Fresh off a stunning victory at the 2016 Cycling Australia Road National Championships, Crows Ambassador Jack Bobridge and several of his Trek-Segafredo team visited the Club during the week.
Bobridge, 26, is back in Adelaide for the Tour Down Under, which kicks off on Sunday. The three-time World Champion and Olympic Silver Medallist won a stage of the TDU last year.
“I’d have to say it’s one of my favourite races of the year, being in my home town and in front of a home crowd,” Bobridge said.
“Starting with a new team (Trek-Segafredo), my big goal was to start with good fitness levels with the team; to win the Nationals last weekend was a bonus.
“The TDU is ranked pretty highly for us and we have to see where we are at. I think we’ve brought a fantastic team here – a good all-round team to cover all bases.”
Bobridge and Trek-Segafredo teammates, Ryder Hesjedal (Canada), Kiel Reijnen (USA), Giacomo Nizzolo (Italy), Boy van Poppel (Netherlands), Peter Stetina (USA) and Julian Arredondo (Colombia), as well as Manager Adriano Baffi (Italy) were given a tour of the Crows’ training facilities.
The international riders were also given a crash course in Australian Football. Bobridge, who played school footy, and Adelaide staffers offered a few kicking tips to those unfamiliar to the oval-shaped ball. The two teams swapped jumpers/jerseys, with Bobridge joking he would hang the Crows jumper on the team car!
Bobridge heads into the TDU in remarkable form.
His win in Ballarat, where a bold breakaway saw him hit the lead with more than 180 kilometres still to travel, has been described as one of the greatest performances in Australian road race championship history.
Just 15 of the 127 riders who started the race crossed the finish line in the hot and trying conditions. Remarkably, Bobridge rode the last 90-odd kilometres alone.
“It was pretty boring there for a while!” he said with a laugh.
“No, it was good. The crowd was fantastic once again on Buninyong. I just had to go off feel … and rode to my power meter and knew what I could do. Fortunately, that was enough on the day.”
Bobridge’s main aim this year is winning Olympic gold in the Team Pursuit, hopefully, alongside fellow South Aussie and Crows fan, Alex Edmondson, at the Rio Games in August. Alex’s older sister and Adelaide Ambassador, Nettie, will also be part of the contingent chasing gold on the track.
“It’ll be my third Olympics and I’ve got a fourth and a second,” Bobridge said.
“Hopefully, this year we can be on the top step – that’s the ultimate goal. I think we have the team to do it if everything falls into place.
“Nettie and Alex will be there (in Rio) for sure. Hopefully, they’ll both be on the podium – I hope Alex is especially because that means I will be as well!”