Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Chasing Pro Wheels

Fellow tweep, Catherine, or @Meowclank, from Auckland is so in love with cycling, she's sold up her car and chucked in her job to chase the wheels of the pros in some parts of the world. First stop - the TourDown Under. I caught up with her before she left for Adelaide and faced with her first time ever at a pro cycling race, I found one very excited cycling nut. 

Soyou sold your car to fund your trip to the TDU and beyond?I’ve sold pretty much everything.  I will be living out of a rucksack for the next year!

How long have you been planning this trip?About 2 years in my mind, but in actuality I booked my ticket to Adelaide in August.  The whole reasoning was to go to the Giro.  I had only seen the photos in magazines before this year, but as soon as I saw the live streaming I wanted to go.  The whole vibe is so different from TDF.

What are you looking forward to the most? The whole thing: riders, people, competition, bikes, seeing friends & having a holiday.

On a scale of 1-10 where 10 is most excited, how excited are you about going?Now I’m at about 7, but I’ll be a 10 this time next week.

Whythe TDU?It’s the first stop.  From NZ with the start of a new year it was the logical choice.  I’ve seen a few bits of it before when back in England and since, but as with most sporting events, it is just not the same as being there.

When are you arriving and are you staying for the whole race? I fly from Auckland on 19th January.  I am staying the whole race & hopefully see a little bit of OZ for the weeks following. 

Meetingup with anyone you've met on Twitter through cycling?Yes.  There are quite a few of us, staying in the same hotel for the most part, but we are sharing the driving & the excitement.  Some are old hands at TDU and then me as a first-timer.

When did you become a fan of cycling? And how?My brother had little plastic figures when we were kids with all the TDF jerseys.  When we played he was always Eddie Merckx and I was Lucien van Impe!  I think at the age of 5 or 6 I just liked the name, but still have a soft spot for small climbers.  I lost interest during the USPS years, although I love to watch the TTT spectacle.  When you’re watching something like Rabotini & Rodriguez last year it was just amazing & you’re not thinking about are they on PEDs or anything.  I think we all picked up on @mmmaiko’s ‘Platoon Boy” spotting last year as just how we all felt after the race had finished – sinking to hi sknees in relief & exhaustion. Hopefully on the “world tour” I will get to Ronde Vande Velde or Paris Roubaix.

Fave riders?Many of my faves will not be at TDU, but I am looking forward to seeing Philippe Gilbert and Andy Schleck of course.   I’m not a devout team follower, although I am partial to OPQS, but at TDU I’m going to be with a lot of BMC fans so I will have to be adaptable!  To compensate me for this though I will be treated to EBH and am pleased that the Lotto boys are gracing the competition. I haven’t seen the full start list yet so I may find some other faves who coming sown for a spot of summer.

You ride yourself?Not very well.  I used to but not so much.  Took the bike for a spin 2 days ago for the first time in a year!  Today the bike left to be tarted up for under-privileged children.  I’m sure it will have a good home.

Tour de Couch wishes Catherine all the best in her travels and hopes to check in her with at the Classics 

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