Australia congratulates Cadel

Along with about 35,000 other folks I headed into the city this morning to celebrate Cadel Evans’ Tour de France victory. I have never seen Federation Square so packed full of people.

I arrived over an hour early and there was already thousands there. Whilst we waited for the scheduled start they played the SBS special on the big screen, that got the crowd warmed up. Radio personality Ian Cover was master of ceremonies and he did a good job. He is also Cadel’s next door neighbour apparently.

Cadel rode down St Kilda Rd accompanied by twenty junior cyclists. Cadel was his normal, generous self and spent plenty of time shaking hands and acknowledging the crowds that lined the street.

The crowd went wild when Cadel arrived in Fed Square. Aboriginal elder “Aunty Joy” welcomed Cadel, and the national anthem was sung. Premiere Ted actually made a very good speech, calling Cadel’s Tour win the “best Australian sporting performance ever”. Then Cadel was interviewed by Gerard Whately.

You cannot help but be impressed with Cadel Evans. Not just his sporting ability, or guts and determination, but his humility and manner are exemplary. Put simply, he is a lovely, genuine bloke. A wonderful role model. I loved his response to the question “Has your life been changed by this?”. His response “It still hurts to ride up hills”.

My morning was made a little bit more interesting by the bloke standing behind me in the crowd. I don’t quite know how to describe him without sounding condescending or nasty, but let me say he was an elderly bloke, who looked like he might live on the street and who maybe had a mild intellectual disability. A nice bloke though, but he did get a little annoying. He kept tapping me on the shoulder and pointing at stuff (I had no idea what most of the time) and asking me questions. Most of the questions were asked multiple times. Here’s some that I can remember.

  • “Are you a member of his team?” (I had my BMC jersey on)
  • “What does BMC stand for?”
  • “Is it yellow jersey or yellow guernsey?” (nearly every time the yellow jersey was mentioned during the SBS special)
  • “Are the Schleck brothers really brothers?” (nearly every time the Schleck brothers were mentioned during the SBS special)
  • “Why do they only have bike races in France?”
  • “Is she actually there with him?” and “Who is she anyway?” (when Tina Arena was singing the national anthem on the SBS special)

As well as all these questions he repeated Alberto Contador’s name with gusto nearly every time it was mentioned during the SBS special and was barracking for Cadel at various times just like we were watching the Tour live.

Anyway, at least he was enjoying himself. Β πŸ™‚

A wonderful morning, great to be part of it. I can’t think of anyone more deserving than Cadel for this sort of Melbourne welcome.

Nice to see little Running Smiley making a rare appearance on the blog today. A nice easy (5:45 min/km) 6km circuit this afternoon, and I don’t feel too bad.

Things You May Not Know About Me – No 5

I am extremely left/right challenged. If you ask me to look/turn left or right, without a visual clue then you have approximately 50% chance I will look or turn the direction you asked me to.

A corollary of this is that I am a particularly bad navigator.

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5 Responses to “Australia congratulates Cadel”

  1. Cammy@TippyToeDiet Says:

    Oh, what a great payoff after your stellar cheerleading!

    I’m a pretty good navigator. For some reason, I seem to have a good instinct for finding my way around. It makes me a popular travel companion. πŸ™‚

  2. Carla Says:

    Looks like you enjoyed yourself!

    I also am a terrible navigator. And when you say right or left I always have to think twice to remember which side. I am always getting lost!!!

  3. sassydrcil Says:

    You probably made the lonely man’s day, you realise that.
    Lol re the left right disorientation.
    We are overdue for a bevvy together with alex/kat.

  4. JH Says:

    So…. are you actually a member of this team? πŸ˜‰

  5. Em Says:

    I couldn’t make it, got stuck at work 😦 Loved watching it on the news though, he looked stoked to be there.

    I have trouble with the left/right thing too, when I was learning to drive the instructor would draw a L and R on the back of my hands.

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