(If you get a little bit weasy… don’t read this one!)
After a fantastic week of work as the Timing Motorbike on the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, I was ready for an exciting final stage. Sitting on the start line in Sorrento I looked forward with excited anticipation to the stage which included three climbs up the Cat 1 to Arthurs Seat.
“The race will be sorted, the atmosphere will be alive and I’ll have the best seat in the house.” For these reasons I suspected it was going to be a golden day. Little did I know…
But this is not about the glory or the champagne. It’s about the workforce. The people, like me (and others in this post), who work behind the scenes to ensure the tour goes off without a problem and the corks are popped at the end.
After the first Arthurs Seat climb the race toured the back-roads of the Mornington Peninsula for an hour or so. The bunch allowed a group of 5 (plus one in the gap) to go out to nearly 6 minutes before the chase came on to reel them back in. From the race organisation and judging perspective it’s important that all the riders, not just those driving the chase, are aware of the time gap and how quickly (or not) it is diminishing.
At a particularly important stage of the chase I dropped back through the peleton to communicate the gap. The pace was back on big-time and the gap to the leading bunch was closing quickly. The front riders were hammering and they were yelling at each other to get things organised to chase as quickly as possible.
An approaching right turn forced me to stop just short of it in order to safely allow the riders through the corner. I then pulled out behind the Chief Comm to move back through the peleton in order to calculate the next time gap.
Half-way back through the bunch I began to feel droplets touching my face (open face helmet for this stuff). I sighed at the thought that we were going to get some of the rain that had been threatening for the previous hour. But wait…I don’t think that’s rain. It’s nowhere but here. ‘Shit‘… well – not exactly shit. That guy in the yellow jersey is pissing on me!
We’re doing 65kph down-hill in the wind and I’m revving high in order to maintain my pace and not interupt the peleton. Amongst the noise I hear the Chief Commissaire talking to me on my radio, “Timing Moto could you try to move ahead of the bunch please?”
I wanted to yell, “I can’t. Nathan Haas is busy pissing in my face!” But I was too bloody busy riding amongst the bunch and Haas was blocking me from getting through because he was off to the side having a piss! Bloody hell – I just had to sit there. Do you have any idea what it’s like getting pissed on and not be able to do anything about it? Probably not. Well, it’s not very nice.
In 2016 when I’m sitting watching Nathan Haas win the Tour de France I’ll be able to turn to the guy sitting next to me, wink and say, “Hey – I’ve been weeed on by that bloke… bet you haven’t.”
And to that highway patrolman who pulled me over whilst on my motorcycle on the way to the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in 2008 and alledged, “You blokes from the city come down here and piss on my highway” – I say, “At least I didn’t piss in your face!”
After telling Mick this story this morning I said, “At least urine is sterile.” Mick said, “Yeah unless they’ve got a urinary tract infection.”
Thanks Mick… what a pisser.
This day?… Gold.