- May 6, 2009
badboyberty said:I think if you ride or drive forty minutes to an hour from Melbourne' CBD in almost any direction you'll find yourself in suburbia, and I don't think I've ever been to Melbourne for more than a day when it hasn't rained or been overcast. So I'm not going to retract my statement. (Technically you can hold a good bike race in Melbourne, but we are talking about a stage race here, not an alley-cat.) And if by backwater you mean, capital city with easiest access to stunning white beaches I guess you're right about Adelaide.
I know this hurts your local pride, but although Melbourne might be the best place in Australia to buy some tight jeans or a bowl of Morrocan chick-pea soup (yes, I have been to Melbourne recently), it's not the best place to hold a bike race. Beach Road is not a great place to ride a bike, and the Otways, Gippsland and Daylseford are all a long way away from Melbourne's CBD (I have ridden the Great Ocean Rd, yes it's nice, but no, it's definitely not "just out of Melbourne".) ACF94, local pride is a good thing, but I've spent extended periods of time, and ridden a bike, in Brisbane, Melboure, Sydney, Canberra and Adelaide and I will say that hosting a race in the same format as the TdU wouldn't work in the east coast capitals primarily because of their unconstrained suburban sprawl. It could work in Canberra, but with barely any decent coffee, food or wine, and a population with too many disgruntled public servants, it's bad enough they've got a MTB World Cup round.
I think the Herald Sun Tour in it's current calender slot could easily become the final real stage race of the International circuit, but still remain open to teams like Drapac and Fly-V. And I also think that someone in QLD or Victoria should orgainse a Southern one day "semi-classic" to be held in February (1.HC or ProTour). But I don't think Melbourne stealing the TdU, or the locking out of local teams from the Herald Sun Tour (part of becoming a ProTour event is no invites for Continental Teams) are forward steps.
Jack Bobridge is looking at moving to the Gold Coast when he is not in Europe and also holdig a one day race a week out from the World's. The route he has planned will involve a lot of climbing and a lot of it is very steep.