As both of you probably know, in cycle racing, jerseys of all sorts of colors are awarded: yellow for the leader of the Tour de France, pink for the leader of the Giro d’Italia, ochre for the leader of the Tour Down Under, and so on.
Cycling commentators talk about honoring the jersey, meaning you have to ride hard to win it, but ride even harder to keep it, and them giving you the strength of 2 men.
Each night on the Great Albert Bike Ride, they’ve awarded a jersey to be worn for the next day. Some have been serious, others a little light hearted. Our youngest rider, Melissa, who’s 26 and only started cycling in May was awarded the pink jersey for her determination. Craig, who’s a multiple Hawaii Ironman finisher, was awarded the green jersey for, amongst other things, a helping hand on Melissa’s back up a few of the bigger climbs earlier in the week.
Last night I was awarded the BLUE jersey. I’m not 100% sure why I received, but it had something to do with leaving my Garmin at home and having to ask Sarah to Express Post it to one of the hotels, and my enthaustic use of chamois cream (I’ve been having some issues with chafing!).
Regardless of why I won it, I was determined to honor it today. The strength of two men? Not quite, but I did my best to sit near the front of the bunch all day, and of course I contested the sprint into Mansfield (equal first). I mightn’t have been the first up Mt. Buller (I wasn’t 2nd, 3rd or 4th either) but I plugged away at the climb and finished the day after 155km, just under 7 hours and 2,210m of climb from our starting point.
There isn’t much in my sporting trophy display case – a first in class from Targa Tasmania a few years ago (don’t ask how many there were in the class, but it was at least 2), and not a lot else. But there is now a blue jersey.
For those of you that don’t know, I’m the exhausted looking one on the left – in the blue jersey, and Phil Anderson (multiple TdF yellow jersey winner) is the relaxed looking one on the right.