Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Don't You See Me Down Here Praying?

Today I had to take a friend to the dentist, way out in the suburbs. I knew in advance that between the journey to Gladstone Park and work I wouldn't be able to find the time to blog, even if today is Lazy Writing Wednesday. So I worded up Sean the Man Hurley to take care of today's issue.

"So the theme today is the music of the Tour of Taiwan

This race had a genuine protour team, and they made it known that they were in the big league. If the small conti teams didn't back themselves Saxo Bank wouldve won the race before anyone clipped in. Turns out that on a sporting level they weren't much more than Jono Cantwell, and he sure as hell isn't out of reach. On the staff side, they just washed bikes and did laundry like the rest - so they certainly weren't given that pedestal they wanted.

The most stressful thing about a tour is the transfers. Riders go in big ass busses, staff in team cars. Taiwan has a stupid amount of traffic and no shortage of road names that aren't in English. The tour set up a single lead car for the 18 team cars to follow through. If you get caught at a red light 5km into 140km transfer that is the last you'll see of the convoy, and you're on your own in the traffic. This ment position in convoy was paramount. Not unlike a keiren. This was done at high speeds and was very physical. One time we lined up at a toll both, the lead car went through and the chase was on. Ed from Champion Systems thought he had it in the bag but we slipped underneath him. We had it locked in for sure. but oh no, Rusvelo had other plans and tried to squeeze in. We didn't budge. They kept getting closer, we'd push back. Next thing our passenger side mirror and their drive side mirror are overlapping and there is a parked car ahead. Rusvelo looks over cold as ice. We don't budge. He holds firm. Then he jams on the brakes losing all important position. His eyes stayed locked on us. Oh those Russians.

Note: Drapac duo Ag and Jono should great patience and poise to kill the transfers cup with aggressive moves through dense traffic in the last block to the destination

I don't like pearl jam, and I didn't like the north of Taiwan. The cities were typical cities, too many people, too many cars, too much noise. As soon as you left the metropolis it turned to an industrial & agricultural wasteland. To me it seemed like a sci-fi book where mankind had gone too far. Disgusting. A good place to do business, and not much else.

By the time the tour went south, I was over Taiwan. The early mornings, late nights and the stench of shot on the street was taking its toll. Enter Tainan. A city with culture, history & trees. Rolling into town she was easy on the eyes, and the beauty was deeper than the skin. The people didn't seem as anonymous, pushy or afraid to smile. To make things better we were staying in what I was told was the best hotel in Taiwan. We also had a banquet, including some entertainment in the form of shitty love ballads & rad traditional dance. There was a special surprise birthday cake presented by a few big wig politicians and major sponsors for yellow jersey Rhys Pollack. Much to the embarrassment of his team he wasn't in attendance! Grand hotel, decadent ceremony & lavish food. As a side note all the bikes were stored in a ballroom acessable via a batmanesque industrial lift. Bad ass.

Once the race is all said & done, bikes are packed & luggage is sorted, you are off the hook. And when you are off the hook in Kaoshing, that means one thing. Fireworks. There aren't too many sure things in this world, but scholars & teen mothers agree that booze, fireworks & a new city will always be good fun. There is plenty more to that story but let's leave it there."

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