I’ve never really been interested in sport. As an Australian, of course I will jump on the bandwagon when an Aussie is doing well in their respective field, but on a whole, there isn’t much that interests me. Then, there is cycling.
The month of July for most Australians consist of early nights in bed rugged up away from the cold middle-of-winter nights reading a book or on your phone. Mine, for as long as I can remember, have consisted of staying up until 1AM with my father listening to the dulcet tones of Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen calling all the action live on SBS from the biggest race on the calendar: The Tour de France. Even now, with my Father no longer living at home with me, that’s pretty much how I spend my Julys. And that is why, for people who are around me that time of year, are either sick of hearing me talk about all the action that unfolded overnight or sick of me being grumpy from running on Europe time.
This years race proved to be the biggest in its 17 year history and that added to the charisma to the week long opener of the World Tour. The only downfall to the race for 2015 was big names like Australian legend Simon Gerrans and German mega babe Andre Greipel missing from our shores. But, yeah, when ‘ Ze Volks’ send out Marcel Kittel as a replacement, I suppose that is a neat compensation prize.
I won’t bore you with a race analysis, but rather with
what I found to stand out by the tourism operations and events that were organised surrounding the event; but, I will give you a brief run down on what happened- key word: brief.
Yeah, so basically, it was Richie Porte from Tasmania riding for cashed-up British team, Team Sky, that was contesting alongside Tintin Lover, Cadel Evans from BMC, for the overall race win. That didn’t totally pan out at first with South Australian jockey lookalike, Jack Bobridge, winning stage one. By Thursday, fellow SA boy Rohan Dennis, teammate of Evans, won stage 3 and took the lead off his compatriot. Stage 5 up Willunga hill was iconic as usual and Porte found the Power and won the stage, eventually losing the tour by 2 seconds. #farewellCadel.
BUT, Porte-Kittel-Dennis-Bobrige-Evans aside, #TDU2015 was superb for our state and its economy. South Australia put on a fantastic show! A free concert on opening night by ARIA award winning band Shepherd kicking off the week set the tone for fun. Prospect, Glenelg and Unley all hosting street parties with live music and food highlighting just how good we are at promoting our tourist hot-spots. The race itself visits the Wine region, coming down to Mclaren Vale showcasing to the world our vineyards and produce. And of course, the Tour Village in the city centre is a particular highlight for everyone to enjoy. A haven for bike lovers, there is something for everyone. Food, music, and a giant inflatable bike, what is not to love? Oh yeah, and the riders are also on show inside the village so go have a perv for me, personal favourites by bib number: 11, 21, 36, 52, 141, 151 and 182.
And while some will complain about once-a-year road closures, please realise how much money this brings into our state and how much exposure it gives us to the world. If Britney can get through 2007, you can get through one week of bike racing!