Of all the over generalised, unqualified, far sweeping and ill considered statements that can be made, I guarantee you beyond the shadow of a doubt, that this statement, is in fact 100% correct
There is nothing that fills a cyclists face with a more puerile expression of hatred than the intermingling of the terms ‘criterium’ and ‘road race’ on the same course mocka.
Just imagine. You’ve had your pre race feed. You’ve had your pre race coffee. You’ve had your pre race shit. You’ve kitted up. You’ve appropriately smeared your groin with chamois cream of choice. You might have heat cream and/or oil on your legs. You might have sunscreen on your face. You are ready. You are motivated. It’s time to race.
You race. You get rained on (sideways rain nonetheless). You get sweaty. You get filthy. You get hungry. You get thirsty. You get tired.
But thankfully, it’s all over. You can get changed. You can get clean. You can get dry. You can get warm. You can get fed.
THERE’S ANOTHER GOD DAMMED STAGE STARTING IN 1 HOUR AND 30 MINUTES
The Dilemmas arising are suddenly overwhelming.
|If you are lucky and it doesn't rain then it's only the stench of tepid sweat, grease and the bacteria currently copulating in your knicks that need concern you|
Do I get changed? Will I get colder by getting naked in the street or will I get warmer by getting dry clothes on? Maybe I’ll just jump in the van and crank the heating. Will I have to perform the ‘standing on shoes whilst changing pants so that my white socks don’t get wet dance’? (Yes, yes you will)
Do I have enough dry kit? Oh no, I forgot my plastic bag, damn, all my clothes to put on after stage 2 will be wet
|But chances are you'll be unlucky. If you start the day wet. You end the day wet.|
My bike is filthy. The jockey wheels are squeeking. The brake pads are full of grit. My shoes are wet and the only thing lower than my morale is the pressure in that rear tubular I just flatted.
I need to eat, but what do I eat? How much? I don’t want to have a hunger flat, but I sure as hell don’t want to have salad roll reverbs on the first KOM of the afternoon stage.
I need to drink, I sure as hell don’t want to cramp in the arvo stage. But on the other hand, needing to pee when the race gets thrown in the gutter is not much fun either. You think they stop for a 'pisso' in Aussie racing? Good luck with that!
Maybe I’ll just have a coffee, it’ll warm me up and pep me up. But what, no caffeine after midday? Yep, you ain’t gonna sleep tonight boy.
There is no nice way to put it. Double stages suck. You can try and spin it however which way you like, but no one enjoys double stages. They are a given evil. A necessity to surviving as a cyclist in Australia.
As ex-Australian Road Champ, Darren 'Lappers' Lapthorne once said
"I'd prefer riding the Melbourne to Warrnambool 5 days in a row compared to a week of double stages!"
Some people might just call me a whinger.
But that’s the whole point. I am whinging, and god it feels good.
And you. Yes, you.
You know exactly what I’m talking about. Because;
Everyone hates double stages