Wow, what just happened. One minute it was November, the next minute it’s February.
A busy schedule over the last few months has seen limited time to refocus and get Wednesday Legs up and running for the new year.
But here I am. You can’t get rid of me that easily.
The start to the year for Australian cycling came and went on a blur. The Summers Nationals in Ballarat, the TdU, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and the Herald Sun Tour.
Here’s brief rundown.
Ballarat local Shannon Malseed won the elite women’s road race ahead of Lauren Kitchen and Grace Brown.
“I’m so lost for words – I can’t believe that this happened, it is a dream – an absolute dream. This is my first year racing for a professional team, I’m so honoured I get to wear the Australian colours all year.”
“I came here just trying to do what I could for the guys, and to come away with the green and gold is a dream come true. Every cyclist grows up wanting to wear the green and gold, and this is not going to sink in for a while.”
Tyler Lindorff and Sarah Gigante were crowned U19 road national champions in testing, windy conditions
Victoria’s Sarah Gigante took a clean sweep of all three under 19 national titles; the criterium, time trial and road race crowns. Gigante won the criterium solo, time trial and the 58 kilometre road race around Mt Buninyong.
Mens Individual Time Trial
“Coming here and winning it, and wearing the jersey for the rest of the year is an honour,” explained Dennis. “It is hard to win, with guys like Richie, Durbo and Miles. It is a pride thing”
Eighteen of the world’s best Para-cycling athletes were crowned national champions.
- WH1: Emilie MILLER (Bathurst)
- MH3: Alexander WELSH (Leongatha)
- Men Handcycle MH4: Grant ALLEN (Port Adelaide)
- Men Handcycle MH5: Stuart TRIPP (St Kilda)
- Men Tricycle MT1: Garry ROBINSON (Camden)
- Women Tricycle WT2: Carol COOKE (St Kilda/VIS)
- Men Tricycle MT2: Stuart JONES (Newcastle)
- Women Cycle WC1: Kaitlyn Dawn SCHURMANN (Geelong)
- Men Cycle MC1: Darcy THOMPSON (Port Adelaide)
- Men Cycle MC2: Darren HICKS (Kilkenny)
- Women Cycle WC3: Simone KENNEDY (Parramatta)
- Men Cycle MC3: David NICHOLAS (Mackay)
- Women Cycle WC4: Meg LEMON (Port Adelaide)
- Men Cycle MC4: Patrick BEST (Mersey Valley Devonport)
- Women Cycle WC5: Fatema TAJBHAI (St Kilda)
- Men Cycle MC5: Alistair DONOHOE (Blackburn)
- Women WB: Lindy HOU: (Vikings ACT)
- Men MB: Kieran MURPHY: (Norwood)
20 years old. The little ol’ TdU has come a long long way since it first hit the pavement in 1999.
Here’s the honour roll.
- 2018 Daryl Impey, South Africa, Mitchelton-SCOTT
- 2017 Richie Porte, Australia, BMC Racing Team
- 2016 Simon Gerrans, Australia, Orica GreenEDGE
- 2015 Rohan Dennis, Australia, BMC Racing Team
- 2014 Simon Gerrans, Australia, Orica GreenEDGE
- 2013 Tom-Jelte Slagter, Netherlands, Blanco Pro Cycling
- 2012 Simon Gerrans, Australia, GreenEDGE Cycling
- 2011 Cameron Meyer, Australia, Garmin Cervelo
- 2010 André Greipel, Germany, HTC-Columbia
- 2009 Allan Davis, Australia, Team Quickstep
- 2008 André Greipel, Germany, Team High Road
- 2007 Martin Elmiger , Switzerland, Ag2R Prévoyance
- 2006 Simon Gerrans, Australia, Ag2R-Prévoyance
- 2005 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil, Spain, Liberty Seguros Team
- 2004 Patrick Jonker , Australia, UniSA
- 2003 Mikel Astarloza , Spain, Ag2R-Prévoyance
- 2002 Michael Rogers , Australia, AIS
- 2001 Stuart O’Grady, Australia, Crédit Agricole
- 2000 Gilles Maignan , France, Ag2R
- 1999 Stuart O’Grady , Australia, Crédit Agricole
13 of the 14 legends, from left to right. Back Row – Rohan Dennis, Cameron Meyer, Tom Jelte Slagter, André Greipel, Martin Elmiger, Patrick Jonker, Allan Davis, Luis Leon Sanchez and Gilles Maignan. Front Row – Richie Porte, Stuart O’Grady, Michael Rogers and Simon Gerrans, .
Mikel Astarloza was the missing legend.
Its seems like an age ago since Andre Greipel, Caleb Ewan, Elia Viviani, Peter Sagan and Richie Porte showed their stuff on what turned out to be some insanely hot days.
Sunday 14 January 2018 – People’s Choice Classic, Wakefield Road Circuit, 50.6km
Tuesday 16 January 2018 – Stage 1, Port Adelaide to Lyndoch, 145km
Wednesday 17 January 2018 –Stage 2, Unley to Stirling, 148.6km
Thursday 18 January 2018 – Stage 3, Glenelg to Victor Harbor, 146.5km
Friday 19 January 2018 – Bupa Stage 4, Norwood to Uraidla, 128.2km
Saturday 20 January 2018 –Stage 5, McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill, 151.5km
Sunday 21 January 2018 – Be Safe Be Seen MAC Stage 6, Adelaide Street Circuit, 90
Chapeau Darryl Impey on becoming the next TdU legend.
In a somewhat strange move, the TdU Women’s road race was run and won before the media caravan rolled into town. It was a shame because I enjoyed the parallel reporting last year and felt there was in fact more spotlight on the women last year than this. But inward and upward.
2018 Santos Women’s Tour Down Under
Stage 1 – Gumeracha – Gumeracha: Annette Edmondson
Stage 2 – Lyndoch to Mengler’s Hill: Katrin Garfoot
Stage 3 – The Bend Motorsport Park – Hahndorf: Amanda Spratt
Stage 4 – Adelaide City Circuit: Chloe Hosking
Chapeau to Amanda Spratt, the winner of the 2018 Women’s road race
Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race
Queenslander Jay McCarthy became the first Australian to win the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
“I’ve been poking my head out of the hotel window all week looking at the finish line thinking about this…it worked perfectly for us”.
Australian sprinter Chloe Hosking won the Women’s Elite Women’s Race
Jayco Herald Sun Tour
Colombian sensation Esteban Chaves won the 2018 Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
“It was a tough day,” admitted Chaves after winning the yellow jersey. “This was the last chance for everyone. We raced from the beginning until the end. Congratulations to everyone – the level of racing here in Australia is just unbelievable.” With Chaves’ team-mates Meyer and Damien Howson (both past winners) rounding out the general classification top three,
The 1st edition of the women’s race was won by Brodie Chapman ahead of Annewiek Van Vleuten finished second overall, with Chloe Hosking rounding out the podium.
Video of the Week – Corkscrew Descent
Website I like – INRNG
I’ve been watching these guys for a while now, albeit on and off over the seasons, but I find it always comes up trumps with insightful articles across a breadth of cycling subjects.
The Inner Ring is a blog about cycling and cycle sport, especially pro cycling.
News, comment, opinion and chat feature here. The aim is to give a different take on the sport and sometimes have a look at things that might get overlooked by the mainstream cycle sport media.
It’s only a blog, half the point is to ramble through things, to think aloud, to dip in and out of subjects. There’s no overriding aim. That said, many thanks to all the readers who visit and I’ve been lucky enough to write pieces for Cyclesport, cyclingnews.com, Bicycling and Pro Cycling magazine as well.
Sometimes I think pieces on here are too long-winded, it’s only a blog and I don’t usually have time to edit each piece. By contrast, the concise action happens over on Twitter under the username “inrng”.
But here are some quick thoughts that underpin my take on cycling:
- riding a bike is a pleasure and whether it’s to the shops or in a peloton, the bike is fun.
- pro cycling is relentlessly commercial. Early races were created to sell newspapers and to this day the sport sees teams named after brands, companies and even countries. It’s both sport and business, I prefer the sport but find the business side interesting.
- in over 100 years we’ve seen some wonderful tales of heroism and effort that surpass sport and ensure you forget the money.
- despite naked money and commercialism the sport takes place on open roads, passing cities, towns, villages and fields which ties the sport in with many varied terrains and regions.
- analysis and nonsense can go together. I might quote the rulebook or examine legal issues from time to time but it’s worth retaining a sense of humour with silly pictures or amusing stories.
One of the best things is putting out ideas and views and then seeing readers respond via comments, email and twitter.
I started it in February 2010 and it got going as the cycling season picked up. Since then it’s become increasingly well read. After finding thousands were coming to read every day I moved to a dedicated website and smartened up the graphics a bit with help from matthewmorris.co.uk who provided useful advice and speedy design work.
I picked the name The Inner Ring because of the “inner” or “insider” connotations and in case you didn’t know, because “inner ring” means the smaller chainring on a bike in English. It’s also a nod to climbing in the mountains, something I usually enjoy.
Matthew has developed a cycling calendar, which shows all of the major UCI men’s and women’s pro races around the world. You can subscribe or download an iCal file to import the calendar into your phone. Pretty nifty.
Great work Matthew, keep up the good work.
till next time