2018 Santos Tour Down Under Review

By Marcel Berger

Last week Mummu Cycling hosted a group of 30 cyclists and cycling fans at the 20th edition of the Santos Tour Down Under, in partnership with Adelaide cycling legend, Stuart O’Grady. Now in our second year with “Stuey”, we pulled out all stops to deliver our guests a truly unique experience.

Our 8-Day guests arrived on Sunday 14th January in time for a quick ride before the Peoples Choice Classic to see Peter Sagan pip Caleb Ewan for line honors. After a well earned rest at our 5-Star hotel, the Stamford Plaza Adelaide, Stuey took time from his broadcast duties to escort our guest through the TDU Village. Mummu Cycling guests were blown away by the opportunity to meet the teams as they prepared for the upcoming stages and were very lucky to bump into Matt Hayman and Alex Edmondson who stopped for a quick chat and photo.

Led by our expert ride guide and mechanic, Darren O’Grady (yes, Stuey’s older brother and former Mountain Bike champion), we took to the roads for some incredible riding early in the week. 100km to Williamstown and back included the Mummu Cycling kit leading a 150 person, strong peloton at breakneck speed before enjoying our roadside picnic catered by The Velo Precinct and our beer partner Pure Blonde. Our riders then backing it up the following day with a 65km ride along stunning roads to Stirling and then Aldgate including Norton Summit and Mount Lofty to enjoy some beers and watch the pros battle it out for Stage 2 of the TDU.

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Our group grew to a 20+ strong peloton from Thursday when we took to Adelaide’s bike paths to keep the group rolling and safe. Starting with a 50km loop to the Stage 3 start line in Glenelg including coastal rides along the beach to the annual pilgrimage from Adelaide to Willunga Hill, our guest enjoyed the Mummu Cycling soigneur support on 40 degree days. Our soigneurs offered regular water, sunscreen and feed stops to ensure all riders stayed healthy and safe in the challenging Adelaide heat.

When we heard that the Tour Down Under organisers were looking to cancel the BUPA Challenge Ride due to a forecast 41 degree day, our crew swiftly changed plans to include a cooler ride up Norton Summit before the heat kicked in followed by our entire group of 30 enjoying a 6 course lunch at Coriole Winery in McLaren Vale…a much nicer way to spend a hot afternoon than on a bike.

On the Friday evening we organised an exclusive meet and greet for our guests at the Hilton Hotel with team Mitchelton-SCOTT. Through our partnership with Stuart O’Grady we are able to deliver money can’t buy VIP access to our clients. This included a secret and exclusive meet and greet with team Mitchelton-SCOTT the day before Daryl Impey moved into the leader’s jersey, before taking out the overall General Classification and winning the 2018 Santos Tour Down Under. Riders, including newly crowned Australian Road Cycling Champion Alex Edmondson and Director Sportif Matt White openly discussed tactics with our clients. Robbie McEwen even popped into say hello as did Stuey’s former team mate and cycling legend Jens Voigt. And our on tour professional photographer was on hand to capture it all. Check out the gallery below.

Now reflecting on the week, I am honoured to have been able to give our guests an experience like no other in Adelaide. From our rides designed and led by the O’Grady brothers to unparalleled access to riders and cycling royalty, to race viewing from the best location on each of the 7 stages of the Tour Down Under. 2018 was our best tour yet and we look forward to being able to up the ante again in 2019.

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