But first, I have a picture for all the birders and parrot lovers who check out my wee corner of Oz:
Now, on with the Tour!
As I'm sure you are all aware, Lance is in town for the 2009 Tour Down Under. Last years' tour was a HUGE success with over 75,000 folks at the kickoff in Glenelg (I was one of them) and over 350,000 spectators throughout the week. This year it's going to be rather larger... The State Premier, Mike Rann, has stated that this will be the largest sporting event ever in South Australia. Very Very cool.
I'll be out taking pics on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday of next week --although I'm hoping to get up to Rymill Park for the presentations and opening criterium on Sunday.
On Wednesday I'll be near the top of Fox Creek Road, with camera and video camera. Why not at the top? Well, just before the top it finishing a nasty section of about 22% for a few hundred metres. I really wanna see just how fast these guys go up it! I then hope to be able to take the back roads through to Stirling for the finishing laps.
On Thursday I'll be at the final switchback on Wickham's Hill, a climb I know quite well.
Saturday will be spent at the top of Old Willunga Hill. They are doing the climb twice this year in this stage so there should be some serious action on the second go before the go along The Range Road.
Anyone wanna join me?
The heat is supposed to start cranking back up next week after a couple of cool days. But the teams got here just as the recent heat wave was hitting.
Lance (from Texas) referred to it as "insanely hot".
Christian Knees (Team Milram, from Deutschland) saw 49 C (120 F) out on a training ride and said, "So this is what it's like riding through a sauna."
Andre Greipel (last years winner), however, loves the heat and refers to the weather down here as "great".
I find Lance's comment about "insanely hot" to be interesting. It was only 105 F or 41 C in the shade when he said that... It got hotter the next two days. This makes me wonder about how they measure temps in Texas... do they measure the temp in the sun?
I was in Austin, Texas in 1998 for the Fencing National Championships and I walked around downtown pretty much every day. I saw temps on the sign boards of 103, 104, 105, and 106. I had no worries. No problem with the heat.
Down here an official temp of 106 F feels to me (and Lance!) a helluva lot hotter than 106 F in downtown Austin.
So what gives?????