Josep Jufré — The Tour Down Under: Travel, hotel and transport

    • Filled in News in English 21 Январь 2010 в 1:17, author: KazakhNeRider
    • Views: 10 560.

    Jufré , TDU Stage 2

    The Tour Down Under: Travel, hotel and transport

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    Today I’m going to tell you a little about how things are organized so that they’re able to make it convenient for everybody and so that everything goes well, since the race was very similar to yesterday, Greipel even won again.

    So, the first job that the organization has is travel. What’s the first problem that they run into? Being able to reserve the necessary seats, since here in Australia it’s summer, and that means vacations. Besides, we riders and and directors practically all flew from Europe and in first class. That means that in each flight there are fewer seats. Unfortunately, for the support staff, since it’s a ProTour race, the organization stopped putting them in first class and now they’re traveling in tourist. Anyway, they were already starting to reserve tickets in the month of August. There are usually three or four teams per flight. We make up 17 ProTour teams, and in consequence, it takes four or five days for us all to arrive and they have to plan on another five for us to be able to depart.

    The hotel is always the Hilton Adelaide, a great hotel in the city center. It works out very well since we all fit: organizers and all the teams. At mealtime they outfit a big banquet roon with a buffet especially for cyclists and an accomodating schedule so that, in the end, every team and/or rider can more or less choose when to eat.

    This hotel also works out well since there’s a green space just in front that allows them to put up a big tent, and in it each team sets up shop, to store equipment and so the mechanics can work. They’ve also taken advantage of this tent to make a Village with some shops related to cycling and the Tour Down Under. Overall, when we get back from the race, it’s very full of people, since that’s a time when the rest of the people are allowed in.

    Next step: transport. The organization puts the familiar Skoda RS car and a Volkswagon Transporter van with seven seats at the disposal of the teams. It’s funny because during the race it’s hard to tell which one is your team’s car. They’re all alike, white, so we tell them apart by looking for the director, or looking at the car’s roof rack to see what bikes they’ve got, or also looking for the team-sponsorship decals that they put on the doors.

    Besides this, the organization also provides massage tables, prepares the bidons, the drinks, a cafeteria in the Village, and at the hotel washes our clothes for us, etc.

    And finally I’m going to tell you how we go to the start line. You check the start time the day before, and when we’re already at the Village there’s a man from the organization who warns us in the last 15, 10 and 5 minutes before the start, so when it’s time to go we’re already on our vehicles. The police obviously position themselves in front and accompany us to the start line, all in a row and well-guarded.

    The funny thing is, we never stop at the stoplights, because the police who’re going ahead in the car have like a remote control that turns the lights green every time we come to an intersection with a light, until the last vehicle has gone through. At ordinary intersections the police on motos go forward and stop the traffic. We save a lot of time this way and nobody arrives late or gets lost.

    That’s it for today. Tomorrow we expect a stage with an interesting finish, a final circuit where we go past the finish line three times, with a tough arrival where there might be smalls gaps. The temperatures are also expected to go up quite a bit. In fact, Adelaide will be about 40° in the shade. On the bike and with the sun, I don’t want to tell you how many degrees we will reach.

    Stay well,
    Josep Jufré Pou (Rider for Astana)

    English translation -

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