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Posted on: 17th January 2016

Womens Tour

For one week a year the City of Churches becomes the City of Cyclists and it all begins tomorrow, well actually it all begins today with the opening stage of the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under held in the rural setting on a circuit around Mt Torrens. 

Leaving the Adelaide basin climbing up the old favourite of Norton Summit, there were bunches of riders tweaking their Strava efforts in prep for Monday’s time-trial up the same hill. With a few friends I continued beyond the summit to the back of the hills town of Mt Torrens where stage one of the Women’s Tour was to do 5 laps of a 20km circuit. Arriving with a few minutes to go the crowd was growing along with the tension in the pits. It was to be the first race day of of the season for many of the women.

Crowds weren’t huge but with not much effort, the women’s Tour can become a real crowd pleaser. The racing was aggressive it was a quality field, there isn’t a reason there couldn’t be 5 or 10,000 spectators lining the scenic course. 

Today the women race a city circuit before the men and Monday they again have a stage and it’s possible to see the men and women’s race in different locations on Tuesday.

Even on the official sites it hard to get photo’s of the girls, a few snakes and blokes but not the girls. Clearly not too many people knew about the Women’s Tour and that needs to change. 

I had a great ride out through the hills and settled in at the Mt Torrens Hotel, had a Pot and Parma, and watched the race pass. The locals out in force were very curious and I fielded a more than my share of questions about this bike racing caper. “Not much to those girls, where do they get the energy”? “that fast, really”

The race was fast, it pretty well stayed together most of the day until the final lap when a group of 5 slipped off the front and which saw OGE’s Katrin Garfoot edge out Shelley Olds for the win.

Rolling back into town I thought I would visit the Tour Village in Victoria Square early. 

Another visit is required as I kept running into old colleagues and friends from the bike industry.  I caught up with one of my closer mates from back in the day Sean Yates. He has battled with a few health issues but has been working as a DS for Tinkof.

A couple of Key Questions. Peter Sagan is the real deal, my feelings, raw talent maturing. Confirmed.

Oleg Tinkov, is he a nutter?  A bit unpredictable but not a knob! 

So there you have it.

Written by Phil Anderson

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