Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a España, Tour Down Under and more
I tried Checkers Hill for the first time yesterday morning. Despite having a head wind, I really didn't think it was that bad. There were about 30 other cyclists climbing it at the time (many walking), but because it doesn't have corners, everyone kept to their line, which made it easy to pass, unlike Fox Hill from 2010 where the bends bunched people up. I'd like to see the down-track closed to traffic on the day though.
If you want a climb in the Belair area that will prepare you for Checkers, try Sheoak Rd past the pony club.
Matty Lloyd is out
Cyclist Matt Lloyd suffers an unexpected withdrawal on ride to the bank
MATT Lloyd, one of Australia's world-class professional racing cyclists, decided to ride his bike to the bank - and woke up in an ambulance.
The former road race national champion has no idea what happened - except that it hurt.
He will have surgery today on a broken shoulder and damaged spine, injuries that will force him to miss next month's national titles in Ballarat and the Tour Down Under in Adelaide.
The freak accident is a major setback for Lloyd, 27, a highly respected specialist climber whose career is peaking.
He won a stage of this year's Tour of Italy on the way to claiming the coveted King of the Mountains title, and is now a regular in the world's toughest race, the Tour de France.
Lloyd said yesterday he could not remember whether he collided with a car or a tram or whether something hit him - and he is not blaming anyone else.
The police are not involved.
But he readily admits his battered body is testimony to the need for recreational cyclists and vehicle drivers to watch out for and respect each other, an issue that causes constant conflict on the streets of Melbourne.
The incident happened in St Kilda - Lloyd doesn't even remember exactly which street - last Friday, following an earlier training session.
"I was trying to get to the bank before it closed and the streets were busy, as they are at this time of the year," he said. "I had a few administrative things to do and I thought it would be a lot quicker to do them on the bike, but the roads aren't the most user-friendly place.
"I woke up on the way to hospital, a bit out to it, so I can't really say what happened.
"But as far as I can gather, there is no evidence of me being hit or me running into anyone else.
"It's the weirdest thing."
Lloyd added ruefully: "It's not like I was too surprised waking up in an ambulance because I have been in this situation a few times before."
That was reference to the reality that he - like all road cyclists who race at speeds not far short of 100km/h when they are descending mountains - often crash, usually with extremely painful consequences.
Lloyd seriously injured his spine after coming to grief in the Amstel Gold race in Holland early last year but recovered to take his place in that year's Tour de France, where he performed strongly.
He rides for the Belgian Omega-Pharma Lotto team, which originally hired him to do the hard work in the mountains to assist fellow Australian Cadel Evans, who was the team's star at the time.
He will be off the bike at least until February but hopes to recover in time to take his place in the Italian and French three-week marathons in May and July.
There is an escape route planned ! boy o boy
Mutual Community Stage 4 of the Santos Tour Down Under is designed to test the professionals, as well as be a challenge for recreational riders. While most Mutual Community Challenge Tour riders starting from Norwood plan to ride the full 135km stage including the Skoda King of the Mountain, everyone has the option to take the Escape Route, which will take out the Skoda King of the Mountain at Checker Hill but still take them into Gumeracha for the refreshment stop.
There is one Escape Route option:
When the ride route turns left onto Little Para road those taking the Escape Route option will need to continue along the Adelaide-Mannum road. The Adelaide-Mannum road will take riders to Gumeracha.
Riders are encouraged to opt for the Escape Route if they are at all unsure about completing the Skoda King of the Mountain. Riders must be cautious and ride within their abilities, taking into consideration the weather and other factors. The Escape Route will be signposted and Mutual Community Challenge Tour officials and event vehicles will regularly check this route.
I would say that I have been training reasonably hard for the MCCT over the past couple of months, and went up Checkers HIll for the first time the other day.
Although I made it to the top without stopping or zig zaggng everywhere, it was a very tough climb and my speed at the top was only 6km/h.
I think they key will not to get over excited at the start and going up Gorge Rd, and leave plenty in the tank for when you get to Checker's.
Last edited by JKohn on Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just an FYI
I am selling a ticket to the Legends Dinner and Stage 4/5 Coach Transfers.
Was going with my partner but we broke up so im going solo - would hate to see the extra tickets wasted. I would like some amount of cash for them (make me any offer) to soften the blow. Cheers and see you down there!
Did anyone else download the Santos TDU app? I thought I had to wait until racing begins until it activates / opens however I click to open, get the start screen for two seconds then it closes. What an annoyance as it looked like a handy way of following the racing while on the go.
I have it and had no problems.
- 2009 Avanti Cadent 1 (weekender)
- 2014 Avanti Blade 3 (commuter)
- 2005 Giant OCR 2 (trainer)
Matty Goss continues his early 2011 form to take out stage 1. After seeing take out at the Jayco Bay Classic he's in pretty fine form.
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