2001 Schools Tour
DAY TWO ....stage 3
The peace and quiet of sleepy Port Elliot is about to be broken as racing moves to the rural roads surrounding this quaint
seaside village. Yes THE tour is in town and the riders are ready to race as day two opens with a road race. It's a sort of
an up and down the same road with a sprint at the end for everyone except the "A" grade men who will head up them thar hills
climbing to dizzy heights before descending at break neck speed to the finish line. It certainly is a beautiful setting here
with the sun warming up a treat and the views are just fabulous. It's so quiet you could hear a pin drop, that is until the "A"
Grade Ladies Social Club" get going. Yes I can hear them coming. What do they find to talk about. There's definately not a boy
in sight. I decide to cheer them on hopefully to encourage them to do better things. "Come on ladies, lets go racing" I yell from the
safety of the roadside as they head west. Didn't do much good, maybe they didn't hear me I think. Minutes later they are back,
heading east. "Come on ladies, lets go racing" I yell again. Oops. The "Social Club" is definately not impressed by that. I earn
a scowl from the leader of the pack, so I'll give that away next time round. Hell, they may even decide to stop, get off their bikes
and give me a good hiding, after all they're a pretty tough looking lot and the leader of the pack looks as though she won't put up
with any monkey business.
Oh well, here comes another group and wouldn't you guess it, another prang and down go three riders.
Thankfully they are all on their feet quickly and off chasing the bunch. Ah ha, the "A" and "B" men are on the road and setting a
very steady pace. The "B" men are racing as they don't have to climb the Crows Nest Road but the "A" men do, so they are keeping tabs
on each other. I will be following the "A" men part way up the hill climb [I won't be going to the turnaround as its a narrow road
used as a high speed short cut by many a lunatic leadfoot] and then I can catch them on the way down. Its the turning point for these
guys because the climb is very steep and really suits a climber and that is spelt Luke Bossy, Mr Mountain Goat. Luke kills off the
opposition and the tour by climbing superbly and then descending in the same fashion to win on his own. Others to do well are Michael
Fountas, Scott Brown and Mrs Braithwaite [sorry Rene`].
DAY TWO ....stage 4
This is it, the last stage a criterium in Victor Harbour the jewel of the south. This is one stage that will start and finish on time.
That's because its a road closure and Council demands it is run between agreed, specified times and that is to start at 1:30 and finish
at 3:00pm, which is just what happens. Now if you thought road racing was dicey then this is the pinacle of racing on the edge for criteriums
are definately fraught with danger as some of the riders will soon find out as bang, crash, they hit the bitumen. The racing though is very
entertaining as a lack of experience is replaced by sheer guts in many riders. I'll give the schoolies their dues, they are a tough lot, even
when they come up cut and grazed. A great example of this is Luke Wright who hits the deck bad in the "A" Mens but remounts the bike and then
catches the bunch and goes on to win. Now thats guts! The "A" Grade Ladies Social Club" is having their final social gathering and are as busy
as ever. I give em heaps but it doesn't change much. Even when she is attacking off the front "the leader of the pack" is still twittering away
to the other members of this most exclusive club.
Finally its all over for another year. The coucil workers move in to remove the barriers. The guys and gals get changed and pack up their gear
ready to head back to the "big smoke". All thats left is the presentation [handled very professionally], a photo shoot and the signing of some
memorabilia for Keith at Bicycle Express. It's been another great tour yet again. The mums and dads, the teachers, the officials, the competitiors
and yours truly have had a damn good time. So good we can't wait till next year to do it all again. A big thankyou to St Johns Ambulance staff
and all the sponsors who supported the 2001 tour.
Tour results & yellow jersey photo on the next page