HEADER

DAY 7 – AM. WILLUNGA STAGE

 

Saturday was the big dance. Both morning and night. To get the party started, over 200 riders joined us for the pilgrimage to the Queen Stage at the summit of Willunga Hill, Adelaide. All of our 15 or so ride guides and support vehicles were in attendance for what would be our biggest and best day out on the road. Temperatures may have cooled, it was now a positively balmy 37 degrees, but the anticipation was still red hot.

 

We had a long day ahead and the Chateau was brimming from 6:30am with Ben, our trusted barista from Maillot Jaune, getting smashed from the outset. A pre-planned early roll-out meant our fast, medium and social groups were among the first to hit an aptly named Windy Point Road. The social group may have stopped for a few more selfies along the way, but we all made it to McLaren Vale in time to watch the pro peloton roll through. Fortunately, we would only have to make one pass of Willunga Hill to secure to our vantage point for the deciding turn up this dramatic hilltop finish.

 

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Once again, we were treated to a real show. Richie Porte, a previous four-time winner on Willunga, launched as he always does. Only Jay McCarthy of the Specialized-sponsored Bora-Hansgrohe team could follow, both leaving the peloton in their wake. But Richie, the darling of the partisan crowd, went again. McCarthy had nothing left. It was a courageous move that sadly went unrewarded. Porte claimed the Stage. Daryl Impey, of Mitchelton-SCOTT, limited the damage and would all but seal victory of 2018 Tour Down Under. Our reward was still to come.

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DAY 7 – PM. LYCRA PARTY

Black Sheep & Specialized don't do nightclubs. But if they did, they would probably be the best in the world. A small, but select group of individuals took up the opportunity to dress accordingly for our inaugural 1980s-inspired Lycra Party. Most, however, felt they'd done enough chamois time for the week and opted for a shower and clean civvies. But nothing would dampen the spirits of the eager revellers who kicked on until the early hours. Cyclists can dance.

"With the DJ belting out dance floor bangers and the Chateau converted to a scene from Studio 54 circa 1981, the crowd became bigger than power-dressing shoulder pads."

Hydration began at 7pm, but the fall of darkness and an influx of car park climbers, an hour or so later, really got the party going. With the DJ belting out dance floor bangers and the Chateau converted to a scene from Studio 54 circa 1981, the crowd became bigger than power-dressing shoulder pads. What began the night as the officially unofficial after party, began to grow in status when the race organising suits began to show up.

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An impromptu round of limbo. A rotating pedestal, that had previously held a Specialized Concept Bike, now full of ravers. And a bar so full its Eftpos machine crippled under the weight were proof of good night shared by an awesome community.

 

The Chateau was alive all week. But after dark, the volume went off the scale. Thanks to everyone who joined us for rides, revelry and a sweaty good celebration of Summer. It was a sizzler. And we went out with a bang. See you next year.

CHATEAU BY BLACK SHEEP & SPECIALIZED AT THE BIG RACE IN ADELAIDE. JANUARY 14 - 20. 74 FROME ST, ADELAIDE 5000.


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