…and they are off

https://www.cyclingnews.com/features/5-conclusions-from-the-2020-tour-down-under/

So cyclingnews has published their take on the 2020 Tour Down Under but how did we see it and how has the racing started this year?

First up it was great to see cycling in South Australia after some of the recent extreme weather, and whilst there were some who felt the public service resources that went towards putting the race on could have been used better elsewhere, if the residents go some sort of rest bite and a positive push from the race then fair enough.

The sprinters lined up and battled as expected and Caleb Ewan and Sam Bennett looked really sharp at the race. There were a number of crashes (a theme that has carried on into San Juan) but we can do the debate on whether pro cycling is more dangerous another day!

Ritchie Porte did what he always does and looked sharp on the climbs and won the race even if his Willunga Hill streak ended.

The racing has now moved on to Argentina and despite a dog taking down some riders yesterday the biggest news of the race has been Julian Alaphilippe abandoning. Could this be the first signs of the pressure getting to him?

I have to say that scenically the San Juan race looked really nice last year with some signs of vegetation and the back drop of Patagonia. So far in 2020 I remain to be inspired. But let’s see how the week goes on.

2020 season getting closer…

Even though the end of 2019 doesn’t feel that long ago and the cyclo cross season has been keeping us entertained, despite Mathieu Van der Poel dominating, its now time for the road season to restart with racing in Australia and in the next few weeks Argentina and Columbia.

The Tour Down Under is hurtling upon us with the Australian Nationals now out of the way and the racing starting in 2 days with the Ladies and on the 21st with the men.

I have been quick to criticise the Tour on previous blogs and podcasts feeling its a bit too synthetic and trying too hard.

I am no Richie Porte fan either but you have to say that his brilliant record on the races queen stage to Willunga Hill will be reason enough to pay some interest.

Maybe its my old age but I am starting to warm to the TDU as I have the Tour de Yorkshire. On the dark winters nights there is nothing better than watching some sunshine and bike racing.

It will also give those of us in the Northern hemisphere time to reflect on the terrible tragedy unfolding down under through the bush fires.

I can hardly wait to get going!