My Life As The Tellytubby: 2015 Elite Men’s Road Race

Peloton Cafe || The Yellow Teletubby
Peloton Cafe || The Yellow Teletubby (image copyright Con Chronis)
By the Yellow Teletubby The day starts early at 6.30am! Someone suggested an early ride! And when Race Director Scott Sunderland says he’s gonna ride well that’s an invite too good to refuse. So I get dressed, helmet and shoes on and out into the carpark of the hotel in Ballarat. It’s overcast with light drizzle, damn! Wait 20 minutes no one shows, haha, at least I was here! Back to bed, late brekky, pack up the room and I arrive at the KOM at about 9.30. There’s the famous little Rapha van so I start the day with a mini double shot expresso, it’s a big day with 18 laps! I need to start storing the energy early… It’s a little overcast and even a little chilly, I’ve never been here for a wet race, hmm this could be interesting? Maybe more sausages in bread and less beers today? Oh well at least Rapha has my coffee needs covered. The commentary starts over the speakers and we get interviews with the riders as they sign on. This helps build the tension. I chat to people I have seen in previous years and have become mates with. The crowd is really starting to build now, there’s quite a collection of marquees. Brunswick Cycling Club, Eastern Vets and SRAM have some pretty good set ups. There’s a few privates too but the best one is an old truck with a flat tray. It has a couch, a telly ready for the live coverage (they must have a generator) a coffee table, a rug and a nice lamp complete with a pretty black and white shade. The two old blokes on the couch have their little dogs on their laps. Now thats a setup! I’m just one bloke in a suit, they’ve clearly gone to a lot of trouble. Now we are told its 20 minutes to start time. Ok, time to change. No I’m not like Clark Kent I don’t use a phone box, it’s Mt Bunninyong and there isn’t one anyway. I don’t? start spinning like Wonder Woman either, I just strip off to a pair of boardies (sorry ladies i realise that’s not a great visual!) zip myself up from the back a bit like a wetsuit except its loose. I put on my Rapha cap, Tellytubby head and my green sunnies. Juan from Rapha hands me a colourful Rapha umbrella and well i’m ready. I walk out on to the road, the DJ is playing the dance version of Robin Thick’s Straight Lines and I start dancing. People are already in party mode. “Ready Set Go” and they’re off!!! Yep that’s right no gun just the old school Ready Set Go….. OK now the curiosity is high, who will be on the front? Will there be an early break (EB)? Well when they head up the first time the EB has formed, yeah yeah, that means I can yell and scream, run a little, and generally start the day with high energy before stepping off the road to the let the very wide peloton pass. Observations From The Day As A Tellytubby. – There are only two views on people in suits at bike races! 1. It’s funny and adds colour 2. Get em off the road bloody pests!! No comment from the Tellytubby I will let the laughter and the reactions of the bike riders be the judge… – ‘Road Closed’ signs mean the road is closed, it’s a bike race guys!! I would love just $1 for everyone who drove past the closure on the KOM only to turn around, give up and park in the event carpark… – Why do people bring dogs on or off leads to bike races? Seeing them only raises other questions: Do dogs actually enjoy being on a lead and watching bike races? Do dogs even understand what’s happening (if they don’t well then they are not alone as it seems many people do not either) Would these same people consider taking a tethered shark to watch a swimming meet? – Beer with sausages in bread is pretty good tucker for watching a bike race. – Cycling caps do not suit all heads. – White lycra is only good in the World Tour peloton, and whilst we are on the subject of lycra, sweaty lycra is not casual clothing…..ooh think about ya bits peeps all day in sweaty lycra just walking around…. ooooh not nice!!! At least my Tellytubby suit is baggy and catches the breeze!!!! Bunninyong has really become an amazing home for the Aussie road titles, the growing crowds and increasing variety of types of riders who win the race proves it….Sprinters be reminded that Robbie Mac won here and Neil van da Plow is not ya typical climber. Nor is Heino or even Gerro. Nuff said. I had another great day and now it’s on to the TDU in Radelaide….. After France last year it’s gonna be a snap…..

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