Buninyong Nights: The Ballad of Jacky Bobby

Buninyong Nights: The Ballad of Jacky Bobby

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Close the polls. Shut the books. No need to tally the votes. It’s only three weeks into the new year, but folks, we may have already witnessed the V Ride of the Year.

While the Euros are trying to escape the bitter chills of winter, the Aussies and Kiwis were turning up the heat with their National Championships being contested last weekend. And both races threw up some true hard racing, and produced two outstanding rides for the titles. Here in NZ, it was a hardass masterclass from HTC’s Hayden Roulston, but the ride that has everyone gushing came from Garmin’s young gun Jack Bobridge.

We know this kid’s got talent, already a World Champion on the track plus a road U23 time trial gold, but the way he decimated a ProTour rider-laden field in the hills of regional Victoria was the stuff of legend. To wait for the ‘right’ break to form, and then leave it to the last minute to attack or sprint from the group is one thing, but to bridge across solo to the early break, drive it for hours to breaking point, then decide to go it alone for the last 30km, well that’s a whole other deal; Merckxian, if you will.

“Just… sometimes, things click”

We received an impassioned email this week from one of our Aussie contingent, Matt, imploring us to dedicate a post to Jacky Bobby‘s win. Well Matt, we’ll gladly doff our caps to young Bo Bridges, but leave the final words to you…

“I believe there may be a new champion of The V Cause.  Jack Bobridge won the Australian Open Road Cycling Championships last week with what can only be described as a true ‘hardman’s’ ride.

Although it wasn’t mud, sleet and cobbles, 160km around Buninyong (featuring 16 laps up a 2.2km, 6% climb) off the front of a bunch featuring half of the Sky and HTC teams (among others) is harder than most riders will ever be.

Hopefully in a generation they will describe Jacky Bobby by some nickname like ‘The Animal’ (as ‘The Cannibal’ has already been taken!)

Until then, I’ll be enjoying him attacking everybody all the time.”

A-Merckx to that, Matt, so will we…

Jacky Bobby, “it’s time to be a man!  You got hair on your peaches or what?”

// Defining Moments // Racing // The Hardmen

  1. 4:10.5 for the IP. RiDICulously fast time!

  2. Incredible!! No sign of le dopage there – Boardman vindicated!

  3. Agreed mate. Yowza!!

  4. @Hawkeye
    It’s such a shame the IP isn’t in the Olympics anymore. Jacky Bobby and Minnie Phinney would have been such an awesome showdown.

  5. @Hawkeye

    Maybe he was clean. Who am I to say? Either way, his time of 4:10 on that superman bike was well out of everyone’s reach for… forever. Now Bobridge and Phinney have popped up, and are peppering 4:13-ish. The boys have talent. IF either had a crack and concentrated on it, they’d get awful close. Pity neither has a team that would support such efforts.

    Prognosticator much? Between you and @Steampunk, I’m not looking forward to the beating we’ll get at the VSP.

    And good on Jacky Bobby!

    @Oli Brooke-White
    Not sure I’m getting your logic; how does Jacky’s ride vindicate Boardman? Who I love, by the way.

  6. @Marko
    In further answer to your query, there has definitely been a nincrease in TV coverage by the commercial channels. SBS always had a certain amount of coverage but it has gone from 30 minute highlights during the TdF to all stages being broadcast live (many a sleepless night to be had but who cares about work at this time of year?) What started with mentions in the news with the likes of Steve Hodges & Phil Anderson, grew with Patrick Jonker then Robbie McEwen then we had good cadel up there on the podium & suddenly cycling was in the mainstream mdeia.
    For the last few years sales of bicycles have been steadily increasing & now outsell new car sales! There are certainly more cyclists on the road then there was say even 5 years agao (albeit a lot are the cafe crowd but hey, at least they’re out there).
    The state & local governments are building more cycleways (it’s a start!) & slowly but surely we are being given a small amount of respect on the road by car drivers (too little but it is happening)
    My hope is, as you suggested, that Australia will become a “cycling nation” in the not too distant future. We are certainly showing the world that we are consistently capable of producing pro quality riders.

  7. On a completely different subject, can anyone tell me why I would have lost a ranking? i.e. I was so happy a few days ago I had gone from a level 4 Velominatus to a level 3. For some reason I have reverted back to a 4, me sad……

  8. @mightyninja
    Not sure on why you lost your ranking but you did stuff up the name of Stephen Hodge.

  9. Marcus :
    @mightyninja Not sure on why you lost your ranking but you did stuff up the name of Stephen Hodge.

    Ooops! Comes from working with a person with that same name. I’ll try harder next time

  10. @mightyninja
    Did you change your email address? I noticed someone else dropped in status as well…that’s the most likely reason. (Levels are tracked by email address.)

    You’d have to make a bigger mistake than misspelling someone’s name to get an official demotion. Like, for instance, calling Belgian beer “pisswater” or something egregious like that.

    If not I will investigate.

  11. frank :
    @mightyninjaDid you change your email address? I noticed someone else dropped in status as well…that’s the most likely reason. (Levels are tracked by email address.)
    You’d have to make a bigger mistake than misspelling someone’s name to get an official demotion. Like, for instance, calling Belgian beer “pisswater” or something egregious like that.
    If not I will investigate.

    that’s absolutely correct (changed e-mail address not Belgian beer being pisswater, quite like it myself!).

    So I’ll have to continue making as many profound contributions as I can then to regain my status/level

  12. frank:
    @Hawkeye

    Maybe he was clean. Who am I to say? Either way, his time of 4:10 on that superman bike was well out of everyone’s reach for… forever. Now Bobridge and Phinney have popped up, and are peppering 4:13-ish. The boys have talent. IF either had a crack and concentrated on it, they’d get awful close. Pity neither has a team that would support such efforts.

    @Oli Brooke-White
    Not sure I’m getting your logic; how does Jacky’s ride vindicate Boardman? Who I love, by the way.

    I’m using the “logic” that if Bobridge (who is widely regarded as a poster boy for drug-free cycling) can do it clean it’s entirely likely that Boardman could in the Superman position. Just sticking up for the man from the Wirral for no real reason…

  13. @Oli Brooke-White
    Well I hesitate to say this Oli, but the extension and reversal of that logic damns your (and my) poster boy Lance.

    If Lance beat all of his competitors who were doped, ergo he must be doped too???

  14. Eek, don’t go there!!

  15. @Marcus, @Oli Brooke-White
    You guys should check out the Sports Illustrated article, although if you really, truly believe he was clean (do you really?), you will likely dismiss it. So maybe don’t read it.

  16. @Frank, @Marcus, @Oli Brook-White

    Have you read this interview with Landis yet? http://nyvelocity.com/content/interviews/2011/landiskimmage

  17. @frank
    Who said I thought he was clean? I don’t. Less because of the latest stories (which further convince me) and more because he absolutely dominated a whole generation of dopers. To my mnd that makes it impossible for him not to have been “assisted”.
    But I still have great admiration for his achievements in thoseflawed times (which I hope are over).

  18. @Marcus
    Roger that. I think he’s a COTHO, but I feel terrible for the cancer patients who have used him as a beacon of hope. No one with that illness needs another dream crushed.

  19. I’ve read everything, including those articles. I’m not as stupid as I look, you know.

    This is a blog post I wrote on my feelings on the subject called Dopage and The Giro d’Welli.

  20. @frank: I think you’d be surprised by how few cancer patients will give a stuff about whether or not he doped. I’m pretty sure that most of them who have been inspired by him or helped by him won’t blame the inspiration or help on dope. I think most of his fans will come to accept his failings if they are proven, and if they are not proven the fans will go on believing in the fairy tale…

  21. @Oli Brooke-White
    I hope you’re right (for the patients’ sake), but I’m not optimistic. I don’t know, but over here his cancer story is a pretty big deal. It’s one of the most recognized brands in the US at the moment.

    I think cycling is pretty poorly understood by the US public an and, at least over here, it will get pretty ugly. Especially if he gets stuck with some of the racketeering charges.

    But, we’ll just have to wait and see, people are (at least in the states) so short-sighted and have such a short attention span, maybe it will just blow over. I mean, look at the bankers…

  22. @frank I can understand investigating the guy to get the truth out there and make sure we have fair play, but trying to put real criminal charges on dopers (racketeering, perjury, etc.) is a joke. Doping yourself to win a sporting event doesn’t make you a criminal. I can see sponsors filing civil charges seeking damages and prize money being returned, but prison time? You gotta be kidding me.

    Whether or not the Tour wins were legit (even if he doped you could argue they were since he raced mainly dopers) he still did beat cancer against incredible odds and does a lot for those suffering with the disease. Regardless of his motivations, that’s a good thing.

    Honestly, we have real crime in this country that needs investigating and the guy’s last win was six years ago. If any of this goes to trial it’ll be edging in on a decade from his last win before they get a verdict. Uggh. Just be done with it.

  23. Just for comparison I had a mate who 3 months before the statute of limitation ran out was convicted of selling a ton of pot and spent 8 years in the federal system. So if Lance was getting bus loads of bikers high shouldn’t he do a little time?

  24. @Rob I don’t believe in incarceration as the answer for drug offenses. All the data shows we can’t spend enough money to put them all behind bars and crime isn’t caused by drug use, both crime and drug use are caused by social conditions. So no, even if Lance was getting people high I wouldn’t care. Also, the drugs most of these guys take aren’t illegal per se, they’re illegal w/o a scrip, and you or I could get them prescribed pretty easily as just about any level of hormones below the human max can be considered sub-optimal. Testosterone, HGH, Steroids, even EPO are all routinely prescribed in anti-aging clinics. There’s a nice Outside article by a guy who went on a doping regime that I can get a link to if you like.

    I think your mate should have been fined at worst.

  25. @ZachOlson I so agree with all you said – I am still pissed at the Feds because said mate was being a productive member of society, running a business that employed people, for over 6 years. He never used violence and it was just pot, in fact he got out when it got weird with guns.

    My badly made point was if we waste our time with pot dealers, which we shouldn’t, we should not waste our time with bugies (bike-druggies).

    Having said that I am for legalization of drugs with education (real education – not some state trooper telling shit you know is not true) and get on with accepting that there will always be 10% who do it.

    Since I am always trying to peak and always 2 months away I refrain except at Norooz celebrations…

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