Sunday, July 1, 2012


The Tour of Austria|s 1st etappe ,  masquerading as an alternative to the  " Le Tour " , is being run in the area of Innsbruck today . With 18 teams of 8  racers doing 3 circuits of what amounts to a Time Trial circuit , there was an immediate breakaway group formed  at the 0 km banner which was on the gradient leading towards the Brennero Pass and Italia .

Living 41 km from Innsbruck i was delighted to arrive at the Rummerhof , that houses BMC , Movistar and other teams in under the hour ! Guess a following wind helps , but i hope it has turned after the 3 circuits of the course i plan to ride , amounting to a day of 200 +kms  by the time i struggle home ! A circuit before the racers put in an appearance gave me the opportunity to select the vantage points for photos . As it turned out the local TV used the same vicinity , so i was told that the bike and Oz flag were televised . Following the racers over the route became quite hazardous since cars would pass me and then get stopped causing me to make emergency swerves ! One clown passed me as i was slowing for the stop sign , where was i supposed to go !

Yesterday i played tourist in that when i joined a trio of cyclists out of Innsbruck near Worgl , i decided to ride back to Innsbruck with them and scout out the course for today . Paceline was tight so we were averaging in the 40+kph , again with a following wind until the last 10km . At the main rail station there are new buildings so the old tourist office has dissappeared . Asking several taxi drivers the location proved to be a waste of time , god help the train passenger relying on them ! Next i tried the Old City and received the same attitude that " Georgethecyclist "referred to in Belgium ! The tourist Office had to go to the internet  to find any info , then they still could not locate the start area . Tried the bike shop Z , next , it was a few minutes to 12 noon but they were uninterested since i was not buying ! Can you believe they want to sell bikes but cannot be bothered with the Tour of Austria ! Guess there will be fewer clients buying with that attitude .

Along the road was the Polizei so they referred me to another station where they showed me on the map the area they would be cordonimg on Sunday .

After a circuit this morning i arrived back in time to get the Racers list and discovered Tim Roe and Ben Hall were listed to race . Had the chance to speak to both . Acqua and Sapone are fielding three heavyweights from earlier years , Stefano Garzelli , Massimo Codol ande Danilo Di Luca with whom i had a chat  at their team bus , after having greeting them at the sign on .

Having made two circuits i am now at the Ramada Inn having a short breaki before heading for the Ziel and no doubt will get to greet a few racers as they finish !

As it proved , the wind from the east turned into stormy conditions and the ride homeward turned into a nightmare . Even though there were flashes of lightning on the horizon i arrived home thanks to some help without getting a soaking . Salzburg area was reported to have been hit by " Golfball size Hailstones ", guess there will be a number of damaged cars on the market soon !

1 comment:

  1. Hi Skippy,
    best regards from "the helpers" and thanks for the present to Anton. He needs the bottle every bike tour...

    Take care,