Friday, 20 January 2017

Ready, Get Set for Victor Harbor & Tour Down Under 2017


Ready, set ...

Tour Down Under Race Director Mike Turtur OAM prepares
to drop the flag for a rolling start to Stage 3!


Let's go!  


... and see the Tour Down Under roll through the neighbourhood. Thanks to the Tour Organisers for bringing the race so close to home for a few 'quick pics'.

The peloton enters the crossroad intersection under escort by a police motorbike, the Race Director's car and a race support motorbike. There are single storey buildings on the far corner of the intersection behind galvanised iron fences. Traffic lights can be seen jutting up towards the cloudy sky. The profile of eucalyptus trees can be seen in the background behind the houses.
After a parade of police escorts, officials, guests and media,
the riders came into view at last.

Here comes the peloton!




Stage 3 took the riders from Glenelg to Victor Harbor, two of South Australia's best-known beachside holiday spots.  On the way, the Tour came through my local neighbourhood.

A front-on view of the riders as they come around a 90 degree right-hand turn through a traffic-light controlled intersection. The riders are flanked by a police motorbike on the left and the race director's car on the right. The motorbike has a fluorescent yellow banner on the front saying "STOP" but the photo has been cropped so the bike banner says "TOP". There is a sunroof open on the Race Director's car. Mike Turtur the Race Director is standing up through the sunroof, checking his timepiece while holding an ochre (orange) flag with the Tour Down Under logo emblazoned on it, poised upright in readiness to drop to announce the commencement of racing proper.
Peter Sagan is near the front with his Bora-Hansgrohe team
and bunched in with Astana, Trek and Sunweb.




Front-on close-up view of Peter Sagan riding in the front ranks of the peloton.
World Champion
Peter Sagan

The course was so close that my family and I could simply wander down to see.  

I had been feeling so good lately, I tried to walk the short distance to determine how fit the body truly was (or whether the only reason for feeling so capable was the extra rest of school holidays).

Every now and again, I need to test myself to see if my physical limits have changed.  How do you know if you can do anything if you don't do anything?

I think I was running walking on excitement too as I walked along, pushing my wheelchair as if it were my wheelie walker, thinking that it will be a welcome and comfortable chair to sit in when I reach my destination. "Good planning to bring a chair!" I praised myself inwardly.

The green helmets of Bora-Hansgrohe are in the front.
UniSA can be seen on the inside edge towards the back.


'Pride comes before a fall.' 

I was hoping to walk to the corner and wheel back but halfway along my legs began to give up.  I tried to 'do a Jens Voigt' and say, "Shut up, legs!" and push through but eventually I succumbed.  My family wheeled me the rest of the way.  Oh, well … I know the current limit now!




Local knowledge gave me a great vantage point of the apex of the corner.  This position can be very dangerous for spectators because, if there is a crash or a rider comes out too widely around the curve, the spectators are likely to get 'collected'!

In this instance, the risks of that happening were low because we were just ahead of the official start line and the peloton was travelling in "race neutral" mode.

I love this photo of two riders from Sky and Astana.
Is that Kenny Elissonde #44 of France with Matti Breschel #105 of Denmark?
They look like they are having a chat as they prepare to race.
… or maybe having a good look at everyone's positions.

You can also see the new colours of the Bahrain-Merida team on the side edges of the photo
(Italian Niccolo Bonifazio #84 & Ethiopian Tsagabu Gebremaryam Grmay #82) and of Sunweb inbetween (Nikias Arndt #36).

Look who's the middle in the Race Leader's Ochre Jersey:
It's Richie Porte #23 of Australia!



Richie Porte #23 (BMC)
defending the Ochre Jersey
I'm running out of time to get my pictures uploaded before the next stage!


These photos will get us started and I will add more as the day goes on!

Stage 4 has started and today the Tour rides through Lobethal

Watch it if you can!

I'm also retweeting pictures and news occasionally (#TDU). My Twitter account is @Jodiebodie2. The SantosTDU_Live Twitter feed has been great at keeping everyone up to date in real time. 

Have fun and enjoy the Festival of Cycling.




… to be continued …

A side-view of the pack with the riders on their bikes facing the left-hand edge of the picture. The bright green in front is Cannondale-Drapac, with Astana behind it in light blue. Slightly ahead in the row are the dark colours of Movistar with green bands around the sleeve cuffs) and Orica.  The yellow streak with a black stripe (underneath the green Cannondale-Drapac) is Lotto-Jumbo.
Riders in this photo include (front to back): William Clarke (#76 Cannondale-Drapac), Paolo Tiralongo (#102 Astana), Carlos Barbero Cuesta (#134) & Gorka Izaguirre (#135 Movistar), Sergio Luis Henao (#42 Sky), Simon Gerrans (#1) & Daryl Impey (#2 Orica-Scott)


Spot the riders! Here they are in an orderly three rows thanks to a neutral start. 
1st row: Michael Woods (#75 Cannondale-Drapac), FDJ rider
(perhaps #127 Johan Le Bon?), James Shaw (#63 Lotto-Soudal)
2nd row:  Enrico Battaglin (#155 Lotto-Jumbo), Marc Soler Gimenez
(#137 Movistar), Artyom Zakharov (#106 Astana), Dimension Data rider,
Oscar Gatto (#103 Astana)
3rd row: Sergio Luis Henao (#43 Sky), Angel Vicioso (#112 Katusha-Alpecin),
Luke Durbridge (#5 Orica-Scott), Robert Wagner (#156 Lotto-Jumbo),
I can't identify the Quick-Step rider.





A rear view of the peloton heading south up the triple-laned carriageway of Marion Road from Sturt Road on the way to the Southern Expressway gate. In the distance is an overhead traffic sign indicating the start of the expressway. Crowds are lining the left hand side of the road. A man in a red shirt and dark shorts wearing a white hat (with black hat band) is standing at the side of the road and applauding the riders.  The front left fender of a support vehicle can be seen in the bottom right corner of the picture. Traffic can be seen on the northbound carriageway waiting for the road intersectionto re-open.
Bye Bye!
Have a safe ride to Victor Harbor everyone!






Related Posts on Lupey Loops


"Lobethal Lights Christmas 2016", 24 December 2016: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2016/12/lobethal-lights-christmas-2016.html

"Tour Down Under 2017 People's Choice Classic",  17 January 2017: https://lupeyloops.blogspot.com.au/2017/01/tour-down-under-2017-peoples-choice.html
You will find more Tour Down Under links in this blog entry.




4 comments:

  1. It's amazing to me how they ride so close to each other without knocking someone over. But then again, they are professionals. And eventually the gap is widened by those who pull out in front. I've not written a bike since I was a teenager so am afraid I would tip over quite easily. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I agree with you, Tammy. The technical skills of these guys are awesome, often breathtaking, especially on the downhill runs and in the sprint finishes. Even so, they still do knock each other over occasionally. There was such a crash in Stage 4 today (Norwood–Campbelltown).

      I have more great photos to add which show the bunch close-up similar to these. I'm looking forward to adding them to this post when I can. The days have been hectic because I have been stopping to follow the race stages but I still need to get all the other tasks done all the same!

      Please revisit this post over the next week or so so see all of them. I will remove the "...to be continued..." when they are all published.

      Delete
  2. Wow, that really was impressive photography.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lorraine! I was very pleased with my photos, especially since it was not my camera so there was some unfamiliarity with it and my panning skills were a little rusty (but not that rusty - only one blurry photo and a little bit of blur can be artistic in an action shot!).

      I was thrilled to get the position and shot that I was looking for with the peloton on a lean around the corner coming straight for the camera!

      There are more shots to be added to this blog post as I get time (per previous reply to Tammy). Please revisit here over the next week or so so see all of them. I will remove the "...to be continued..." when they are all published.

      Delete