TDU Stage 3: Unley to Victor Harbour
This morning we went "star spotting" at the race start, and witnessed for the first, but not last time of the week, the Lance Armstrong media frenzy.
It was just a short ride from our apartment to the race start on Unley Road. Of course, as tourists, we got lost, but had plenty of time to get there before the team cars rolled in.
We got to see the preparations of hard man Stuart O'Grady, up and comer Jack Bobridge, ex pro Matt White in his new role as Garmin team manager, and Alan Davis in the ochre leader's jersey. A couple of us were most thrilled to meet legendary commentator Phil Liggett. We sheepishly asked for his autograph, wondering whether we'd catch him off guard... and were perhaps a little disappointed when he obliged as if it happens all the time!
The Caisse d'Pargne team of Oscar Pereiro casually sipped coffee at one of the cafes that lined the street, while other riders sheltered nervously from the crowds in the back of their team vans.
The circus arrived, though, when the Astana van pulled in. We saw glimpses of Lance through the media scrum. Between media commitments and the last minute sign on before the peleton rolled out, there was a short window for autographs. Alas, I was on the opposite side of the road and would miss out today. (Probably just as well; I was wearing my Livestrong jersey and would have had to whip it off very quickly had I have had the opportunity to pass it over for an autograph.)
I also spotted a placard in the crowd, bearing the words
LANCE, I'VE HAD CANCER TOO
I wasn't sure quite how I felt about this. It was either pure genius, and bound to get a much sought after signature or meeting with Lance; on the other hand it may have been incredibly bad taste.
I don't know whether or not it worked. But when we returned home after a quick lap down to Glenelg for lunch, we regrouped to formulate better tactics for future Stages.
Posted Thursday, January 22, 2009