In just two weeks, WorldTour bicycle racing is back, mate.
The Tour Down Under and the Tour de San Luis bring professional cycling by rubbing our faces in beautiful summer weather. Try not to compare your ride with theirs.
TdU has provided some spectacular racing over the past decade, and the last three editions have been particularly thrilling. Riders like Geraint Thomas, Tom Jelte-Slagter, Rohan Dennis and Ritchie Porte have lit up the tour, and the sunny, even blistering climes have made the entire Northern Hemisphere jealous.
Fat bikes are fun. Sure. They’re great. But the next time you can’t feel your thumbs or your plums in a 8 degree snowstorm, try not to think of the 85+ degree weather the pro riders are enjoying Down Under. Our skin might be as rosy red, but it’s because we’re getting frostbite while they’re getting sunburned.
The very pale and very Welsh Geraint Thomas enters as Sky’s top man, though even the Evil Empire seems to be playing second fiddle in attentions this winter, with Thomas’ former teammate Ritchie Porte making his BMC debut alongside defending champion Rohan Dennis. There’s already some speculation as to how BMC will ride the race, who will support who, and what the dynamics in the team will be as two Aussies both look to have the form to threaten.
Watch for three- time champ Simon Gerrains for ORICA, though the dark horse could be Ryder Hesjedal. Nothing brings out motivation like a move to a new team, and the lanky Canadian’s TREK-Segefredo outfit will be looking to improve on a mixed season in 2015.
So while we’re emptying the tank to go 7mph and wondering if we still have toes, just think how quickly they’d like to swap places with the Northern Hemisphere….in a snap, probably.