Monday, 28 August 2017

2017 Towsville to Brisbane Bottlemart Smiddy Challenge - Day 1

2017 Townsville to Brisbane Bottlemart Smiddy Challenge riders and road crew.

Written by: Adrian Cross and Alicia Newman 
Distance:  149.18 kilometres
Ride Time:  5 hours 5 minutes
Ave Speed:  29 km/h
Max Speed:  54 km/h
Elevation: 338 metres
Min Temp: 12 degrees
Max Temp: 40 degrees

The kick off dinner at the Sun Hotel was a welcoming sight to enjoy a beer at the sponsor’s home – thanks Bottlemart! 

The highlight of the night was the riders and road crew receiving hats in memory of Auntie Marie, who many of us remember as a kind and gentle women and key member of many road crews and Emma Betts, Serge's wife, who lost her battle with melanoma and will be missed by many in the peloton. To meet their families and acknowledge the hard times they had experienced means that this year’s Challenge hats will be worn with pride. 

The red Spirit Jersey was given to Serge in special recognition of his lost love, Emma – Serge, you have an extended family now and we will be with you all the way.

Day 1 saw an early breakfast and riders signing in. It was nice to see some of the Townsville families and friends attend the early morning roll out – thank you. The bell, traditionally rung by David Smiddy on Day 1 of Challenge, was this morning given Maria’s sister Rita.

Nerves, normally reserved for our first time riders, seemed to have taken hold in our senior riders who had a little mishap as we rolled out – Christian, we are not sure your safety briefing and acknowledgement of said senior riders was warranted! But those involved are all safe and sound! 

Perfect clear skies, a soft SW breeze and a police escort, thanks David, had us out of town and rolling along the highway in no time. I think the return riders had told the peloton about the CWA morning tea that awaited us at Woodstock. 

Every year these lovely ladies put on a spread that would rival any three hat restaurant, we cannot thank them enough for the delights that awaited us this morning. However, It would seem Boisey did not read his day card as he smashed down 10 quiches and 8 brownies thinking it was lunch, maybe that was thanks enough for the ladies.

With nervous discussions commencing post morning tea regarding our first challenge, to climb the Mingela range, James and Adrian saw an opportunity to draft behind Stemmy, only to be blown away with diesel dust to amusement of Garath. It would seem that 400 km did not slow James as he and Adrian tied for KOM and Pagey is our Queen. Well done to all, this is no doubt a taste of things to come. 

Lunch, as always was the standout, as the road crew yet again provided an amazing spread to cater for all dietary requirements – it was nice to be introduced to each of the road crew and, of course, our chief smart arse, David Smiddy. We look forward to sharing our time together and know we as riders could not do this without each of you.

The peloton was bonding and it was a quick 50km to Charters Towers as everyone was keen to wash the dust off and have a cool beer on the green grass at the School of the Air.  

At the Day 1 Smiddy huddle we heard from Ken and Damo and their reasons for being here. These guys will guide us for the next few days and will become known as the SBS Smiddy commenters – Tomalaris and Liggett. Thanks guys!

On a personal note, many of you have asked about our matchy matchy green – this is to honour of dear friend Ian and his family. Ian passed away in 2014 and at the request of his children we wear the green and take the nicknames Shrek and Princess Fiona – thanks to Matty Marshall!

Thank you also to Charters Towers Rotary club, the first of many community dinners we will enjoy over the coming days. 

1 comment:

  1. Awesome Stuff as usual Sharky, look forward to more updates