By now you’ve probably read the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race reports... This is not another one.
Chatting to winner Peter Kennaugh, I realised that just like us, Pro’s just love riding their bikes.
Words and Images – Mike Boudrie
Now that La Velocita has grown into a recognised media channel, we qualified for official media access to the Cadel Road Race. This basically gave us access to all the riders and spots to get great photos etc.
What I was most excited about though, was just the opportunity to meet some of the best in the business…. Cadel, Cav, Gerro… and more.
Rolling up to the media room I could not help but feel slightly out of place with the pile of other journalists, all tweeting, getting articles ready, releasing pictures from their desks… After 10 minutes of looking through the materials and listening to the race online, I could not stand the excitement any more, I had to get out with the crowds.
The event was really well organised for the crowds, with multiple big screens and opportunities to move around the start/finish area and feed station. There was also the option of sitting in multiple trackside cafés to enjoy a coffee while the peloton powered past. Awesome.
Now, I’m sure you know that Peter Kennaugh from Team Sky came away with the win after an awesome attack on a circuit with some very unfriendly climbs. He put his head down and with the absolute grit he’s known for, he crossed the line just a few seconds ahead of the chasing group.
After the presentations I spoke with Peter about how the race went, what happened etc. Firstly, I could hardly believe I was getting the opportunity to chat with him. It’s becoming widely accepted that Peter is a serious talent. Someone to really watch, not just in the future, but right now.
When I spoke with Peter a few things he said really showed that even as a pro rider with instructions and team objectives, he has an underlying passion for riding his bike.
With a ‘free’ pass for this race I could hear the excitement in Peter’s voice as he said ”it is amazing to just race properly, for yourself, the feeling is just amazing. That’s why I do it”.
While riders like Peter are far ahead of most of us in what they can achieve on the bike, the things they love are similar to a lot of us. He spoke about how he loved "jumping on the bike, having a coffee and cracking on. And if you were at the front, you were at the front you just race”. This sounds very similar to riding that many of us do, whether it be in an official race, out with your mates or on a bunch ride.
Heading to the watch the pro’s made me realise again that we’re so lucky to be cyclists. It does not matter if you’re elite, just starting out or somewhere in between. You can get that feeling of pushing yourself to the limit, holding the wheel, or taking off the front. For most of us it’s not for money, or being on live TV, but the feeling, the excitement and the adrenaline are still there.
A huge thanks to Peter Kennaugh for being so generous with his time. I’ll be watching him closely this year.
And yes... getting to meet some of cycling's biggest names was enough to almost turn me into a gibbering mess!