By the Yellow Teletubby
Sunshine, Beers, Cheers and BBQ’s…. oh yeah…. and an epic bike race too!!!
Mars RoadNats 2016 Was…. Hot! Hot! Hot! How hot? Nearly hot enough to melt a fans thongs into the road! True story…
After recovering from my efforts in the Gran Fondo the day before. I once again made my annual pilgrimage to the KOM for the Men’s race, Sorry ladies and especially Shara Gillow apparently a Teletubby fan (Cycling Australia, riders favourite moment’s) I didn’t wear the suit for your event but I was there and saw it all.. Congratulations to Amanda Spratt “Spratty” on her fine win, clever ride indeed. I would love to have been a fly on the wall when she went back to the team car for a chat mid-race??
The national anthem is on the speakers and the crowd is building, the tents are up and the BBQ’s are already smelling very tempting. The first time up the climb the pace is quite fan friendly making it easy to pick out all the fav’s and yell some early support. I liken the first lap to the mounting yard on Melbourne Cup day. Get your program out, tick off numbers and check out how they look! Who’s been in a good paddock? Who’s looking lean? (Pat Shaw wins this one after a busy Christmas building bikes he’s back to a weight from his twenties) and who’s the smokey? In the early laps there’s much discussion around these topics.
The EB (early break) forms as per usual and most of the big teams are represented everyone starts to settle in, ahh all’s right with the world! The telly’s are on, the big screen at the live site is firing and the frothies are cold and flowing….By now the BBQ fair is tasting fabulous. I still think SRAM’s hot dogs are the ones to beat!! Hmm? Just how is that E-Tap powering Tiff Cromwell’s bike and cooking the BBQ? That Rob Eva, will wonders never cease?
Then… with over 90 Kms to go, Yes 90! Jack Bobridge (Jackie B) audaciously decides he’s going solo and the lead now approaches 8 minutes, 9 minutes!!!! Now people at this stage remember I’m dressed in a Tellytubby suit, everyone starts asking me; Can he? Will he? How is he? Will Orica and Drapac just let this happen? How the hell do I know? I’m a 50 year old man dressed in a Teletubby suit on a 35 degree day I’m not the messiah.. Jeez!! Bloody hell it’s hot! The wrestling fan and the poorly costumed storm trooper are running every lap, I don’t feel guilty though the wrestler wears a mask and a cape and the storm trooper’s costume isn’t complete either! Rookies it’s NOT a costume if it doesn’t zip up at the back….
In the closing 5 laps everyone starts to ponder, surely Jackie B will be caught? He’s been in the big ring up here all day! Orica and Drapac can’t continue to let him ride away with the biggest prize in Australian cycling can they? It always comes back doesn’t it? It’s quite prophetic but at this stage the TV coverage comes back from an ad-break showing Jackie B’s 2011 solo effort, oh yeah that’s right now people start to murmur “maybe he’s got this” AGAIN… Hello!! It’s done people!! Turn off the gas grab a beer and get ready to celebrate!
There’s a brief moment at three laps to go, the lead is still over 7 minutes and I’m sure I see Jackie B smile his way up the climb still in the Big Ring? Well If not a smile then a very friendly grimace? Thanks to the friendly sag wagon driver this tired Tellytubby manages to hitch a lift into the finish line to witness his celebration.
Post script…and the best bit…
After the celebrations I see my friend “Miss Hashtag” and she recalls a conversation that she heard on the road deep into Jackie B’s epic solo effort.
Miss Hashtag moves the car up alongside Jackie B
Comm 2. “Current gap is 9 mins to the chasing group”…Now peeps I happen to know the total race window is 10 minutes…
Jackie B. “Ta”…Pauses then looks back into the car…”Hey what happens if I catch them (effectively lap them)?
Comm 2. “Well that’s it mate, game over”
Jackie B. “Sweet”…. gives a cheeky grin and proceeds to produce his fastest lap of the race. I love it! I’m sure my friend will treasure that moment.. Ta Hashy..
Now for those suggesting that we move the road champs to allow a sprinter to have his day… Just remember 2002 and Robbie McEwen! Oh and say last year, Caleb Ewan was oh so close to winning if only he had trusted himself… My opinion and I apologise to Mr Renshaw but I for one do not want to see the jersey leading out others in the World Tour!! And now this might sting a little too? But not in the NRS either…It looks great in the big ones on the telly… So to Jackie B and Turbo Durbo who both soloed away to win the jersey in epic style I say chapeau…
See ya at a bike race somewhere… Don’t be shy come and say hi and if you don’t agree let’s chat it out. It’s only bike racing it’s not World Peace or solving Famine.
Eh-oh La la