Photos of the Peloton: 2018 TDU Unley Start

Wednesday’s stage into Stirling was stinking hot. 37 degrees in the air, the tarmac temperature was nearing 45 degrees. I was down before the race started, and by 11am on my way into Stirling the mercury had already maxed out and casual riders were diving for cover.

Like the stage before it, Will Clarke (EF-Drapac), Nick Dlamini (Dimension Data) and Scott Bowden (UniSA) made up the day’s breakaway. They were joined by Jaime Castrillo (Movistar) as well, and the front group of 4 got a lead out to 5 minutes. At the KoM in Tea Tree Gully, it was again Dlamini who took out the honours, but not before a Scott Bowden charge. After the KoM, Dlamini retreated back to the peloton, leaving 3 out front. Through the two Sprint points, Bowden tried to get a jump on Will Clarke, but failed on both attempts. Will Clarke with the sprint point time bonuses was the virtual leader on the road, and both dropped back to the peloton once the day’s points were dried up.

This left Jaime Castrillo – a former U23 Spanish TT Champion – alone in the Stirling heat for around 50km. He passed through the finish line solo on the first two laps, but was caught with 15km to go. Back in the peloton, Steve Morobito (FDJ) suffered a crash in the pack, dislocating his shoulder. However, he popped it back in, got back on, and made it back to the bunch. Heading into the final bumps, stage 1 winner Andre Greipel found himself out the back of the peloton, giving Mitchelton a chance to catapult sprinter Caleb Ewan. Impey launched the sprint into Stirling for Ewan, and managed to get the Aussie his first victory at this year’s race. Impey hung on for second behind McCarthy, Sagan and Haas, rounding out the top 5.

See my pictures from the Unley start of Stage 2 below!

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Nathan Haas (Katusha) looking like an absolute boss, even in 37C heat. A favourite for the undulating stage into Stirling, he eventually finished 5th.

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Alex Edmonson (Mitchelton) was a fan favourite after his Nats win a week earlier. Signing jerseys, taking pictures, and having a yarn with the crowd, the only one who was more active on the barriers was veteran Mat Hayman!

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Youngsters Sam Oomen and Chris Hamilton (Sunweb) getting prepared for the day ahead. One would be more used to the heat than the other.

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DDD riders posing for photos before the start. 1 selfie for 3 riders seems like a good deal to me.

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Maurits Lammertink (Katusha) getting some pre-ride fuel into him. He thoroughly enjoyed that banana.

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Alex Frame (Trek) getting ready for the race. We had a good chat about whether summer knicks (good for heat) or all-weather knicks (good for avoiding sunburn) were better in this weather. We both chose summer knicks – you can always put on more sunscreen!

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Egan Bernal (Sky) making a call before the stage. Not only do they have their names on their backs, but they also have them on their phones!

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The Quickstep team getting prepped with a full on picnic and a motivational speech from Elia Viviani before the stage.

I hope you enjoyed this mini gallery. It’s a lot smaller than what I usually do, but I feel like the photos are much better quality than they used to be. I’ll be on the roadside taking photos on Saturday by the Salopian Inn in McLaren Vale, so if you spot me, say hi!

~The Cycling Raven

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Photos of the Peloton: TOMR Stages 3 + 4

It was 10pm when I got home yesterday so I didn’t have the time to upload it on the day, but it’s done now. What a whirlwind trip, and it’s not something I’ll forget. Here are my favourite photos from Sunday’s Stage 3 and 4 of the Tour!

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The cow went around the start line at Stage 3. The girl rode the sportives earlier in the week, stayed, took some photos, and got some autographs. I saw her talk to Anouska a lot – Anouska was amazingly sociable with everyone.

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I also managed to grab a quick snap myself with the WM3 team. Absolutely loved my time with them this week, and I hope to catch up with them at the TDU.

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Shannon Malseed got prime real estate on the cow – on the bum. Stole the spot from Erin (although she did apparently put an asterisk under the tail!)

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Holden Team Photo. I have no idea what Kimberly found hilarious – maybe the height difference between Lisen and Emma?

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Grace and Erin on a cheat day. Maybe it helped, considering Grace ended up winning Stage 3 and the Individual Classification of the race.

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Annemiek rallying the troops just before the start. Everyone loved her, and with her being on the SPR team, she got around with a lot of people. Where there was Annemiek, there were 5 people on her tail.

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Stage 3 finished on top of the Mur du Hay. Looking at the profile, I didn’t think it would be awfully tough. However, once hiking my way to the top, I saw how tough it was. Michael Freiberg made it look easy though.

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Marianne Vos rounding the last corner of the Mur du Hay. She even kicked up a little sprint up the final kicker!

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And the only thing some people were kicking up the Mur Du hay was their bike. This unlucky rider punctured on the climb, and had the long walk up to finish the stage. He got back on for the time trial, though.

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The D Grade Drag Race to determine the winner of the stage. Jayden Waters of Cyclemania (middle) ended up winning the stage.

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Robbie struggled on the climbs, something you expect from a sprinter!

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Anouska Koster and Luke Durbridge finished together up the Mur du Hay. Not often do you get to see the Women’s and Men’s peloton together, let alone 2 pro’s going at it. Anouska won the race to the top.

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Grace Brown really found form on the stage, smashing the Mur du hay and taking the win. Someone even wrote Holden on the road!

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Jeanne Korevaar soaking in the Australian sun on her spin up the hill. They all make it look so easy.

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Erin, last time I checked, you were racing! Apparently Crikey Cadel is the #HoldenWomensRacingCroc. Sorry, BMC.

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The Stage 4 Team Time Trial was a windy 42km down Balingup-Nannup Road. I hit in the bushes to get a few photos of the start, before having to bolt for the finish.

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Marianne Vos is so photogenic on the bike. Absolutely amazing form and technique, and that European Champ jersey photographs well!

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Brooksy found a dugite on the stage as well. 2 meters long. Gotta be safe from the wildlife out here!

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At the finish of the TTT, everyone cheered for these 2 Northern Beaches riders. Last on every stage, they still made it over the line, hand in hand. Astonishing effort over the 3 days in the brutal heat and the undulating terrain.

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Erin hoisting the Champions trophy after Holden won the women’s edition of the race. If my pictures of Erin this week haven’t told you enough about her, what can I say? She is a funny, kind person, who loves a bit of banter and a joke. I don’t think I got a serious photo of Erin all week, but those characters make cycling. Serious on the inside, funny on the outside.

I had an absolute ball at the Tour of Margaret River this year. It’s a shame it went so fast and now I’m back into normality (and exams). However, 12 months will fly by, and I’ll be down there once again. I hope you all enjoyed my coverage of the race. The Tour really re-invigorated my love for cycling, because races like these remind you of how beautiful the sport of cycling is. You never get to be this intimate with professionals in any other sport, and that’s the glory of it. Until next time, I’m out.

If you would like to use my photos for anything, or would like full size images, please message me directly. Credit-wise, just leaving The Cycling Raven along side any photos you use will be greatly appreciated, and if you are feeling extra ambitious, drop a link by to the blog site – I’ll love you for it! Thanks so much!

 

 

Photos of the Peloton: TOMR Stage 2

Today’s stage out of Nannup to Greenbushes was quite difficult, according to a lot of the riders. An early break of 6, including Linfield, broke away just after the first climb up the Brockman Highway, and quickly distanced the bunch. Linfield was one of the first riders onto the move, and was joined by his compatriots. A couple of riders fell off the back in the descent into Maranup just before the penultimate Kindalee Hill.

As the riders were rounding the final couple of kilometers up into Greenbushes, Linfield made his move. Coming into the final corner with 200m to go, there was daylight between him and the chasing 4, and Linfield had enough time to salute the Greenbushes crowd before taking his team’s first win of the week. “The boys have only been together for 2 weeks before this race, so any result is a good result,” Linfield said at the finish.

In the women’s event, it was once again Holden dominating the rest of the field. Kimberly Wells led the attacks for the Australian outfit, starting 8km into the stage. After being caught 4km later, Lisen Hockings launched herself to a strong lead. With South Perth Rouleurs leading a strong chase, Emma Pooley capitalised on the increased momentum in the bunch and launched herself, bridging to Hockings.

On the final climb into Greenbushes, Grace Brown took off. Teammate Shannon Malseed followed shortly after, launching from the top of the climb with 500m to go. Emma Pooley got the win on the line, while Hockings finished with Pooley for 2nd, Brown 3rd 40 seconds behind and Malseed 4th about a minute back. “It was pretty hot out there today, and the final climb was brutal,” said Pooley, “but I’m just relieved that the day is done.”

Now that the stage recap is done for the day, here are my favourite photos from today!

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Luke Durbridge was giving an interview to Cycliq before the stage today. Talked about his ambitions in 2018 (classics season), road safety, and Caleb Ewan.

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Sabrina Stultiens also gave an interview to Cycliq, talking about the wildlife and the Australian roads.

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Annemiek van Vleuten before today’s start. She had a good yarn with Jess Allen before getting ready for the stage.

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Jess Allen just before rolling out today. An amazing person to talk to, and will always lend an ear to hear anything. Super humble about her own achievements, and loves talking up others (thanks for the thanks about CyclingTips today!).

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Michael Freiberg before the start. Today, the who’s-who of the race got their early and rolled around for a bit before the stage, and chatted between each other.

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Lisen Hockings, looking up at the right time. I stood there for a few minutes waiting for this shot. Absolutely in love with her jersey.

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The King Kom Boys getting ready – as requested by Anjii Coleman!

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The best sign on the route today. Crikey Cadel the Crocodile was up the road a bit further, 5km out from the finish in Greenbushes at the top of Kirralee Hill.

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RIP Crikey Cadel.

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Matt Keenan commentating the stage finish in his lycra from his morning Breakaway ride. We had a good yarn about his early career, uni life and cycling journalism. So knowledgeable, and a great inspiration for me and anyone else in the field.

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Bradley Linfield took out the stage today. His name might sound familiar – he tore up the Junior Circuit back in 2011, beating riders such as Pierre Latour, Matej Mohoric, Magnus Cort and Alexey Vermuelen. He was supposed to be the next big thing before illness struck. He’s getting back on form now, and dominated today’s stage.

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More Matt Keenan on the mic. He knows how to get the crowd going too.

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Midland Alpha and Veris Development sprinting it out on the line for 6th place. Midland got up, and Tim Harvey claimed the Young Riders Jersey.

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Pauliena Rooijakkers finishing up in Greenbushes.

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Calling out Bernie Swart for the best celebration of the day – even though he didn’t win anything!

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Some riders were just cruising over the line…

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…and others, like good Marco here, watched the pain from the sidelines after finishing earlier.

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A painful grimace from some of the riders truly told how harsh the weather and the final climb was.

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Emma Pooley won the Women’s race. Holden went 1-2-3-4. Domination.

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My favourite photo of the day. One of Jess Allen’s Joondalup Cycle City team mates sprinting for the line, as Jess peels off her lead out. True teamwork.

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Annemiek celebrating one of her team mates sprinting to the line, after dropping off the pace. She helped her up the climbs, and let her take center stage as she sprinted to the line, cheering for her and getting the crowd into a whirl.

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And, as Anouska Koster demonstrates here, refueling your body after a race is very important. I think she enjoyed that banana a lot.

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And once the race was over, and the presentations done, some of the riders were itching to get back on the bikes and ride home. The pro’s congregated outside and led the people out, taking various routes back to Nannup.

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Luke Durbridge, Rotem Gafinotivz, Jess Allen, Anouska Koster and Marianne Vos led this ride back, while some teams like Holden almost time trialled back home.

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It was a great day out at Greenbushes. It’s great at these events to see the community being able to interact with the pro’s so intimately. It’s what cycling is about. And then once the day was done, everyone packed up and moved on, eager for tomorrow.

If you want to see more photos and content from this week, be sure to check out the Tour of Margaret River FacebookInstagram, and of course my twitter. Tomorrow is the last day of racing, can’t wait to see who comes out on top!

If you would like to use my photos for anything, or would like full size images, please message me directly. Credit-wise, just leaving The Cycling Raven along side any photos you use will be greatly appreciated, and if you are feeling extra ambitious, drop a link by to the blog site – I’ll love you for it! Thanks so much!

Photos of the Peloton: TOMR Stage 1

Today’s Stage 1 at the Tour of Margaret River was a great spectacle. With a small group ride beforehand, and then the racing started. While my day started with me locking myself out of my room at 6am, it ended with more amazing experiences. Here are my favourite 22 photos from today’s stage.

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Anouska is one of the best ‘fan-interacters’ that I’ve seen in any sport. She is always chatting to people – young or old – and just loves sharing experiences. She took autographs and photos just after the VosMax ride finished today.

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Another group of people who are great in front of the camera are the Holden Women’s Team. With a bit of Aussie banter behind them, they never fail to see the funny side in things. And the war is ongoing, much to Lisen’s shock when she rocked up today.

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Marianne Vos is riding with the EY-1 team (Luke Durbridge is riding with EY-2), and they stopped for a group photo before setting out on their TT. They finished 6 minutes behind the eventual winners, Veris Men’s Development Team.

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Seriously photogenic. How does she do it?

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Matt Keenan and Robbie McEwen were on the commentary today. This smile from Matt today just goes to show how amazing these guys really are. There was lots of banter from the commentary box today…

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…and they were joined by the marvelous Stuart O’Grady as well. Absolutely fantastic characters today, and provided a lot of entertainment to the 700+ riders and their families.

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Sabrina Stultiens and Pauliena Rooijakkers hanging out with Jethro from the Midland Bravo Team. I said I would get this photo for you, Jethro.

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Le Tour has Didi. We have Crikey Cadel.

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One more to the bunny ear tally for Erin, however you can just see Shannon getting one in there. The war is truly on.

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Annemiek hanging out with the South Perth Rouleurs before her start. She was giving them tips – and posing to the camera.

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SPR Womens 3 Group Photo with their star rider Annemiek van Vleuten. Apparently it was a tough day on the road for them, but Annemiek made it an unforgettable experience.

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And she was enjoying it herself, as well!

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Riejanne Markus hanging out with her Northern Beaches Cycling Club Team just before they rolled out. She is full of charisma and got along really well with her team – the team was really nervous beforehand from what I heard as well!

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Jess Allen. Finger Guns. Great fun with the Joondalup Cycle City Girls.

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Grace Brown through the fencing just after the depart. They were the last team to depart.

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The Pedal Mafia Squad on the road about 7km out from the finish. Lots of sore bodies at this stage in the 33C heat, and the team was down to 4 men at this stage.

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Small celebration from the Dome Coffees Racing rider coming through the same point. They eventually finished 3rd, 31 seconds behind Veris.

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Monique Van De Ree, riding for the TOMR Directors Team, giving us a small wave. She looks like a butterfly in this photo!

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Even the pros need a push sometimes. Gotta give it to Holden, they absolutely smashed it today.

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Monique was as focused as ever on the ride today, helping out her team.

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Holden about 4km out from the finish, just before the last final climb. They found a good tempo and stuck to it, according to Erin Kinnealy.

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…and they brought it home with the win. 7 minutes ahead of any other team in the Women’s Category, and 11th in Open. However, if you were to ask Erin, she would say that they could have snuck a top 10 if they didn’t get held up in traffic back in town!

I interviewed Erin Kinnealy (Holden) after the race, just to hear what she thought of today’s stage:

CR: First of all, enjoying the rides?

EK: Loving them! The country town feel in Nannup is such a nice change of pace. Also, everyone out here is lovely.

CR: How about the weather?

EK: It’s a bit of the shock to the system. Most of the team have come from Victoria where it’s been cold. We were throwing ice down our back at the start line, but it just kept on melting. At the finish line, I had a look at my Garmin and it had a tarmac temperature reading of 42.8C – it was bloody hot today!

CR: A lot of teams blew up in the heat today, especially on those final 10km of undulations back down Mowen Road. How did you guys keep it together?

EK: We used quick rotations along the downhills to build some momentum and to keep the speed up (Note: They were hitting up to 87kmh on some of the downhills, I was in the following car). Once the climb starts, we keep the speed of the rotations up until we run out of momentum.

From there, we click into each other’s rhythm. It took us about 30km to get used to each other (Emma Pooley doesn’t usually ride with Holden), but once we found it, it was business as usual.

Once we passed the 1km sign, it was a wave of relief, and a bit of an oh-my-gosh moment before we really had to hammer it home and let the shackles go.

CR: You won your division by over 7 minutes. Could you have gone faster?

EK: We could have snuck into the top 10 if we didn’t get held up by a few cars down the main street of Nannup!


If you want to see more photos and content from this week, be sure to check out the Tour of Margaret River FacebookInstagram, and of course my twitter, which is being used as the official race twitter. A great first day of racing – luckily incident-free! My report will be up on CyclingTips tomorrow. Cycliq has also provided us with some amazing on-the-bike footage, which we will be sharing on the social media streams. Until tomorrow, see ya!

If you would like to use my photos for anything, or would like full size images, please message me directly. Credit-wise, just leaving The Cycling Raven along side any photos you use will be greatly appreciated, and if you are feeling extra ambitious, drop a link by to the blog site – I’ll love you for it! Thanks so much!

Photos of the Peloton: TOMR VosMax in Kirup

I have been fortunate enough to take some amazing photos while down at the Tour of Margaret River. Here is a small collection from today’s VosMax Sportive Ride, which was a 60km loop around the town of Kirup, stopping in Donnybrook along the way. It was a very good day, compared to the struggling heat of the 115km ride yesterday out to Manjimup and back. More pros came along for today’s ride as they were trickling in, including Jessica Allen, Robbie McEwen and Matt Keenan.

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Matt Keenan getting ready for the ride. I walked into the coffee shop (Lady Marmalade, highly recommended) to grab a brew for me and our video guy, Marco, and Robbie and Matt were sitting in fresh from their flights. I was trying so hard to not freak out – Matt is my absolute idol. It was great to meet them both finally. Thanks for sitting with me today and having a good chat, I hope we can talk more in the future!

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Robbie McEwen having a chat with Jessica Allen just before the start. About Robbie, he is such an amazing guy with an uncanny ability to read the pack and lead the ride like he did today.

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Riejanne Markus of WM3, sitting on the playground at Donnybrook. We stopped by the Big Apple Playground to top up bottles and have a yarn. Some of the guys even got onto the playground (photos later!)

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Anouska Koster of WM3 Cycling (if you haven’t seen my interview with her, it’s here!) smiling on the roadside just outside Donnybrook where the group bunched up before hitting the highway. Such a bubbly character, and quite talkative!

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Monique Van De Ree of Lares-Waowdeals (moving to WM3 in 2018) just outside of Donnybrook. I rode beside her for a bit of the first VosMax ride before my derailleur decided to have a break. Taught everyone how to play Skip-Bo, including me!

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Erin Kinnealy of Holden Racing Team. What a character – she would be reincarnated as a comedian she is that funny. You will never catch her without her GoPro, and always makes everything a fun and enjoyable experience (she would make the desert seem like paradise).

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Shannon “Dash” Malseed getting one back on Erin after she got bunny-ear’d on the group photo yesterday. Apparently there is now a war in the Holden Camp.

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Emma Pooley enjoying her time on these monkey bar things at the Donnybrook Playground. When I tried to do it, my feet touched the ground.

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Sabrina Stultiens of Sunweb (going to WM3 in 2018) taking a selfie with another rider. She then later helped push a rider up a hill with Pauliena Rooijakkers, showing what cycling is truly about.

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Marianne Vos of WM3 – 11 time World Champion and current European Champion. While everyone else was playing Skip-Bo, she was reading the race guide. A head full of knowledge, but also a kind spirit who is great to have a chat with.

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Rotem Gafinovitz of WM3 by the roadside. A quiet character, but as with everyone down here this week, absolutely amazing to talk to.

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Marianne showing off her CX skills at the playground. Truly talented rider.

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People were having too much fun in that playground. Looking at you, Erin.

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Jeanne Korevaar of WM3 before the start today. Everyone was very social before the ride today, the way it should be for a sportive.

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Erin and her camera. Find me a more iconic duo. I’ll wait.

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Pauliena Rooijakkers of Parkhotel-Valkenburg (moving to WM3 in 2018) getting out of the saddle on the hilly roll into Donnybrook. This was quite a sharp pinch.

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The back of the bunch just cresting the pinch.

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I said that Sabrina and Pauliena helped push someone up the final climb. Jen was struggling up the climb, but with a couple of helping hands and a bit of drafting, they all made it home safely. Great to see everyone working together and everyone being so supportive.

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Marianne Vos post-ride at Greenbushes Primary. There are 22 students in total at this school, and the whole WM3 team visited to chat with the kids about what it’s like being a pro cyclist. It was a really great experience for everyone, and something I hope those kids (and the team) never forget.

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Monique and Sabrina also at the primary school.

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Rotem showing off the bike to the kids. She took it for a spin and almost crashed in the drain pipe while trying a full sprint. No harm done.

If you want to see more photos and content from this week, be sure to check out the Tour of Margaret River Facebook, Instagram, and of course my twitter. It’s been a great week so far, and the racing starts tomorrow, so keep an eye out here for race reports and other content! There will be on board footage as well, courtesy of Cycliq!

If you would like to use my photos for anything, or would like full size images, please message me directly. Credit-wise, just leaving The Cycling Raven along side any photos you use will be greatly appreciated, and if you are feeling extra ambitious, drop a link by to the blog site – I’ll love you for it! Thanks so much!