Tour of Margaret River 2017 – The Hard Road

The Tour of Margaret River 2017 is on this week. Just in case you missed the ToMR SPAM to date. This is the biggest Pro-Am cycling event in WA, and SPR have been there since Day 1. This year we are sending the biggest Club contingent in SPR’s history, and indeed the event’s history.

These are the numbers of SPR’s ToMR squad 2017:

  • $30K budget
  • 65 nominees
  • 41 SPR racers
  • 10 event volunteers
  • 7 SPR teams
  • 3 Womens teams (YAY!)
  • 1 broken pelvis
  • 6 broken ribs
  • 1 broken scapula
  • 7 stitches
  • 2 back strain injuries
  • 3 cracked frames
  • 1 case pneumonia
  • 1 Annemiek van Vleuten

For clarity, none of the injuries were mine, and none of were Andrew Ballam’s. I know, right?

Personally – since the last ToMR in 2016 I’ve covered 13366km, climbed 102047m, 5 races, 6 weeks injury time off the bike, 1 Europe trip, 1 track session, 1 pretend wedding, 1 Beverley Handicap. No wonder it felt busy!

Speaking of The Beverley Handicap, this year saw 27 of our ToMR nominees race (and suffer in the unseasonable heat) and total of 20+ SPRouleurs (including 13 of them ToMR nominees) volunteering over the course of the weekend. Growing.

Hanso, in the background.

For the Committee, and especially Jon Hanson and I, the time it takes to organise this event is sizeable. On top of real world, full time, big boy jobs, racking up 20+ hours a week for the past 8 weeks on this event alone (discounting The Beverley!) comes at a cost. A cost to partner time, to family time, to sleeping time. But never riding and training time. Never. Ever.

Travelling with SPR this year is the biggest contingent we have sent. Staying in accommodation arranged by SPR, in teams selected by SPR, with a detailed timetable and Squad Handbook drafted by SPR, paid and accounted for through 180 separate incoming payments and 54 outgoing payments. We are dealing with a $30K+ budget for this event. Or three Beverley’s worth of SPR cashola. And all this takes time and passion to do on a volunteer basis.

SPR have not hosted a ToMR Pro rider previously, so hosting Annemiek van Vleuten – as the current Womens World #1 Road Racer, 2017 Womens ITT World Champion, 2017 La Course by TdF champion and as of Sunday night World Cup Track Silver medallist – is a first for the Club. And with it comes some new and extra organisation. Airport transfers, loaner bikes, catering, transfers to and from stages, Dutch beers (possibly, we’ll find out!) and managing outside demands on Annemiek’s time all factor. Our plan is to enjoy it – and so is Annemiek’s.

el Prez, pleeeeeeease let us get this one.

When Jon and I kicked off this year’s activities, Jon’s stated primary goal was for us to require nothing, nada, zilch, zero from Pete. Pete is to enter, enjoy and get out of our way, allowing others in the Club to make the magic. I know its’ not easy for el Prez to do so, and the fact that he has trusted us enough is a big thank you in its’ self.

So I’d like for SPR to recognise the efforts of Jon, and our Green Army of volunteers making this event crank (see what I did there?).

As we apex the last corner at speed into the finishing straight in full flight, Chapeau to you all.


Late Note: After a series of late changes to teams, we heard that Stuart Gee had been involved in a crash this morning, cleaned up by a car in Kings Park. The last withdrawal. Stu has had an amazing year racing. Second on the line at Collie Donnybrook to Gary Boylan, and then a very, very narrow third to Gary Boylan’s second (Gary again!!!) in Lorne for Amy’s Gran Fondo. We’re so sorry to hear the news, Stu and wish you the speediest and easiest recovery. We’ll miss you at ToMR.

2 thoughts on “Tour of Margaret River 2017 – The Hard Road”

  1. Every cyclist loves some solid data/numbers! Thanks for the write-up Greg, and thanks again to you, Jon, and the whole SPR committee for your time, effort, patience and commitment to the club. It’s incredible what you’ve all done and I’m sure it’ll be a great weekend for all involved. Really sorry I can’t join you this time, but I’m looking forward to the race reports!

  2. Excellent work, Greg, Jon and co, congratulations, amazing amount of effort.
    Very impressive to hear of so many heading south this weekend. All the best to all involved, looking forward to reading of the exploits. All the best with the recovery, Stu

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