Tour Downunder

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Tour Downunder

Postby Welsh Dragon » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:28 pm

Anyone ever been ? Anyone going next year ? Would love to know some more information-is it worth going ? How long to go for etc etc...Thanks.
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by BNA » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:41 pm

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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby Strawburger » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:41 pm

We went in 2010. It was a great event! Apart from the cycling there is plenty of stuff to do around the regions. Great atmosphere and the riders are accessible for photos and the like if you are into that sort of thing.

It's best to take the bike down as there are heaps of riders out and about plus the community challenge is on during one of the stages.

Hit up google to check out the official website for more details...
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby you cannot be sirrus » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:46 pm

It's a great event and next year Eddy Merckx is in town as well just to add to the excitement.
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby Welsh Dragon » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:51 pm

Yeah hubbie was well chuffed with that !

Is it worth going for the whole thing as it's about a week long isn't it ?
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:11 pm

I happened to have been in adelaide at the time last year so I caught the last stage - the long round-in-circles thing like an oversize criterium.
I was disappointed on going to the last stage and at the time posted the following about some pretty basic things not done right:
ColinOldnCranky wrote:Well, I got to walk the course while the last stage was on, which is the closest I can be to actually riding atm.

I was pretty disappointed - without some understanding of race developments as the race is running, road racing is pretty boring. It needs and detailed on-course commentary. Even though making the effort to listen, the sound was distant.

I suggest that more speakers would have resulted in a far more satisfying spectacle. Lots more speakers close around the course edges to cover it for watchers while those needing a break or picnic away from the barriers could carry on in relative peace. Surely not expensive and certainly not rocket science.

Further, what good is a large screen at the KOM corner without any sound.

I had a well needed walk but it could have been so much better.


I certainly will not make a special trip for it, I get a better time watching a decent criterium than the last stage at Adelaide. I trust that the other stages are better done - Adelaide used to do an awesome job hosting formula one.
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby rednaxela » Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:17 am

SWMBO and I have been to the last two TdU's and I can say it is worth the trip. You don't have to go for the full week. I think the highlight is the community challenge ride (Friday) if you are keen to participate in that ride. You have to be there by Thursday pm to collect your official jersey (they do not send it by post). As for the event itself, do not miss Stage 5 when they go up Willunga Hill. Better yet, go up there early and pick a spot near the top. It is like a circus plus the tour caravans stop there and you will have a feast collecting souvenirs and give aways. Stage 6 is exactly what Colin has described it - boring. I only watch the first hour or less of this stage and then that is my cue to drive back to Melb ahead of the crush.
We always drive from Melbourne so after the race, you can still go around a few of the wineries and have a tipple, just watch your BAC. This year, we ended up taking back over 12 bottles of fine wine no probs because you just slide these in the rear passenger area. Avoid the boot because it gets hot in there, at least the cabin has aircon. Some people we saw at the wineries who flew from interstate were quite disappointed because their baggage allowance restricted the quantity of wine bottles they can take with them.
They always had the big crowds because of this one fella Armstrong so I am not sure how his absence will affect next year's event.
I'd say go for it, if only for the experience.
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby bianchi928 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:18 pm

Flights booked - check
Accomodation booked - check
Hire car booked -check
Challenge ride enrty paid - check
Legends dinner ticket - check
10kg lost so far to help in the hills - check.

I can't wait. A week riding in the Adelaide hills then into Adelaide for the tour.
Last edited by bianchi928 on Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby bianchi928 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:22 pm

ColinOldnCranky wrote:I happened to have been in adelaide at the time last year so I caught the last stage - the long round-in-circles thing like an oversize criterium.
I was disappointed on going to the last stage and at the time posted the following about some pretty basic things not done right:
ColinOldnCranky wrote:Well, I got to walk the course while the last stage was on, which is the closest I can be to actually riding atm.

I was pretty disappointed - without some understanding of race developments as the race is running, road racing is pretty boring. It needs and detailed on-course commentary. Even though making the effort to listen, the sound was distant.

I suggest that more speakers would have resulted in a far more satisfying spectacle. Lots more speakers close around the course edges to cover it for watchers while those needing a break or picnic away from the barriers could carry on in relative peace. Surely not expensive and certainly not rocket science.

Further, what good is a large screen at the KOM corner without any sound.

I had a well needed walk but it could have been so much better.


I certainly will not make a special trip for it, I get a better time watching a decent criterium than the last stage at Adelaide. I trust that the other stages are better done - Adelaide used to do an awesome job hosting formula one.


Hi Colin,

As I'm heading over, I'm hopeful that the experience will be better than what you encountered. Did you give the feeback to the TDU organisers?

Cheers
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby ni78ck » Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:13 am

i went this year with a group of 15 of us, we loved it!
i have already booked for next year, try and stay the whole week if you can. i find the willunga hill stage the greatest of all, but all days and rides are great.
there is also heaps to do with the carnivale atmosphere!!! :D
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby you cannot be sirrus » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:50 am

bianchi928 wrote:Flights booked - check
Accomodation booked - check
Hire car booked -check
Challenge ride enrty paid - check
Legends dinner ticket - check
10kg lost so far to help in the hills - check.

I can't wait. A week riding in the Adelaide hills then into Adelaide for the tour.

The week before is almost as good as the TDU itself, head for any of the popular hills routes and you'll be rubbing shoulders with the teams on their training rides. Probably not for too long as they do go a bit quick for us mere mortals.

PS if you are in Adelaide the week before check out Ride Like Crazy, one of the best community rides IMO, far better organised than the TDU community ride, a nice route and more food and drinks at the finish than you'll ever need.

http://www.ridelikecrazy.com/
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby Welsh Dragon » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:33 pm

Thanks guys.
Sounds exciting.
Is it best to stay central? I noted someone said they ahd a car booked-would that be necessary ?

Also, quite new to this whole cycling thing ! Would it be best to take our bikes over? Bit paranodi about tranpsorting it, leaving it in hotel etc.
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby you cannot be sirrus » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:48 pm

Welsh Dragon wrote:Thanks guys.
Sounds exciting.
Is it best to stay central? I noted someone said they ahd a car booked-would that be necessary ?

Also, quite new to this whole cycling thing ! Would it be best to take our bikes over? Bit paranodi about tranpsorting it, leaving it in hotel etc.

Adelaide is a small town really,so doesn't matter too much where you stay, getting accommodation can be a problem as we tend to have all our events/festivals on at the same time. Definately bring your bike, you can, and will ride everywhere i suspect.
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby bianchi928 » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:44 pm

[quote="you cannot be sirrus]
The week before is almost as good as the TDU itself, head for any of the popular hills routes and you'll be rubbing shoulders with the teams on their training rides. Probably not for too long as they do go a bit quick for us mere mortals.[/quote]

That would be magnificent (even if they fly past us). Bloody excited eh....
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby MichaelB » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:20 am

you cannot be sirrus wrote: ...PS if you are in Adelaide the week before check out Ride Like Crazy, one of the best community rides IMO, far better organised than the TDU community ride, a nice route and more food and drinks at the finish than you'll ever need.

http://www.ridelikecrazy.com/


+1 to this. Dis it for the 1st time this year and it was a blast.
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby gdt » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:25 am

ColinOldnCranky wrote:I suggest that more speakers would have resulted in a far more satisfying spectacle.

I don't understand why the TDU don't make a deal with Radio Adelaide (or one of the other community radio stations) and broadcast the commentary for the opening and closing crits (and maybe the Wilunga stage). Then the organisers could simply tell people to bring a radio along with their picnic rug. The organisers wouldn't have to pay for speakers around the whole course, the community radio station would have some impressive peak ratings for their license renewal, and everyone would be able to hear the commentary.

I've been to the Clipsal, which does have speakers around the entire course, and that wall of inescapable sound would just kill the "grand day out" feel of the TDU crits.
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby gdt » Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:08 am

you cannot be sirrus wrote:Definately bring your bike, you can, and will ride everywhere i suspect.

+1 to bringing a bike. The biggest drama with bringing a bike is the airport-hotel transfer. I'd strongly suggest ringing one of the limo or hotel transfer bus companies and arranging an airport pickup for you and your bike box. You don't want to be queuing for a maxicab at Adelaide Airport either side of the TDU.

The main reason for hiring a car is access to the stages (I'd suggest booking early so you can hire a station wagon, then you can pull over when the traffic gets insane and ride the last few Km). As an alternative, the TDU now run spectator buses (as do some other groups, some of which will transport your bike to the stage too, so you can pop out of town to one of the vantage points). You'd certainly want to ride into the city for the opening and closing events, and it's traditional to ride to Wilunga as there's good cycling access and it's a pleasant ride until the last hill :-)

If you are looking for non-premium accommodation, Adelaide has two outstanding caravan/cabin parks: one at West Beach, one at Semaphore. Both are about 15Km from the city, but it's a flat ride into town. Alternatively, if you are really organised then you can hire a campervan and book van sites at each of the towns for the evening before the stage. I know of a few people that have strung together a Tour de TDU and ride from town to town -- how practical that is depends on the year.

It's worthwhile keeping an eye on the Adelaide Cyclists and Port Adelaide Cycle Club websites as locally-organised events are often announced there (although we do try to copy the announcement to BNA). Not the least being the announcement of the TDU Obscure Pro (city newsagencies near the Christmas Pageant route will sell large boxes of chalk and the government is cool if you chalk-up the road; paint, on the other hand, will invite the attentions of Mr Plod).
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby Jensen » Wed Aug 10, 2011 11:37 am

We've been down for the past two years and have had a great time.

Flew in the first year for the final weekend and hired a car for the Willunga stage. traffic was good and I watched all the riders to and from the stage with envy, as well as tourists wheeling bikes in/out of rooms and hotel lobbies. Hotel staff were really good about this stuff.

Second year, we drove down from Sydney for the whole week, took my bike for the community challenge stage, but still drove to the stage finishes for the family.

Next year, we will drive again, take bikes for everyone and have the family join the last stage of the community challenge. works well as the last 30 odd kms is a loop, starting/finishing at Tanunda.
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby norbs » Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:56 pm

Really giving it some serious consideration.

To drive or fly? Hmm. I have a heap of DSLR gear I would like to take with to get some photos. Makes flying an expensive option. Plus would have to hire a car down there. But it is a long drive from the Shoalhaven.
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby Welsh Dragon » Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:03 pm

What makes the dinner $250 worth ?!

[quote="bianchi928"]Legends dinner ticket - check
quote]
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby jet-ski » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:22 pm

I have also been the last two years, first time we just went for the weekend, the second time we went for the entire week. Was awesome and the hotel staff were great about us having our bikes in our rooms. Not sure if I can go for 2012 (not enough annual leave) but I reckon, go!
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby David_G » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:41 pm

I'm going for the entire thing, it's my first time there and I've got everything booked. I'm going from Melb on the Overland Train with my bike.
As far as criticism of coverage, I think you always lose a bit of the detail being at an event, but the atmosphere and experience of attending outweighs any of that by heaps.
I'm still thinking about booking in for the dinner, the goss I've got so far is there's heaps of the riders there and they are very accessible so I'll probably let my inner groupie have his way on that one.

I'm not quite to the counting sleeps stage, but I'm slowly winding up in the excitement department.

If you're looking for accommodation this is a good site for hotels.


http://www.wotif.com/


.
Last edited by David_G on Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby rednaxela » Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:22 pm

for those going and taking their bike, maybe consider swapping your cassette to a 12-27 at least.
plenty of hills in SA and at times, you will need the 27 cog if only to be able to take on the hills on the easy.
i had a 12-25 on a compact and on one of my climbs from the backroads of strathalbyn, almost busted my knees in the process!
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby Welsh Dragon » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:43 am

ok so more questions for those that have been or knows the answers-ha ha !

Trying to decide on hotel or apartment and being very precious about our bikes ! What are the hotels like with this kind of thing ? Would an apartment be better?

Has anyone been to the dinner and is it worth it ?
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby MichaelB » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:07 am

I have seen plenty of bikes going into the hotel during these times without issue. Mind you, common sense should apply - re grease dirt and tyre marks.

No idea re the dinner - not worth it in my books. but that's me.
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Re: Tour Downunder

Postby David_G » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:23 am

I'm booked in for the dinner. I heard a rumour that lots of the riders go to it so if that's true I'll get to play a 56 year old groupie and maybe get some snaps with the boys. That might make the rubber chicken a bit more palatable.
As to is it worth it?
Well that just depends on how much you reckon the $250 is worth to you.
I'm coming over from Melbourne and my tour is not exactly in the backpacker class, so another 250 on the top isn't all that much in context.
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