hill! It was amazing climbing up the hill. Thousands of riders and walkers and just people everywhere! It's a 3km Climb at an avg of 7.6%, which is much steeper than 1:20 and Kinglake, but with all the people there to keep you distracted it seemed like a reasonably easy climb! We just tapped up, quickly dropped most of the others as they'd done some big k's in the few days before it, however Fishy just couldn't be shaked off my wheel, until about 100m to go i shifted up and decided to hit it and beat him to the KOM :) Apparently there was some complaining about how stuffed he was!
Seeing the riders coming up the hill the first time was awesome, but an absolute highlight of the day was the second time up the hill, the first rider to come around the corner to where we were at about 400m to go, was Cadel. In the World Champs colours, attacking up the hill! Everyone went MENTAL. It was so exciting to watch!!! After it was all done we headed back down the hill as quickly as we could to go see the finish which was awesome as well.
Rode back to Adelaide in the heat and wind.. and got home about 8 hours after we'd left!
Then it was time to get showered and changed to go to the Legends Dinner where Lance and Cadel spoke. It was an amazing night, Lance is such a great public speaker.. Although I was dissapointed that he left straight away and I couldn't get a photo with him :(
Sunday - just rolled up to Glenelg for a coffee with the Nacional Boys. Was a stunning morning, sunshine, blue skies, beautiful beach.. We hung out for a while because Hollywood had heard Valverde was on his way to glenelg. He didn't show though, so we all decided to head off and get ready to watch the last stage.
I managed to get in to the VIP area thanks to George and John, so had a great view of the race each time it came past the start/finish line, and on the big screens opposite for the rest of the race. Was a great race on a great day, but not quite as fun as the day before of course..
Again headed home to get changed to go out and celebrate.. back in to the city and went for beers with the Nacional Boys and Kerry Anne which was a very very funny night.. Quick trip to Hungry Jacks as we were all starving, and then the others decided to call it a night.. I was heading for a cab and saw Gossy about to go in to 'Apple', and figured, why not?? Headed in with them and it ended up a messy night.. Lots of Drinking, lots of dancing, some more hungry jacks and home in bed @ about 4am.. Ouch.
Monday - this was a suffer day. Didn't sleep great, but dozed all morning, then headed to Glenelg again for lunch with the guys. Fish and Chips by the beach - Perfect for a hangover. Some time sitting in the sun and then it was time for all of us to head off to get ready to get to the airport. Packed up and another quick lay down/nap then Marg drove me to the Airport to go home.
Had heaps of time, luckily Bensley was on a flight at the same time so we just chatted till we had to go to our gates for take off. Made it home safe and sound and happy to be back in my own house.
I had the best weekend in Adelaide. I can't wait until next year, going to do the whole week/10 days. Saturday to Monday. Going to be an epic week of training and race watching!