There seems more and more that the avid TV sports watching community is being joined by the many “would be” world travellers to the view the breathe taking scenery and basic historical commentary that now accompanies the live coverage daily.
We are amazed at the kaleidoscope of team colours in skin tight lycra on bodies of all shapes and sizes where legs are not measured in muscle size but by the pain they can endure, apply and inflict to other riders on the road. Like the old saying “it is not to the size of the dog that determines the fight but the size of the fight in the dog”.
With onset of Australian Riders becoming prominent in the tour the interest in the Bendigo community is increasing each year. Only the good Lord knows when we will see the seed bed of world class cyclists from Bendigo take a stage win or don the “Maillot Jaune” the coveted Yellow Jersey or be a respected “Domestique” working for a team win. It could well be that we see the “Maillot Blanc” the White Jersey for the highest placed under 25 rider being the stepping stone for greater things. Or we can hope to hear a well known Bendigonians gain world renown as the “Prix de combativite`” the most aggressive rider for each stages who gets a number with white number of red background instead of the black on white. The Bendigo Cycling Community has that potential to produce all this and much more.
The tour certainly has an impact on the recreational cycling scene across the world whether it be in the wearing of team colours or the purchase of a team bike brand to the side walk coffee shops creating a stage winning atmosphere where the truth will never get in the road of a good story being shared. Bendigo is blessed to have access to some of the best climate conditions and access to roads to produce tour class riders.
We have the hills names that you wont hear in the commentary such as the “Snake Eye”, “The Scenic”, “The Juvenile” or “Goose Neck” and the classic “Mattress Hill” and some that cant be printed because of the connotation that they conjure up in creating pain on the body. Bendigo has an abundance of colourful characters that can make any ride as remember-able as the tour itself as the pace line or echelon works its way around the renown cycling haunts.
The local battles in good nature and jest on the road like trying to keep the half wheeling toad at bay or cover the sit on sprinter for their moment of glory all make for our own little piece of tour history (in their minds). While we may not have the live coverage the replayed commentary at the coffee shops is not to be missed.