Farewell Simon Gerrans
An open letter from Simon Gerrans regarding his future.
Cycling has been a huge part of my life for a long period of time and through which, I have met a lot of fantastic people, many of whom will remain life-long friends. I am very proud of what I have achieved during my career and I would like to thank everyone who has played a part in my journey.
Although I feel that I am still performing at a good level physically, my passion for the sport is not what it used to be. Professional cycling is too hard unless you are able to commit wholeheartedly. I am really happy to be able to walk away on my own terms and feel that the end of this season is the right time to transition to a new phase in my life.
I would especially like to mention each of the professional teams that I have ridden for throughout my career. AG2R Prevoyance, Credit Agricole, Cervelo TestTeam, Team Sky, GreenEDGE and BMC Racing Team. Thank you for the opportunities I received and what I learnt while racing in your colours. One of my goals was to make a positive impact in each team by contributing both on and off the bike, and I feel as though I achieved this.
When I look back over my racing career, my fondest memories don’t come from winning classics or grand tour stages, but the happiness and joy my victories created for the team and the people close to me. I also cherish the times when I was able to contribute to the personal success of my teammates.
The process of meticulously preparing for my objectives and working hard in training is what I loved about being a professional cyclist. What made the biggest victories of my career the most rewarding was knowing that I perfected the preparation. During the best years of my racing career, those times when I got my preparation just right, I was competitive in the biggest races, against the best cyclists in the world. I thoroughly enjoyed the tactics of cycling; the times I was able to outsmart an opponent in a high pressure situation and beat someone stronger was satisfying. I also loved working within a team environment; the camaraderie amongst my teammates and team personnel was something I’ll never forget.
With regards to my future, I want to emphasise that I am not retiring, I’m changing careers.
In the short term, I plan on spending some time with my family. Family has always been the most important thing to me, but for the past 20 years, they have made great sacrifices and have been incredibly supportive of my career. I am now looking forward to giving my wife, Rahna, and our children, Oscar and Isla, my attention.
Over the past couple of years I have received some really interesting career opportunities from within and outside the world of cycling. I hope to maintain an involvement with the sport in some capacity, however initially I am motivated to gain some experience and develop my skills in a new area. I hope that the skills and attributes I have developed and the networks I have built throughout my cycling career will provide a solid foundation to support this goal. The idea of getting out of my comfort zone and embracing a completely new career is daunting, yet excites me, and for these reasons I know it is the right thing to do.
Finally, I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart all the supporters of cycling, sponsors, teams, teammates, friends and family that have made my time as a professional cyclist such an unforgettable chapter of my life.
Career Highlights – 33 individual wins including:
2016: Santos Tour Down Under Stage 3, Stage 4, and General Classification.
2014: Gran Prix Cycliste de Quebec
2014: Gran Prix Cycliste de Montreal
2014: Santos Tour Down Under Stage 1 and General Classification.
2014: Australian road race champion
2013: Tour de France Stage 3
2012: Gran Prix Cycliste de Quebec
2012: Milan-San Remo
2012: Santos Tour Down Under General Classification
2012: Australian road race champion
2011 Tour of Denmark General Classification
2009 GP Ouest France-Plouay
2009: Vuelta a Espana Stage 10
2009: Giro d’Italia Stage 14
2008: Tour de France Stage 15
2006: Santos Tour Down Under Stage 2 and General Classification.
Cheers to you Simon, you’ve provided some exciting riding for the spectators at the Tour down Under as well as across the continent.
2019 Tour Down Under
Well, the remainder of the stages were released last week, and from where I sit, (inside looking outside at the rain) I’m quite excited by it.
I wasn’t too far off the mark in my last post, there is a lumpy punchy loop around Uraidla-Piccadilly-Sommertown, and doesn’t it look mouth watering. And the last stage is the Saturday Willunga stage shifted to the Sunday, but what I didn’t see coming was the removal of the Stirling – Bradbury-Mylor loop, I had thought that was here to stay.
“We knew we had to create something special for the 2019 event and deliver something a little different in terms of the race routes after the amazing race we had this year. We have decided to mix it up and make Willunga Hill the grand finale and probably now the deciding factor of the race’s result.
“We are really excited about a first-time stage finish in Port Adelaide on Stage 1 with a 3.4km finishing circuit especially after the huge crowds their start drew this year and will be interested to see how the punchy new 14km Uraidla circuit on Stage 3 which will see the riders pass through seven times will be received.”
Uraidla will be buzzing on the Wednesday. If your thinking of driving in the hills that day, give Greenhill Road a miss – it will be covered in Lycra. Hopefully they’ll install the safety nets in time to catch the unwary rider on the way back home on the fun decent back down.
The 2019 Santos Tour Down Under will be held 10 – 20 January 2019 starting with Stage 1 of the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under on Thursday 10 January.
Santos Tour Down Under dates and route.
- Sunday 13 January 2019: People’s Choice Classic: East End Circuit
- Tuesday 15 January 2019: Stage 1: North Adelaide to Port Adelaide
- Wednesday 16 January 2019: Stage 2: Norwood to Angaston
- Thursday 17 January 2019: Stage 3: Lobethal to Uraidla
- Friday 18 January 2019: Stage 4: Unley to Campbelltown
- Saturday 19 January 2019: Stage 5: Glenelg to Strathalbyn
- Sunday 20 January 2019: Be Safe Be Seen MAC Stage 6: McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill
Good to hear that Richie Porte has resumed training after fracturing his collarbone during the Tour de France and has confirmed he will ride the Vuelta a Espana and then target the hilly world road race championships in Innsbruck, Austria, at the end of September.
Richie, who is expected to confirm soon his move to Trek-Segafredo in 2019 after three seasons with BMC Racing, confirmed he has big plans for 2019 – “The goal is to get past stage 9 next year…”
National Road Series
The standings after the first two races in this years National Road Series
1- Bennelong Swiss Wellness Cycling Team (BSC) 495 Points
2 -Brisbane Continental Cycling Team (BCT) 305 Points
3 – InForm MAKE (IFM) 250 Points
4 – Oliver’s Real Food Racing (OLI) 125 Points
5 – Mobius Bridgelane (MBL) 80 Points
Race 1 – Grafton to Inverill
1 – Nathan ELLIOTT Bennelong SwissWellness Cycling Team 6:44:16
2 – Raphael FREIENSTEIN InForm Make NRS +0:00
3 – Cameron SCOTT Australian Cycling Academy +0:04
Race 2 – Battle Recharge
Mens General Classification
1. 17 Brendon DAVIDS (OLI) 7h48:35
2. 6 Jason LEA (IWS) +5:17
3. 125 Kane RICHARDS (TMD) +6:07
Womens General Classification
1. 201 Grace BROWN (HTG) 5h52:01
2. 301 Emily ROPER +1:16
3. 265 Kate MCILROY (SWR) +1:18
Upcoming races are:
- 15 August – Tour of the Great South Coast
- 31 August – Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley
- 15 September – Amy’s Otway Tour
- 6 October – Tour of Gippsland
- 14 November – Tour of Tasmania
The Spirit of Tasmania cycling tour returns on the cycling Australia National Road Series calendar from 14-18 November 2018, with the exciting inclusion of the very first women’s tour, running for 3 days from 16-18 November
- 24 November – Giro della Donna
A veritable bike fest in Warburton with closed and managed roads, event timing, kids activities, a hill-climb individual time trial, 65km Gravel Giro, and 125km Giro della Donna and entertainment across the weekend.
Saturday 24 th November
– 10am: MTB Race (details TBA)
– 10am-4pm: Bike demos in the event village
– 11am: 65km Gravel Giro
– 2pm: NRS Mens & Women’s Team Time Trials
– 3pm: 6km Time Trial
– 6pm: Pasta dinner with VIP speakers (details TBA)
– 8:30pm: Free movie screening in event village
Sunday 25th November
– 6:00am: Event village opens
– 7:00am: NRS Men’s and Women’s races
– 8:00am: Giro della Donna
– 9:00am: Kids movie screening and entertainment
– 1:30pm: Winners announced in village
– 4:30pm: Event village closes
I don’t know the reasons why, but there are no NRS races in South Australia – anyone know why?
Goodbye to Velo-Porte
After much thought and deliberation we have made the tough decision to close the virtual doors at VELO-PORTE.
We would like to thank all our friends, family and most of all customers for making the last five and a half years possible. Meeting you all, putting you on great bikes and showing you our backyard has been a great experience that we’ll always remember fondly.
There are many factors that have lead to this decision that has definitely not been made hastily or lightly. Most of all we need to simplify life a little to allow us to spend more time focusing on fewer things.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the ride.
Keith, Alexis, Angus & Mhari
They have a few bikes left for sale from their stable.
Specialized Tarmac Expert Ultegra $1400-$1850
- 1 x 49
- 1 x 52
- 2 x 54
- 2 x 56
- 1 x 58
Cannondale Supersix EVO Ultegra $2000 (Near new condition)
- 1 x 52
- 1 x 54
All bikes are 11 speed mechanical.
If any of these bikes that have been meticulously looked after in their short life are of interest to you, contact Keith on email@example.com
Its a shame to see these guys close their doors but fully understand. With a family growing up and lets face it, Keith isn’t getting any younger and the chance to create some new PB’s in the Adelaide Hills is rapidly diminishing, the decision was no doubt a hard one but it will simplify their lives and give them the time to enjoy it better- and to enjoy the TdU when it hits town rather than go flat out looking after others.
This weeks Rider of the Week – Stephen Sanders
- What got you started in cycling, when and where?
I started cycling in 1997 when my business partner at the time (who was obsessed once he took a project on) started cycling. His first year of cycling he went to the tour and came back a fan. I laughed. Shaved legs, Lycra etc was not for me. We rode up Norton summit one day as a challenge (to me). I was in things and footy shorts on a rusty standish. Made the first corner and felt a fool. After that day I purchased a real bike (cannondale at bicycle express) and we rode together regularly until his passing in 2007. If he could see where cycling has taken me after that first day he would be astounded and proud.
- You have a long experience in road cycling and providing cycling experiences in Australia and overseas, with Redline probably being the most notable in Adelaide. What is Redline?
Redline was borne out of the adelaide football club a while back now where with Craigy and charlie at the club we had a good education on elite level sport. A group of us rode regularly together and kris Hinck, fitness coach at the time coined the redline phrase. He joined Geelong not long after and I carried the legacy of the group forward, first ordering kits for all the team (we often did team time trials around vic park in the off season) and later organising charity rides for the crows foundation. The link to the football club has all but disappeared but the core values of team mates and unity have remained strong.
The Redline Classic is one of Redlines main charity rides. With 7 ‘Classics’ completed, this 3 day charity rode to benefit the Crows Foundation has become a much sought after event to be involved with. Importantly, Redline has become the biggest donor to the Crows Foundation – something we should be proud of.
The 2017 Classic added another $46,000 to the ever growing total. Each year the Foundation grants up to $100,000 to support children’s charities, in 2017 our charity partners were – Kick Start for Kids, who provide up to 40,000 breakfasts each week to school children across the state and Canteen, providing for teens with cancer.
- What are some of the overseas events you have been involved in?
Mostly trips to Europe with George at Unique Cycling Tours however my riding in Europe goes back to the year 2000. I have lost count how many times I have visited Belgium, France and Italy but it is addictive and beautiful and friendly with great food and most importantly total respect for the cyclist.
As I write this I am in Rome, my last night here after 3 months riding. I have not been beeped at or abused once. If anything cyclists are given priority on roads. Even in the mayhem of rural Italy I feel safer here than I do riding to Lobethal.
- Which is your favourite?
Italy, for all the reasons listed above. The roads of Belgium I love riding because of the history and perhaps I am Better suited re my build for cobbles as opposed to mountains but Italy is unique.
The cycling is awesome but the people you meet on the way make it memorable.
- Is there anywhere in France where you can buy a decent coffee?
Peloton cafe in Paris. Only spot and be prepared to lose a weeks salary to get it!
- Do the Belgiums make the best beer?
I believe so but I’m not a drinker. That said the tour of Flanders and Paris roubaix are events that resemble AFL Grand Final day. TV starts at 9am and is still going at 11 at night.
They are just huge parties and whilst the Belgies love the beer they seem to still function after 14 hours of drinking. The daytime dance parties are fun to see as is the love of the song ‘sweet caroline’
- Do you have a preference for multi stage or single day events?
- As a spectator, what are your favourite cycling races in Europe?
Tour of Flanders as you can possibly see 5 passes of the peloton if in the right spot and the Belgian crowd lives for it. I was on the Kwaremont last year and Gilbert attacked. In a funnel of people the noise was unreal. He was close enough to the barrier you could touch him. Covered in dirt, dust and cowshit (Belgium smells of it and it covers every road) his face and the pain it showed is etched in my memory.
He then passed again with 16 ks to go (about an hour later) and it was a football crowd type of reaction – all for one rider.
- What are some of your favourite travel memories related to cycling?
Not airports…. But seeing other people achieve goals. Sitting atop a mountain pass in a cafe (stelvio being the pick of them I think) with 8 others who have made it up after 2 plus hours of going uphill is very special. The charity rides are special too, often because you see a team form after a few days and by the end of it there is a shared joy. Day one everyone looks after themselves but over a week (or even a day or 2) you start to see a great care for each other on and off the road
- Softcase or Hardcase for packing your bike?
Medium actually but after 9 years this one is just about done. I’ve been lucky as I haven’t had a bike damaged or lost due to an airline
- What have you been up to over the last year?
Europe for 3 months, riding in the lakes area of the UK, Ghent in Belgium, down to France and Como for a month.
Being in the one place for such a long time was a highlight. A riding friend, Michael Worden rented a house and so we rode pretty much every day and with it almost became residents. Certainly knew the people very well in certain coffee shops and gelateria’s!
Also organised 2 charity rides in SA as well as acted in a lead role for a ride to Melbourne for Canteen.
- How many bikes do you own and what is your main go to bike?
Main go to is a trek Madone, the travelling bike is a Domane, I have a retro steel framed Chesini purchased in Verona a while back and a cannondale that has been retired. It has climbed Ventoux and ridden the cobbles a bit so it deserves quality time in a paddock 🙂
- What bike do you covet?
Madone. Beautiful to ride.
- If you could live anywhere overseas, where would it be?
Italy. Como area (but not Como itself), closely followed by Bormio (for the town, riding is hard there as it’s either up big hills or down big hills) and having just visited Tuscany again I could cope being there too. South of France is nice too.
- Is there anything you can share with us that your cycling buddies wouldn’t know?
Nah, I’m pretty much an open book and the fact I get to travel and tell stories of life on the road they probably hear it all.
- If you could have dinner with 3 people in the cycling world, who would they be, why and where would you take them to eat?
Take them to the Watermark hotel – Redline sponsor of course and they would be driven there in a Toyota from CMI.
Ok, that said I have just finished a tour with UCT so I would take George Wilson and the other 2 riders that helped him – Dan Zuzolo and Kim Scott. We had a ball and shared a lot of laughs under trying conditions. The Italians do things differently so a simple task of getting ice for riders meant we were looked at rather oddly. Most places don’t even refrigerate the drinks. So logistically we faced many challenges.
- Have you had any nasty crashes? If so how did the worst occur and what were the consequences?
Not nasty but a broken collarbone in a charity ride I hosted last year. Not really ideal but I accept accidents happen – as organisers we just need to do all we can to minimise the risk.
- What is your favourite post ride coffee/tea spot in Adelaide, and what would you normally buy as a treat?
1. Watermark hotel
2. Europa at the bay on a Wednesday after riding with Charlie W and his crew of wily foxes!
- What cycling related thing would you like for your next birthday?
A Plane ticket
- Is there a local cycling outfit/company/cycling club/cycling group/person that you would like to plug?
Maybe not local but Redline kit has been made by Santini since 2010 and we now are about to do version 5 of the full kit. Also do a limited run of jerseys every year for a charity ride and I cannot fault the quality. Good to see trek pick up the lead and get their kit made in Bergamo too 🙂
- If you had 10 minutes with the incumbent State Premier, what would you tell them?
He needs to see the cycling infrastructure in Holland and Belgium and how this network of bike lanes and roads has eased congestion and made for a healthier population. Cycling there is culture, sadly in Adelaide it seems an afterthought. An afterthought driven often by misinformed media and other road users.
- What keeps you busy when your not riding?
Family – but I’m always riding
Thanks Stephen, keep up the great work with the Redline team.
till next time