12 March 2010

Breakaway success

Two brave Smokkelaars decided to break away early Saturday morning and test their legs alone over the 160km Tour Down Under route. 'The Chief' brought the experience, 'The Kidd' brought the enthusiasm. Could they do it together? Could two riders survive 16okm, Fox Creek ... and the wind on their own? Gorge Road was crisp and cool in the early morning and the miles passed easily toward the base of Fox Creek Road. The pain is inevitable but like ping-balls in a flushing toilet, the duo can't be kept down and soon the faded KOM line is crossed - points to the Kidd. Quiet roads, still morning, beautiful views and nice speeds ... can it get any better. Lenswood, Nairne, Mount Barker fly past with Chief promising the long descent into Strath makes it all worth while. He's not lying and soon the duo are re-fuelling at the 'feed zone' aided by the 'Team Car' (see photo to prove it) and supported by the screaming fans (Kiddlettes), before the call of the road draws them southward again ... or is that the abuse and heckling of the Strath locals (Smokkelaars are about as welcome in Strath as Valverde is in Italy it seems). Tailwind and tight teamwork makes the run to Langhorn a high-speed affair ... did we burn too much too early??? As the pair swing right on the road toward Milang the ghosts of nightmares past surface in the mind of the Chief ... the headwind hurts already. A wise old guru once said the "knowledge is power" in the two-wheeled world and the Chief's has all the power of having done this before. Chief has the mind power and Kidd has the leg power and some wheel to wheel riding and gutsy determination sees the breakaway maintain 26-30km until Finnis where Chief promises it will end. Heart's drop and plans change as the duo realise that while the winds were not quite as strong as at Tour their direction is tougher and there is no let-up ... the headwind persists all the way until the last 8kms into Goolwa. The continued headwind past Finnis takes it's toll on an underdone Chief and the last 40 mins are a tough grind, but you all know the Smokkelaars motto - start together, finish together and the pair knuckle down to find ride tempo until the wind shifts. The joy of Chief's Langhorn Sprint win seems forever ago and each km seems take a little longer than the last. It takes a crazy wide-load caravan to nearly kill Kidd (Chief says less than 6 inches at 100kmh) to spark Chief's energy and humour as he questions the colour of Kidd's chamois. Finally the road turn and the headwind abates and the final run into Goolwa brings relief. There is no finish arch, no photographer and no crowds but the cheering from the Team Car and the scent of the Goolwa Bakery brings smiles and joy and lightens the legs all the same. The cabana makes an appearance and once Chief can remove the grimace and feign a smile the official celebration photo is taken. Mission accomplished. Chief curses Kidd and lack of training all the way home. Kidd is still high with the excitement of having 'done it'. Stage 2, 3 and 5 routes next. Stay tuned


Van Dutch said...

Well done Matt

skipper said...

Arrivier.... Or some such French saying that celebrates the show of determination and reporting . Tight lines par a duos! Skip