Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Monday, July 25, 2011

From Paris to Robertson - via a bicycle

Despite a long history of largely ignoring cycling, Australian followers of sport, and the media generally are going crazy tonight because Cadel Evans is leading the Tour De France. As long as he stays upright on his bike and finishes the Tour, he will be declared the winner of the Tour de France tonight. If and when that occurs he will make history as the first Australian to win the Tour. Tradition has it that the wearer of the Yellow Jersey - the "Maillot Jaune" is not challenged in the final stage of the Tour.

My favourite barrista in Robertson, Daniel, who works at Cafe Pirouette is a keen cyclist. I mean a serious cyclist. His favourite ride is to go from north of Wollongong up into the Royal National Park, and back again, He loves the climbs up past Stanwell Tops, and then to rush back down again. We often talk about his rides. And we have, of course, been discussing Cadel's chances in the Tour this year. Daniel has never wavered in his belief that Cadel can do it.

By contrast to our faith in Cadel, my peony-growing friend Leo, (a fellow Blogger) in Canada is also a crazed cycling enthusiast. So much so that he has named a Peony after Alberto Contador. It is called Peony "Contador's Triple Crown". Leo had been actively supporting Contador's rides, but even Leo acknowledged that the great man had a hard task to beat Cadel this year. And, in fairness, Contador has had a tough season (having nearly exhausting himself earlier in the season, in winning the Giro d'Italia , and then some bad luck in the early stages. But even I was impressed (vastly impressed) with Contador's heroic ride in the last Alpine stage. Eventually Cadel and others caught up with him, and he was not quite able to hold on to the lead in the final few kilometres. But what a gutsy and honourable ride. I finally saw what my friend Leo has always seen in Contador - his champion qualities. He received official recognition as the "most combattive rider" on Stage 19 (the right to wear a red square with a white number on it - in his case number 1 - as winner from last year). Anyway, two days ago Leo told me that he thought Cadel Evans would win this years Tour de France.

But back to Cadel and Australia. 
What is the Robertson connection? 
Well, Daniel bought himself a new bike this last year. And he bought it from Brad McGee's bike shop, in Bowral. Brad McGee is currently a directeur sportif for Team Saxo Bank-SunGard. That happens to be Contador's team.

None-the-less Australian loyalties come to the fore tonight. So lets focus on the "Six Degrees of Separation" theme here.
  1. Daniel pours my morning Coffee at Cafe Pirouette in Robertson.
  2. He bought his bike from Brad McGee's bike shop in Bowral.
  3. Brad McGee is a sporting Director of Saxo Bank team.
  4. Alberto Contador rides for that team.
  5. My fellow Peony enthusiast Leo has named  a Peony after Contador.
  6. Contador's greatest rival this year has been Cadel Evans - an Aussie.
  7. Cadel Evans is about to win the Tour de France.
Lets wish Cadel Evans all the best in the final stage of the 2011 Tour de France.

Influence of the Tour de France. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of cyclists riding about in the Southern Highlands in the last few weeks. And the new Pharmacist in town, Nick has been known to ride to Robertson on his road bike too.

Personal Disclaimer: Although I own a bicycle, I seldom ride it. It does feature on my Blog masthead, though - with a pair of Brown Cuckoo-doves sitting on the handlebars.

PS: I have written to Leo advising him that I have mentioned him in my Blog (I try to warn my friends if I do that) Blogging etiquette.
I have mentioned to Leo that everything I know about the Tour (admittedly not much) I have learnt because of him - over the years.


Glenn Krone said...

Very nice story Denis! I have just discovered your blog.
I suspect that by similar degrees of separation many can say that they are linked to Cadel Evans! Because I live one valley away from you, I can now say I have a link with Cadel via Alberto, Leo, Brad & Daniel. Winner!
Can I suggest another local website? :

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Glenn - welcome aboard.
Happy to post a link to Julie's website.
It is by sharing eachother's links that we spread the word further.
Thanks for telling me about it.