Crazy Long

Tour of Margaret River – November 2014

The Tour of Margaret River is a relatively new kid on the block, an event for the amateur racers that is steadily growing in popularity.


The tour had a very humble beginning in April of 2010 with a total of 31 riders heading to Margaret River for a weekend of social riding with little more than a Sprint and KOM point for those inclined to race. Driven by the positive experience of that weekend planning began for the next “tour”. A few months later and invitations we sent out to a total of 15 teams to participate in the first proper Tour of Margaret River to be held in November of that same year.

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Over the next few years the tour grew more popular and talk began of making the event a part of the National Road Series. But a move to NRS status would have made it difficult for many of the teams that had traditionally supported the event to participate. So in 2013 a decision was made to run the event on a Pro-Am format and to work towards having it a the premier event of it’s kind.

In excess of 300 participated in 2013, treble the 2012 participants, and they are expecting the numbers to grow again this year.


Stage 1 –  25 km Team Time Trial – Thursday


Stage 2 – 75km Road Race – Friday



Stage 3 – 60km Road Race – Saturday


Stage 4 45km Social Ride – Saturday


Stage 5 50km Road Race – Sunday

Three laps of a course that loops from Parkwater Estate to Vasse Felix.


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Christopher Horner, was withdrawn from the Vuelta at the last minute because of his low cortisol levels following cortisone treatment for a bronchial infection he picked up at the TdF, and carried over into the Tour of Utah.


To cut a complex story into something simple, which is one of my specialties.

  • UCI provided Chris a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for the use of a cortisone treatment to help with the lung infection
  • The cortisone lowered Chris’s cortisol levels below the threshold stipulated as healthy by the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) – which Chris’s team Lampre-Merida is a member of
  • Not all teams have signed up to the MPCC – why?
  • Cortisol is a naturally occurring steroid hormone produced by the adrenal glands
  • Cortisol helps maintain blood pressure, the bodies immune system and the bodies anti-inflammatory processes
  • Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory, can enhance performances and has a record of abuse in the sporting world
  • Cortisone has the affect of lowering the bodies cortisol levels
  • Low levels of Cortisol can affect the body’s ability to recover in the event of a medical issue such as a crash, ie the body has a lower level of its natural anti-inflammatory agent
  • The body increases cortisol levels when the body is under duress and stress
  • An increase in cortisol levels and elevates blood pressure, heart rate and boosts energy (fight or flight )
  • Small bursts of cortisol have positive impact on the body
  • Long exposure to high Cortisol levels can lead to burnout, anxiety, depression and a whole heap of nasties

As a result of low cortisol levels, Lampre-Merida had no option but to withdraw Chris Horner because they were an MPCC member. Unfortunately non members are under no obligation to do the same with their riders, as happened earlier in the season when Froome was given a TUE for a similar condition, but carried on riding.

Not a level playing field, but thats the way it is. The UCI are looking into the situation.



On this side of the world, it seems that Jensie’s last race in the USA Pro Challenge passed us by with little fanfare, but over on the other side of the world, it appears that he has been sent out in style. Trek provided him with a custom designed bike, shoes, helmet and kit that look superb.IMG_6893-copy-660x440 IMG_6901-660x440 IMG_6906-660x440 IMG_6914-660x440 IMG_6916-660x440 TK14_WEB_Jens_V_Media_Product_image_lo-res2

A #farewelljen twitter account was setup asking fans to submit their favourite memories and photos.


He was well loved and respected, he rode for over 20 years laughing at the pain he left in his dust. He was renown for going on those crazy long breaks with small chance of success, but every now and then one did. Unfortunately his last attempt in his last race failed a few km’s from the end, but he tried.

He’s legendary now, and will no doubt become mythical as the decades roll past, as are some the greats, and some not so greats he has ridden with or under. He passed through the East German Army before starting his stellar professional career with the the Australian team ZVVZ – Giant Australian Institute, before moving to GAN, which became Credit Agricole.

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He would have to be one of  the most respected and well liked cyclist both inside and outside the peloton. His sound grabs over the years have given us some pearls, none more than “Shut up Legs”, which has become the catchphrase of many a wannabee hard man.


Some of his quotes include:

  • In the hierarchy of the family, I’m just above the dog. But I like it that way
  • If you go (with a break), you can either win or not win. If you don’t go for it, you definitely won’t win.
  • If it hurts me, it must hurt the other ones twice as much.
  • No, I do not accept defeat here. I do not accept this.
  • Oh, you poor thing, you’ve got no chance, you’re already beaten.
  • You’re all beaten; I am just laughing at you.
  • I get paid to hurt other people, how good is that?
  • Having things organized is for small-minded people. Genius controls chaos.
  • While I’m not very talented at cooking, I am very talented at eating.
  • I am confident that when I get really old, the human lifespan will be extended.
  • Cycling is not rocket science.
  • If you go (with a break), you can either win or not win. If you don’t go for it, you definitely won’t win.

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And just like other riders, he suffered his fare share of crashes

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3 Giros and 17 Tour de France’s later, farewell Jens. Hopefully we’ll see your smiley face as a guest at a future TdU.




Well done Bling and OGE on the stage 3 win, backed up by retaining the red jersey for stages 4 & 5.  Great to get a win so early in the tour.




A different stage start on the Juan Carlos I.

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I’m looking forward to a 2016 TdU start from the City of Adelaide.


Some more photos from Stage 3, 4 & 5

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Cafe of the week – Coffylosophy

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Located at 198a Hutt street, right next to Biga and opposite Cibo, lies a new(ish” small coffee shop tucked into a narrow frontage. This place packs a punch when it comes to coffee and atmosphere. Nice and cozy, service and attention to detail maks this a great little shop to sit back in and unwind. Food is slightly differant to standard cafe fare, reviews are a little bit indifferant, but the two lunch wraps I’ve had have been tasty.


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Worth a go for the coffee and cake.


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till next time

tight spokes


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