Launceston to Swansea. 140kms with 1600m of climbing for the day. We started in the cold and it was hard to decide if we should ride out with our super warm tour jackets or not. As the sun came up, I made the choice to remove the jacket and brave the cold wind. We had a nice big climb to start the day with, so I thought I might heat up a bit too quickly if I left it on. I was probably wrong... :) The first few kilometres were pretty bone chilling...
We cycled about 40kms to our first stop for the day. The TTT (Team Time Trial) day was here. We split up into our small tour teams (there are 10) who are named after our major sponsors. I am in team Harvey Norman. The aim of the TTT is to cover the 8km course with your whole team in the fastest time possible. This is achieved by riding single file an regularly rotating the person on the front of the line in order to share the work load between the team members. This creates a good bit of team rivalry amongst the group and the true competitive nature of some teams and members shine through. Below is a photo of my Harvey Norman Team.
The results for the time trial were revealed at dinner tonight and my team got 3rd place overall. We did a great job for one of the smallest riding teams on tour this year.
At this point in the tour we are pretty much done. One day to go and we will be in Hobart and celebrating this amazing journey! There is a crew on tour that I believe works even harder than the riders.
Our support crew are the back bone of this whole event and we couldnt do what we do without them! This amazing group of people give up their time to drive cars with each peloton, make sure we have food and drink, take photos and video of us riding through the country side, pack the trucks each day with our gear and everything that we need for presentations etc., we have medical and physio people who make sure we are in the best shape to ride each day. This year Dad (Trevor) and my brother (Zac) joined the Tour as part of the support crew. They have been doing a number of different jobs on tour and from what I have seen, they have loved every bit of it. It has been awesome to have them share in the adventure and see what TdC are doing up close, day to day. This group of individuals do some amazing work and the commitment and enthusiasm that they tackle each day with blows me away. So thank you support crew!!! From the whole team, you are amazing!
While we were at morning tea today, we heard a noise coming from a little way in the distance. As the noise approached our attention was drawn in its direction. To our surprise, we saw a bright yellow plane heading directly for us. We had pulled up in what we thought was a vacant paddock or field. Little did we know we had parked the trucks and setup our morning tea on someones landing strip...
It was a local crop duster who was out working for the day. We had a bit of a chat with the pilot and the Sunrise film crew asked if he would like to do some special filming runs for the tour documentary. So we lined the riders up on the road so the pilot could do a few low flying passes for the camera. It was a pretty cool part of the day and I cant wait to see what Trent (the film guy) captured.
We had lunch by a massive lake. It was delicious and the view over the water was very pretty. Such a nice way to enjoy our pit stop for the day. The afternoon run was always going to be pretty great! We had a short climb out of the valley before we hit a nice long 20km descent! I was really looking forward to this! :) We got to the top as a whole peloton and we slowly split as we made our way down the mountain. It was one of the best and most fun descents I have ever done. The group fed off each other with attacks and pace lines the whole way down. 20kms was eaten up in no time! Definitely a highlight of tour for me.
We arrived in Swansea for the night and dinner was on a footy oval in a massive tent! The food was delicious! Local seafood and fresh produce that had been donated by local businesses. The atmosphere was wonderful and we had a lot more family from the tour starting to show up now. Stephanie parents arrived this morning and it was great to share some of the experiences I had had so far on tour for 2014.
There is now only 1 more day of tour left. We are planned to arrive in Hobart around 2pm in the afternoon. That means we have a super early start in the morning... :( I have been up doing the teams washing tonight and its now 10pm. So I am off to bed!
I am going to leave you with this video. One of the Brisbane riders (Paul) organised with our families for them to put together a special message that we would receive during tour to help lift our spirits and give us some energy to keep up the great riding we have been pushing ourselves to do. This is what I received in my inbox the other night. It was an awesome surprise and I cant thank my family and friends for the support they have and continue to give me in my fight to find a cure for cancer. Click the link below.