Lisa's Mum's guide to the Tour Down Under

Lisa's Mum loves the Tour Down Under, mainly because she has a small crush on Andre Greipel and enjoys seeing Adelaide drivers being forced to be nice to cyclists for a week (hoons in Adelaide are nothing if not economic rationalists; even the dumb ones like a tourist dollar). However, as an Adelaide local, eager to open her arms wide to the greater cycling fraternity in expectation of a passionate embrace (or at least a Euro double-kiss, or a Belgian triple-peck if she happens to chance upon Eddy Merckx), Lisa's Mum feels compelled to provide a short guide to the Tour Down Under to assist visitors and non-cyclists alike:

  • The Tour Down under consists of a series of 3 women's crits run on Sunday, Monday and Thursday respectively. Stars in attendance include the reigning world time trial champion, 3 reigning Australian national champions and local celebrity giant-killer Bec Werner. There is also a support race in which men may participate and feel involved. The support race goes for 5 days because everyone knows that men take longer to do things.
  • Adelaide is a charming city in the south-eastern part of Australia that is renowned for wine, pie-floaters, and the Snowtown 'bodies in the barrels' murders. Actually, the murders never took place in Snowtown.
  • Lance Armstrong is not racing in the Tour Down Under. And despite Adelaide's new Livestrong cancer centre, Livestrong bike path, and the promise of Mike Rann naming his next child 'LiveStrong', it appears he will not be coming back.
  • Replacing Lance as TDU guest of honour is a gentleman called Eddy Merckx. Eddy was the Lance Armstrong of the 70s, except that he won more races and never pretended to like the other riders. Everyone keeps telling him that he is the Don Bradman of cycling, although Don Bradman probably didn't take quite so many drugs in his day. Also, Eddy has no idea who Don Bradman is, so the reference is kind of redundant.
  • Melbourne drivers please be advised that Adelaide does not tolerate any loutish behaviour on the roads, like U-turning at traffic lights or letting people into your lane. An appropriate speed is generally between 10 and 15kph under the speed limit. Under no circumstances should you attempt a hook turn.
  • German drivers, please be advised that the O-Bahn is not the same as an Autobahn. Do not attempt to drive into it.
  • If you are a non-cyclist and see someone in lycra on a bike, please do not ask them if they are racing in the Tour Down Under. They are not.
  • Related to the above: If same cyclist is wearing a bandanna and has tri-bars on their bike, you should instead ask them if they want to buy your super-vitamin-miracle-water that is guaranteed to lift their time over a 40km time trial by at least 83 seconds. Give them a glass of water and charge them $20. (This WORKS!)
  • A related point: Adelaide water is meant to taste like that.
Enjoy your week and Lisa's Mum looks forward to seeing you for scones and tea on Willunga Hill on Saturday.