Adelaide Tour 2015 NRS
I think it’s right to say that the Adelaide Tour did not go well for Budget Forklifts. With a 4 stage tour being so short with nothing over 100km and usually less than two hours of racing as soon as you get on the back foot, it felt like there was nothing that could be done about it …And we were on the back foot after the first stage. Avanti had a clean sweep of the podium over the corkscrew and GC remained the same at the conclusion of the tour.
Unfortunately near the top of the corkscrew I had a mechanical. Paddy Bevin was already up the road and going to win the stage, and I was preparing to attack the next group that contained about 6 riders. I went to shift into the big ring, but it didn’t quite grab under the heavy torque load and the chain ended up getting stuck on the inside of the little chain ring under the chain catcher. It then becomes a difficult task trying to get the chain back on the correct side of the chain catcher… I spent the good part of forty seconds standing in the middle of the road trying to fix it. More and more riders came past me as I was shouting a few expletives of frustration. Any chance of a podium on the stage or GC for the tour were over. It’s easy to say what would have or could have happened had I not dropped the chain, but I’d rather not think about it too much.
The rest of the tour was spent unsuccessfully trying to put pressure on Avanti and riding aggressively. On the second stage I was awarded the most aggressive riders jersey which was a positive indication that I was following the teams plan, but being +1:25 down on GC there was never any real pressure being applied. The biggest threat we had was Bobridge but he is a heavily marked rider in the Peloton and Avanti always pay close attention to where he is and what he is doing. Despite this, he was still aggressive throughout the remaining stages and caused a few splits that momentarily had Bevin isolated but nothing could stick.
The third stage was a 65km road stage that took an hour and a half and felt more like a kermesse, which was funny because stage four actually was an 80km Kermesse and took longer to complete. Bobridge was involved in a crash early during the 22 lap final stage and our entire team dropped back to bring him back to the Peloton. This was hard. The average speed for the Kermesse was 45km/h. The quick pace made it a long chase that took quite a few laps and we ended up losing 4 out of 7 Budget Forklift riders just to get back on.
There aren’t too many positives to take away from the Adelaide Tour this year. One of the best things was that I came home with all of my skin which I had lost the previous year descending down Montacute Road like a wrecking ball and taking out two Drapac riders. I was very happy about this, and so was my Mum. Secondly, the team managed to get in a little bit of TTT practice for the upcoming Tour of Towoomba during the final stage as we brought Bobridge back to the peloton. I also managed to improve my chess game during some spare time in the afternoons, and our team manager Shaun McCarthy taught me a few lessons about architecture in the house we were staying at.
Next up is a couple of local races in the VRS including the Tour of South West and the Philip Island GP!
Thanks for reading,