Strathalbyn : fun community day for cyclists and fans.

olivier snaps this exciting dash to the wire between Cameron Meyer (right) and Thomas DeGendt.

We were screaming fans yesterday at Strathalbyn, for theSantos  Tour Down Under stage 4, banging on the barriers as Aussie rider Cameron Meyer outsprinted Thomas DeGendt in a dash to the wire.

The two champions led the spectacular peloton by about 30 seconds racing at about 60kms an hour in a thrilling finish to a hard  day’s work for the 129 riders who rode from Norwood.

As one, the crowds, three deep the length of the course into the town, screamed and cheered their heroes, enjoying the sugar sweet success of a local boy winning  Stage 4.

However, it was the 7000 local riders who had taken part in the Mutual Community Challenge Tour with their thousands of fans lining the course to greet them for a few hours beforehand which turned Strathalbyn into a sporting arena.

The townfolk sold snags and coffee outside Woolworths for the Queensland flood victims and the footpaths were jammed with people. Commentators boomed above us with progress  of the race. Behind the scenes the  picturesque lawns along the Angus River were dotted with people and bakeries and restaurants overflowed with fans.

The Tour Down Under is an extraordinary sporting event because it brings international cycling into small rural towns and Strathalbyn reflects the transformation into such a fun place.  The race has also ignited  a unique cycling sporting culture capable of moving thousands of ordinary people onto  their bike.  We, the fans,  loved it all.

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2 Comments to “Strathalbyn : fun community day for cyclists and fans.”

  1. By Marie Jonsson-Harrison, 27/01/2011 @ 12:50 pm

    Great story and love that picture 🙂 Christina Angus did the ride on a tandem and rode the whole 135km too. They are all heroes! Love Marie xx

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