Herald Sun Tour – The Timing Moto perspective – 12/10/2011

Don’t expect any in-depth racing analysis on this blog.  My brother-in-law (Foggy) was around last night trying to explain to me the identities of the riders who have thus far signed with Greenedge.  I struggle to know the names and don’t really see the significance until they start to win.

But that’s just me.  As much as I show some interest in pro-cycling when Cadel wins or when Aussies are going well in le Tour, cycling to me has mostly been about me having fun… usually with a few mates.  It’s about riding my bike because I love it and enjoy the benefits it brings; sunshine in Noosa, crazy climbs at King Lake, the pain of the Hurt Box, shredding single track on secret trails or enjoying the wonderful vistas of the Alpine National Park.  It’s simply good fun.

And working as the Timing Moto on the Herald Sun Tour is also bloody grouse.  Even though I feel the nerves a bit at the start of the first stage every year, Joel and I were pumped as we sat waiting for the riders to roll away for the 173km stage from Whittlesea to Ballarat.

And look at Nana…  She’s positively jumping out of her skin!   (Actually – she was lovely.  She took a photo for us after this but the background was the building site next door.)

I recognised just a few names in the start list, but again… that’s just me.  I was interested to watch Richie Porte issue instructions to his mechanic last night as his bike was built and I looked forward to seeing him race.  Baden Cooke’s attendance made me curious about how he might approach this race considering he was once a good sprinter (this is a sprinters course I reckon).  A Saltzberger, a Clarke and a couple of Meyers also peaked my interest but that was about the extent of it.  The fun for me is riding my FZ1 amongst it all and helping the riders as we issue information in the form of time-gaps and rider numbers.  Fun!

(Note:  Richie pulled out on the first climb anyway… my thoughts were with his mechanic.  Apparently Ritchie had sinus problems.  I should introduce him to my mate Matt… he’s a concreter.)

The break of 15 well ahead through the Daylesford hills

The race was about as good as it gets for the Timing Moto.  It was on from the start with attacks and breaks occurring within the first 10 k’s.  A gap of over 7 minutes developed by the 50 k mark with a break of 15 riders ahead of the peleton.  It was later clear that this break would contain the winner and the aggressive riding by all 15 riders later in the race was impressive and had us busy keeping track of it all.

Young Jack Bobridge was inspiring to watch as he rode off the wheels of all other riders to explore on his own at the front for a while in the last 25 k.  His efforts were to no avail as he was later caught by four riders including the winner of the stage – Rhys Pollock from Drapac – who was super-strong all day.

It’s great to get to the hotel; always very tired and interested to see how the teams prepare their bikes and themselves for another big day tomorrow.

I love the reunion too.  Catching up with other like-minded motorcycle riders, commissaires, cyclists and mates who make this event a priority every year…  because it’s a hoot.  Love it!


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