Cadel Day!

Seems like as good a subject as any for my first blog post:  The triumphant reception for “our” Cadel in the heart of the city of Melbourne, to celebrate his well-deserved and long awaited victory in the world’s greatest bike race.
I wagged a few hours from work to get in to see this event, not sure if there’d be a few thousand people, or a huge crowd.  Turns out that it was neither.  It was an ENORMOUS crowd.
The plan was for Cadel to ride from the NGV along St. Kilda Road all the way to Federation Square.  A distance of about 500m – not quite as long as his recent ride around La Belle France.

By the time I got to the NGV end of his ride there were only about 15 minutes left until the appointed start time.  Cadel was already there, on his bike, with a peloton of junior cyclists behind him.  Cadel resplendent in yellow, the juniors all in BMC red.  The crowd was cheering, and calling out to him, and the mood was very celebratory.  Actually seeing the hero of the day was a bit of a stretch – or a push through the crowd.

The Grand Depart

The crowd was so big I figured that everybody must be up at the start end of the Great Cadelabratory Time Trial, so I got back on my bike and made my way slowly towards Fed Square, hoping that I would find a spot at  to sit and watch the big screen, and to await the arrival of  the newest Aussie sporting hero.

Mistake.

The closer I got to the other end of the ride, the deeper the crowd was on either side of the route, and the less able I was to actually see anything.    Fed Square was overflowing, so that the nearest I could get was the tram tracks in the middle of St Kilda Road.

Fed Square

The first Australian to win the TDF.  The first rider from the Southern Hemisphere.  The oldest winner since the 2nd World War.  Possibly the first drug free winner for a long time – but no one will say that out loud!

Who’d have thought SO many people would turn out in the city centre, on a weekday, for a cyclist!  Things are looking up.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. kirst
    Aug 12, 2011 @ 22:11:47

    Wish I had of been there – what a quiet unassuming sports hero!

    Reply

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