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.
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.
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.
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.
Seriously photogenic. How does she do it?
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…
…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.
Sabrina Stultiens and Pauliena Rooijakkers hanging out with Jethro from the Midland Bravo Team. I said I would get this photo for you, Jethro.
Le Tour has Didi. We have Crikey Cadel.
One more to the bunny ear tally for Erin, however you can just see Shannon getting one in there. The war is truly on.
Annemiek hanging out with the South Perth Rouleurs before her start. She was giving them tips – and posing to the camera.
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.
And she was enjoying it herself, as well!
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!
Jess Allen. Finger Guns. Great fun with the Joondalup Cycle City Girls.
Grace Brown through the fencing just after the depart. They were the last team to depart.
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.
Small celebration from the Dome Coffees Racing rider coming through the same point. They eventually finished 3rd, 31 seconds behind Veris.
Monique Van De Ree, riding for the TOMR Directors Team, giving us a small wave. She looks like a butterfly in this photo!
Even the pros need a push sometimes. Gotta give it to Holden, they absolutely smashed it today.
Monique was as focused as ever on the ride today, helping out her team.
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.
…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 Facebook, Instagram, 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!