Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Tour Down Under 2019 Pictures and Giveaway!

An orange pressed metal square cowbell with the Tour Down Under logo stamped on it in white. The words say "Santos tour down under"
Tour Down Under 2019 Cowbell
Make lots of noise to cheer on the cyclists
and show your appreciation.

Hot, hot, HOT!  The only way to describe the 2019 Tour Down Under.

The searing summer heatwave conditions thwarted my plans to attend many festivities
but I did get down to McLaren Vale–again–where it is always a few degrees cooler and where the exciting final stage and punishing Willunga Hill would determine the overall tour winner.

Before you think you will be bored with more photos from McLaren Vale, think again. This year I bring you different behind-the-scenes pictures of things you do not always get to see on the television broadcasts.

A folded white ice towel with the light blue Santos tour down under logo printed on it.
Tour Down Under 2019 Ice Towel
Hats off to the organisers for the
coolest, most useful merchandising idea ever
(in more ways than one)!
It was certainly appreciated as
Adelaide sweltered through January.
I'm also excited to conduct Lupey Loops' very first giveaway! Are you in?  If it proves to be popular, there might be more giveaways in future.

This year, I was on a mission.  Let's just say, "I got what I came for!"

As usual, we arrived in McLaren Vale early to enjoy the fresh summer morning. (By the time the starting gun fires, the late morning sun is high in the sky ready to burn anyone who forgets to sunscreen themselves.)

It was lovely just to stroll down the main street and enjoy the atmosphere, full of smiles, activity and anticipation.

A collage of two photos. Left: the view down the street as one approaches the sunflower fundraiser. A bunch of yellow sunflowers are standing in black buckets. A mesh fence runs along the edge of the footpath with fundraising people standnig next to it as the general public walks by.  RIGHT: The mesh fence has sunflowers woven onto it. Leon Bignell stands in front wearing dark clothing. He is smiling and holding a white donation bucket in one hand and a water bottle in the other.
Sunflowers always add cheer!
These sunflowers were being sold to raise funds for the McLaren Vale & Districts War Memorial Hospital.
That's Hon Leon Bignell MP for Mawson, holding up the donation bucket with a big smile.
Behind him is a tribute to Paul Sherwen

The 2019 Tour Down Under is the first one without former cyclist and commentator Paul Sherwen who passed away suddenly on 2 December 2018.  As discussed in the previous blog entry, there's a lot of love for Paul Sherwen and Phil Liggett in South Australia. They were frequent visitors to the McLaren Vale area and won the hearts of locals who are feeling the loss.

The hospital fundraiser displayed a large sign depicting a photograph of Paul with the words:

with love & thanks from the people of 
McLaren Vale, McLaren Flat, 
Willunga and Aldinga.

In the foreground is a triangular red and white "give way" sign and a stobie pole. An Australian flag has been attached to the directional street sign which points to Caffrey Street and Tatachilla Road.  A group of cyclists are riding along Tatachilla Road as we are stopped at the intersection to take the photograph and wait for them to ride by. In the background is a group of thick trees along the opposite side of Tatachilla Rd.
An early morning tour group experiencing parts of the course before the race.
There are many tour groups for cycling enthusiasts.
Locals decorated the corner of Tatachilla Road and Caffrey Street with tribute banners for Paul Sherwen.
The banner looks home made on white fabric with black text painted on it.  A yellow crown depicting the "King Stage" is on the bottom left hand corner. A painted version of the Santos Tour Down Under logo is on the bottom right.  The banner is staked to the corner of a block of land of lawn and trees which is a reserve.
Tribute banner made by local fans
"Paul Sherwen. Life Membership. Willunga Hill."

White fabric banner with black text plus a stylised image of a steaming hot pie in the bottom right corner.  in the background one can see lawn and a tree (the reserve) on the left and the road on the right wth cyclists riding into the background.
Tribute banner by local fans
also on the corner of Tatachilla Road and Caffrey Street, McLaren Vale.
"Paul the Pie Man 1956–2018. Thanks "Climber" "

The garden of a church is decorated with red fabric banners with the white spraypainted words "#STOP ADANI". One banner is tied to a white picket fence and the other is suspended between trees. The church building is in teh background.
Some people used the event as an opportunity to protest.

A view from the paved footpath of Main Road McLaren Vale as the team cars and buses arrive. Portable fencing and orange traffic cones can be seen.
The Tour Down Under teams arrive!
Main Road, McLaren Vale

We had a great view of pre-race activities as the team buses rolled in, jam-packed with gear–bikes, toolboxes, picnic boxes, first aid kits and racks of helmets and whatever else I'll never know. All I do know is that some of those buses, when they opened their tailgates, had not an inch of space to spare.

All the team buses are the same except for one–the bus of the Bora-Hansgrohe team–which arrived with dark tinted windows so no one could see inside. This bus carried one of the biggest celebrities in world cycling, the World Champion Slovakian rider, Peter Sagan.  He has been a huge favourite of fans, especially female fans!  He's a bit of a 'rockstar' on the cycling circuit.
Portrait of a smiling Peter Sagan dressed in black helmet, sunglasses with white frames and orange reflective lens (they look like ski goggles); his white guernsey has World Champion stripes of blue, red, black and yellow on the collar and sleeve cuffs. The white, blue and red Slovakian flag is on the front below sponsorship logos which include the major team name sponsors BORA-Hansgrohe. In the background is the open tailgate of a van and clear blue sky.
Peter Sagan
sporting the Slovakian flag and
World Champion stripes
on his guernsey.
Peter Sagan is signing autographs while Daniel Oss looks on from the team van.  Peter Sagan is writing on a blue Tour Down Under souvenir hat.
Peter Sagan signing autographs
as team-mate Daniel Oss looks on.

He is a most extraordinary rider. His skills are remarkable. That comes from a background of mountain and off-road biking.  He exudes natural talent and the things he can do on a bike leave me, a former commuter road cyclist, in awe. Anyone could be forgiven for thinking that he was born attached to a bike–he's like a gymnast with wheels.

Portrait of a smiling Daniel Oss. He is wearing the black and greed Bora-Hansgrohe colours with large white letters"BORA" dominating the design. He is wearing reflective sunglasses with white trim.  His shoulder length wavy hair is seen at the back of his neck.
Italian rider, Daniel Oss
who is often the lead-out rider
for the German Bora-Hansgrohe team.
This year, I got to tell him in person!  While he has probably heard plenty of the same compliments over and over, he was very gracious and friendly and gave his full attention despite a crowd of people all clamoring for the same.  There was a lady next to me who had travelled across the country from interstate to try and meet him. She was clutching his recently published autobiography and he kindly signed it for her and also had a few words.

Thank you Peter Sagan from happy fans!

Peter Sagan's team-mate and right-hand man, Daniel Oss, is another rider that I hoped to meet.  He is a very aggressive rider in the races and friendly with the public but he appeared almost shy as he sat in the background while Peter Sagan did his thing with the fans.  Everybody's preparation is different.
Peter Sagan stands in front of the tour bus to sign autoographs. I am holding out my orange souvenir hat and wearing a dark blue hat with an orange-tan and green silk ribbon.A crowd is in the foreground, a professional photographer can be seen on the top left hand quadrant of the picture behind the tour bus. Daniel Oss is wearing a black and green guernsey sitting on the bus tailgate.
Peter Sagan is signing my Tour Down Under hat
Daniel Oss is waiting quietly at the back of the bus with the dark tinted windows.
Meanwhile photographers, amateur and professional, snap away!
Behind the team van, riders, technicians and onlookers are milling around. Peter Sagan is underneath the shade of the tailgate adjusting his helmet and radio earpiece equipment..
Pre-race activities at the Bora-Hansgrohe team
Austrian rider Gregor Mühlberger (#15) waits on his bike.
Another rider chats to friends in the foreground.
At the back of the open bus, Lukas Pöstlberger stands amongst a group. He is wearing a white jersey with the Austrian flag colours of red and white emblazoned on it.He is looking into the back of the bus with his white framed sunglasses raised onto his forehead.
Austrian National Champion Lukas Pöstlberger
with team staff.

One of the remarkable aspects of the Tour Down Under is that it is a totally portable event.  The teams and organisers bring everything they need on the day and within hours of the event finish, it is all packed up and gone. You would never know there had been a world-class international sporting event earlier in the day.

The only indications in McLaren Vale the night before, were orange traffic cones along the main street preventing parking along the kerb where the race barriers etc. will be needed.

Two team staff members are bringing bikes down from the roof of a bus. One man is up the ladder on the side of the bus with a wheel in hand. His team mat is standing in front holding a bicycle frame with its front wheel missing in his outstretched arms.
First job on arrival: unpack and assemble bikes!
These bikes belong to Team Lotto Soudal

One of the Bora Hansgrohe riders is standing underneath the tailgate of the team bus with no jersey on.  One can see a heartrate monitor strapped around his chest and the braces for his shorts / knicks. A team technician is helping to hook up the radio pack. The rider is holding the earpiece in his mouth temporarily.
Hooking up the technology
Riders wear a heart monitor and
radio pack with microphone and earpiece
to communicate with the team car during the race.
On the left is a row of team buses. A portable ladder is hooked to the side of the bus to enable staff to get onto the roof where the bikes are carried.. A team technician is leaning against the bus. On the right hand side are red bikes lined up against the track barrier. In the background  another team bus still has bikes on its roof and its tailgate is open.
Team Lotto Soudal's bikes
and looking into the back of the
Bahrein-Merida team bus.

Carl Fredrick Hagan has his right leg stretched out onto a white folding bench as he leans over to spread sunscreen over his legs. Behind him are team staff in grey shirts. One is reaching into the bus. One can see an esky, spare helmets and other boxes of items in the back of the bus.
Most important: Sunscreen!
Norwegian Carl Fredrik Hagen from Team Lotto Soudal is doing the right thing.
Many people have been seriously sunburnt because they underestimated the power of the Australian sun.
Make sure you have sunscreen on underneath your cycling gear too:
some mesh cycling guernseys are no match for the sun.
They might be designed for cooling but not sun protection. In Australia, one needs both.
If you don't believe me, see Louie Meintjes here on Facebook or here on Twitter.

Foreground at right: Domenico Pozzovivo in red Bahrain Merida colours has his arms raised as he bends his body to do warm up stretches in the shade of the bus tailgate.  In the middle, James Knox in the blue Deceunninck-Quickstep colours is riding from left to right towards the starting line. In the background, against the barrier fencing, there are bikes leaning while Heinrick Haussler has his back to us as he takes photos arm in arm with a spectator.
Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy, #66) of the Bahrein-Merida performs stretches before the race.
Team-mate Heinrich Haussler (Australia, #64) takes 'selfies' with fans.
Meanwhile James Knox (Great Britain, #146) of Deceuninck-Quickstep rides by on the way to the starting line.

A metallic blue-green bike with white lettering ("Specialized" "S-Works") is leaning against a team bus.  The Technical Commissaire is leaning over it with a gadget in his hands that looks similar to a large mobile phone or iPad. The Technical Commissaire is wearing a dark blue hat, a light shirt and light brown trousers. The bus is white with sponsorship logos printed on it.The bike has a white tag attached to the seat post, underneath the seat with the number 11.
This is Peter Sagan's bike being scanned by the Technical Commissaire.
The Technical Commissaire checks every bike to ensure it meets regulation standards
and that there are no cheating devices like hidden motors etc.

The back of a black "Team Jay" Tee shirt that someone is wearing: it has an artist's drawng of Jay McCarthy in his bike riding gear, depicting his top half with his arms raised in victory. Large green block letters with whtie borders spell "TEAM JAY"
"Team Jay" polo shirts
supporting Australian rider Jay McCarthy
Jay McCarthy poses with the owner of the black Team Jay tee shirt. They have the race barrier fence between them. Jay is wearing his racing uniform including white rimmed sunglasses and the tee short owner is a woman with blonde hair in a ponytail, a sun visor and blue jeans. They each have one arm around each other and are smiling for the camera.
Jay McCarthy
making time for 'selfies'

So much activity!  Assembling and tuning bikes, checking gear, race registration, media interviews and public relations, heart monitors and radio packs, helmets, shoes, warm-ups, team meetings and, if there's time, a chance for social catch-up!

Jay McCarthy is holding a young boy in his arms. The boy is wearing a bright lime green cycling helmet. They are facing the group of Bora Hansgrohe riders who are standing in a circle around him. A Bora technician is standing in black on the left hand side. They are all under the shade of the open tailgate of their team bus.
Introducing a young fan to the team …
Riders from different teams get to mingle and chat.  Local riders, many of whom are based overseas now, get to see family and friends. One of them was Jay McCarthy who has his own local fan club!

The team technician in black is taking a photo of the team with his mobile phone. The team are lined up at the back of their team bus. Jay McCarthy is holding his young friend in his arms.
… plus a commemorative photo.
See the result posted on Jay McCarthy's Instagram account.

Rohan Dennis is on the left and Domenico Pozzovivo is on the right with the back of the team van open behind them. They are looking towards the right while chatting with fans (not in the picture). Their team guernseys are red with navy strips on the cuffs,front and back and the word 'Bahrain' in gold and 'Merida' in white. Domenico Pozzovivo is wearing a helmet and sunglasses. Rohan Dennis is not wearing a helmet, only sunglasses.  Rohan Dennis has a light stripe (tan line) on the side of his face running from his ear to his chin where his helmet straps usually sit.
'Local Adelaide Boy' Rohan Dennis
and Italian Domenico Pozzovivo
chat to fans and friends on the sidelines.


Every year the Tour Down Under has provided tours for all sorts of groups who seek to get 'up close and personal' with the riders and behind-the-scenes access. Of course, these are available for a higher price.

A group of four ladies are standing on the track between the team buses. In the foreground one can see the green bikes of the Bora Hansgrohe team leaning against the front of the bus. In the background are spectators and other bikes leaning on the track barrier fence.
Ladies' Day!
Every time I have come to McLaren Vale, there has been a chaperoned "Ladies' Day" type of group. They have special seating reserved for them so they don't miss any views and always accompanied by a glass of sparkling wine! How appropriate for a race in a wine region like McLaren Vale or the Barossa Valley.

This type of experience would be a great introduction to the world of cycling for those who haven't been before and want to soak in the atmosphere of the event or for those who are familiar with cycling and want a little more from their race day experience.

I had a great race day experience because I managed to get the autographs I wanted!

Jodiebodie is chatting with Adam Hansen who is leaning over the race barrier. They are smiling at each other. Jodiebodie is holding a texta and Adam is holding the bidon.
Meeting champion Australian rider Adam Hansen of Team Lotto Soudal
who kindly autographed my souvenir bidon.

A collage of three different views of the same plastic bidon. It is white with a red top, with sponsors' names printed in red, white and black. The team name is in large black block letters "Lotto Soudal" on a white backkground, with a red thick strip between the words and surrounded by solid red background. Underneath the team name are thin strips of black yellow and red (Belgian flag colours). In the red background are names of secondary sponsors in white writing. The white strip along the side has the word "Elite" printed lengthways along the bidon in black.  Signatures are written in black texta.
This Lotto Soudal bidon is from an earlier Tour Down Under.
This year, I was able to have it autographed by team members:
Adam Hansen (Australia), Adam Blythe (Great Britain)
Thomas de Gendt (Belgium), Caleb Ewan (Australia)
Carl Fredrik Hagen (Norway) & Tomasz Marczynski (Poland)

A collage of two photos of the same hat showing the autographs written on both sides of an orange hat with a blue band. The blue band has the sponsor's name printed in white text "Santos". The signatures are written in black texta.
Autographed souvenir hat
Tour Down Under hats come in two colours this year: orange with blue band or blue with orange band.
I chose orange because it is one of my favourite colours.
On one side of my hat are signatures from Peter Sagan and Daniel Oss
On the other side are Aussies Rohan Dennis and Jay McCarthy

The blue and red starting line banner is surrounded by spectators on both sides of the footpath. At certain points close to the starting line, crowds are around 10 people deep, maybe more. The picture shows a sea of riders and crowds.
Crowds gather for the starting line countdown: "… three … two … one … GO!"
Back in 2017, I shared photographs of the Tour Down Under Parade (Tour Down Under 2017 at Marvellous McLaren Vale, 3 Feb 2017) and of some of the goodies given away by race sponsors.

This year, I collected a few things with you in mind so I can share them  physically and not just photographically!

I've put together two little souvenir goodie bags to give away right here on the Lupey Loops blog. It doesn't matter where in the world you are, if you would like a chance to receive one of these, please leave a comment below before midnight, 28 February 2019 (Australian Central Daylight Savings Time +10 hrs 30 mins GMT).

An orange carry bag with white writing: "Adelaide. Designed for Life." stamped with the City of Adelaide logo and web address ''. On top is a copy of the TDU 2019 program, a cowbell, reflective armband, sponsors' shoelace and backpack. 'Slip slop slap, seek, slide' temporary tattoos.
Orange Giveaway
Yellow carry bag from Motor Accident Commission (MAC) with dark green writing "MAC Safe Cycling Tips" and a list of 8 tips plus the MAC and State Government of Sout Australia logos. Around the bag are a black and white polka dotted king of the mountain hat sponsored by Subaru, an orange cowbell, a sponsor's promotional shoelace, a reflective arm band, set of 10  Peppa Pig stickers.
Yellow Giveaway

Early in March I will put all the names in a hat and the first two drawn will be the recipients.  Only one entry per person please.  The results will be posted in a comment at the end of this blog entry. If time and energy permits, There might also be a separate announcement in a new blog post as well.

Feel free to leave your email address in your comment so that I can notify you directly should your name be drawn.  Be sure to check back to see the results.

I am very lucky to have a loyal readership and to have made such lovely friends through blogging.  This is my way of giving back to everyone who supports Lupey Loops and a bit of fun for all of us.

So comment away, my friends! 

Have fun!

The curved wall of the rotunda is in the foreground. The peloton can be seen riding from left to right along Main Rd in the middle. Spectators are on the kerbside. A large tree on the right hand side provides shade at the kerb.  There are gardens between the rotunda wall and the kerb.  The rotunda has railings on the left side of the picture which are decorated by bicycle wheels and flowers. A blue and yellow flag is at the left hand edge. Tall shop signs and flags can also be seen on the skyline.
The last pass of the peloton along Main Road, McLaren Vale
viewed from the Ellis Park Rotunda

A photo of the TV screen showing the South Australian state weather report of Channel Seven News with minima and maxima in degrees Celsius:  RoxbyDowns 30/47, Woomera 31/47, Broken Hill 28/45, Ceduna 28/46, Port Augusta 31/49, Port Pirie 28/47, Whyalla 27/48, Clare 27/45, Renmark 26/46, Kadina 25/46, Nuriootpa 24/45, Port Lincoln 23/46, Edithburgh 22/46, Murray Bridge 23/46, Kingscote 21/40, Victor Harbor 20/45, Naracoorte 17/44, Mount Gambier 16/43.
January weather report for South Australia
Hot, hot, HOT!


Adam Blythe (Great Britain), Twitter @AdamBlythe89:

Adam Hansen (Australia):

Caleb Ewan (Australia):

Carl Fredrik Hagen (Norway):

Daniel Oss (Italy):

Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy):

Gregor Mühlberger (Austria): 

Heinrich Haussler (Australia):

James Knox (Great Britain), Twitter:

Jay McCarthy (Australia):

Louis Meintjes (South Africa), professional cyclist, Twitter @LouisMeintjes, 14 Jan 2018: 

Lukas Pöstlberger (Austria):

Peter Sagan (Slovakia):

Rohan Dennis (Australia):

SA Health sunburn advice, Facebook:

Thomas de Gendt (Belgium), Twitter @DeGendtThomas:

Tomasz Marczynski (Poland):


Related Posts on Lupey Loops

"Tour Down Under 2018 Photos (Part 2)", 10 January 2019:

"Tour Down Under 2017 at Marvellous McLaren Vale", 3 February 2017:


  1. Love to see. But how hot it is over there...

    1. January usually sees temperatures in the high 20s to mid 30s (degrees Celsius). Overnight temperatures are usually around 16 degrees.

      The heat used to build up slowly over the course of 7-10 days to around 38 (occasionally getting to 42) and then a change would come through and it would cool down and start building again. In the last 5 years though, we have seen less of a build up and more heatwaves of 4-8 days of temperatures over 38 and often a series of days in the 40s. In between the extreme heat, we are getting milder days - no build up to heat but just sudden jumps.

      Mind you, after this year, our definitions of 'mild' are changing! We were all relieved to have a forecast of 36 degrees although years ago, school used to close early if the forecast temperature was 35 degrees or over so children could get home out of the heat. These days, if we kept that policy, so much school would be missed. Thank goodness for air conditioners and we pray for no power outages.

    2. Hi Aritha, Congratulations that the odds are in your favour this month to receive a goodie bag. What is the best way to contact you? My plan is to send you a message via your contact form on your blog: unless you would like to send me an email at

      Gefeliciteerd Aritha! Je hebt een goodie bag gewonnen. Ik zal je een email sturen via de 'contact form' van jouw blog:
      Als je mij wilt emailen, alstublieft naar sturen.

    3. Hiep hiep hoera! I have seen and react.

  2. What an amazing experience. I was see interested to see the behind-the-scene photos, especially Peter Sagan. How wonderful that you got to meet him, he is not just a fantastic champion, he comes across as quite a character as well.

    1. I enjoyed your pretty photos on your blog of the French Alps very much with the village bunting and cycling-themed decorations. Have you ever been to the Tour de France or other bike races? Do you ride? As for Peter Sagan, after signing autographs he went off to socialise with riders from other teams. He seems to be well liked and respected by his peers as much as the fans. The Australian race is very laid back though so perhaps we see the best of all the riders while they are still relaxed, still coming out of holiday mode.

      Amalia, the odds are in your favour for winning a goodie bag. It will be a pleasure to send one to you. I will contact you by email this week to organise the details.