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27 April 2012 1 comment
WCR Grand Tour Update the NinthEvents Sports Cycling Travel & Adventure Cycling
Kind Strangers dispensing Wine Gums and Free Money have lightened Stephen's mood no end. We have remarked once or twice recently on Simon Hutchinson's comparative quietness, but clarifying news has reached us this week through his girlfriend Nicola. It seems that shortly after the spill he took near Perth earlier in the month, one of his bags went missing. It's not known whether the bag was removed from the site of his accident, or from the hospital to which he was admitted. All the good stuff was in there. Passport, banking cards, tracker, the works. Nicola is currently scrambling to have Simon supplied with replacements, while Simon continues to fight the good fight, powering across the Nullarbor Plain as you read this. Stephen Phillips is learning that Dame KOSometer will gladly tend to strike when she's most needed. Feeling a bit out of sorts lately, Stephen had been struggling with his inner demons, missing home comforts... just not really having much fun in the saddle, either. And the airline that damaged his bike and bags still hadn't said sorry. Then out of nowhere at the weekend, he located a confectioner who stocked his favourite Wine Gums! Given that he'd never previously met the sweet shop's owner, we reckon this qualifies as Kindness Of A Stranger. But get this... A day or two later, some Friend He Hadn't Met Yet walked up and handed him a fifty dollar note. (Admittedly they were Australian dollars, but still.) High on the improbability of it all, Stephen proceeded to promptly crank out 110 miles before lunch. Then he rescued an adorable stray lamb that was shivering and lost at the side of the road. Awwwwwww! So he tells us anyway. Kristina Storey joined the race earlier in April. She has already completed a leg through Brazil and is now in Senegal. Her Blog has lots of information, photos and impressions from the journey thus far. Another rider finished in Brazil is Niel Coventry Brown. We think we finally discovered in a recent post how the New Zealander manages to clock up all those daily miles, regardless of terrain type. Regular readers will be familiar with Niel's Coke habit. The man can barely write a line without wondering aloud where his next half gallon of Brown Sugar is coming from. But when Niel casually mentioned this week that as a rule he favours The Real Thing ahead of milk on his corn flakes, a lot of things finally fell into place. Current race leader Mike Hall is in the United States. Of course cyclists, more than any other breed of lunatic, are famed for their ingeniously self-deprecating excuses. Mike provided us with a peach on his Twitter feed lately- "Yesterday's health worries proved to be a false alarm thankfully. Reluctantly stopped short at 150 miles to rest up though in case." This translates into proper English as- "Reluctant as one is to fish for compliments, it behooves me to inform my foes, and everybody else that even with a crippling dose of influenza leeching the last ounces of energy from my mortal coil, yours truly did a century and a half before lunch this morning and then took the rest of the day off. And I'm talking about MILES. How you like them apples, Stephen Phillips? See if the fella who gave you the fifty wants to push you up a hill. Walker, you want a piece of this too? You're lucky I have this flu bug. What am I saying? You're lucky we're not on the same continent." Paul Ashley Unett has caved in, like many a good man before him, and shaved his legs for no particular reason. He reportedly likes how they feel. Sadly, his only new photo so far this week has been this brain teaser.