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. @Marcus, @SupermanSam
    I was wondering if you blokes would ask the question; what you say about Gerrans definitely strikes the “undouche” chord.

    We’ve spent several summers vacationing in Aspet, in the French Pyrenees. Awesome place. O’Grady lived in Toulouse at the time, Voigt in the next time over, and Gerrans in Aspet or nearby as well. They were all riding for CA at the time and the Gerrans fan club was based out of the bakery in town. Very cool; his picture was always up in store windows, posing with the locals. Instant fan.

    Then his alleged lie to trick his breakaway companions into towing him to the line in the Tour was narrowly neutralized by (a) the stupidity of a rider believing a line like that and (b) his awesome Giro stage win.

    What bothered me was his attitude towards CTT. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but in my book, you publicly treat the people paying your salary with respect. I can understand he was pissed that he wasn’t chosen for the Tour team, but that attitude of entitlement always kills me – whether in cyclist or anyone else (Sastre has the same problem). CTT made a decision, and Gerrans was more than welcome to argue it behind closed doors, but no need to bitch about it publicly.

    Unfortunately, no matter how cool you are, entitlement (or arrogance) puts you in the douche book.

    I might forget, though, if he does some cool shit. I only remember about one or two incidents back, so once he’s done a few cool things (that I notice), we’ll be right as rain.

  2. @G’phant
    bzzzzz. What are “Switzerland-based international sports organizing bodies”?

  3. @SupermanSam
    Ahhh little Lleyton… douche through and through.
    That’s been clear since he came onto the scene. Bad sport whether he wins or loses.
    Now don’t get me started on the Aussie cricket team…

  4. How’s the amount of cr@p Cotho’s been copping since he turned up in Aus? First the Aussie press rip into their govt for spending up to $2 million for his appearance fee, then Sports Illustrated grabs the handle of the broom and shoves it somewhere seemingly unpleasant…from my most favouraite rider to my least favourite rider in one post.

  5. Hawkeye:Boardman on a superman bike (since banned) carrying (allegedly) the dirtiest blood since good old Bjarne in Pyjamas had to wake up nightly during his ’96 TdF win to ensure he didn’t develop a clot from carrying a haematocrit of 63.

    Boardman dirty? Where exactly did you pick up this scurrilous gossip from? Everything I’ve read points to him being as clean as a whistle throughout his career.

    No argument about Riis obviously…

  6. @Oli Brooke-White, @Hawkeye

    Hawkeye:Boardman on a superman bike (since banned) carrying (allegedly) the dirtiest blood since good old Bjarne in Pyjamas had to wake up nightly during his ’96 TdF win to ensure he didn’t develop a clot from carrying a haematocrit of 63.

    Boardman dirty? Where exactly did you pick up this scurrilous gossip from? Everything I’ve read points to him being as clean as a whistle throughout his career.
    No argument about Riis obviously…

    I had the idea he was clean, too, except he’s guilt by who he managed to beat, eh? Boardman’s one of my favorites either way. Anyone read the piece in Rouleur a few years back where he discussed his final Hour attempt with wheels built by Royce? Fantastic stuff.

  7. @minion

    How’s the amount of cr@p COTHO’s been copping since he turned up in Aus? First the Aussie press rip into their govt for spending up to $2 million for his appearance fee, then Sports Illustrated grabs the handle of the broom and shoves it somewhere seemingly unpleasant…from my most favouraite rider to my least favourite rider in one post.

    You can’t possibly have actually believed he was clean though, right? Right? I mean, it was a great story, but you know what they say about farytales…

  8. Speaking of TDU, this is great. Poor little fella.

    http://www.theage.com.au/sport/cycling/cavendish-fumes-over-traffic-problems-20110120-19y1v.html

  9. viva les cinq :
    Speaking of TDU, this is great. Poor little fella.
    http://www.theage.com.au/sport/cycling/cavendish-fumes-over-traffic-problems-20110120-19y1v.html

    sore tummy, traffic, lethargic….poor tiddums refer to Rule #5

    @SupermanSAm
    Lleyton descriptives – douche, tosser, embarrassing knobhead & insert your own here …………..the list goes on

  10. Yeah, saw a link to a story on VeloNews. Was in the newspaper (USA Today?) and was mulling over whether Pharmstrong’s guilt would undo all the good he’s done for cancer survivors/research.

    It always amuses me when the masses who don’t pay any attention at all get involved in cycling, doping, debating, et cetera.

    I’ve never hated nor loved Pharmstrong, but there are going to be a ton of angry Amurcans when he’s found guilty.

    That Lleyton Hewitt encounter sounds rough!

  11. @mightyninja
    I do feel a little sorry for the little guy though, I mean his stack the day before was a pretty good one, big face plant. He got back on & finished and rode the next day. He’s tightened his helmet strap now though I see. Some good pics here:
    http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/2011/01/tdu-stage-2-victoria-versus-new-south-whales/

    Nice shot of Jacky Bobby after a hard day out.

    By the way, you boys in the US and UK should consider this trip next year. Some good rides in nice warm climate, plus every stage you can join the pro’s as they ride back into Adelaide in impromptu bunches:
    http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/2011/01/tour-down-under-stage-3-bling-boogie/

  12. frank :
    @minion

    How’s the amount of cr@p COTHO’s been copping since he turned up in Aus? First the Aussie press rip into their govt for spending up to $2 million for his appearance fee, then Sports Illustrated grabs the handle of the broom and shoves it somewhere seemingly unpleasant…from my most favouraite rider to my least favourite rider in one post.

    You can’t possibly have actually believed he was clean though, right? Right? I mean, it was a great story, but you know what they say about farytales…

    Aw hell no, I think he’s kept his tail clean by earning huge amounts of money and done a professional job of covering his tail and probably being able to aford lawyers increadibly quickly. I’d be very skeptical about believing fairytales mired in accusations, backbiting, vanity and money.

    Not stealing readers but one of the posters to this thread is Mike Anderson, who testified against Lance in Texas. http://www.vorb.org.nz/what-dick-t110618.html

  13. Damn, an early season trip to Oz for the TdUnder sounds like a great idea.

    $2 M to appear. That has to really fuck up your mind when you are in that position.

    I got to thinking about fame and celebrity the other week. I was in the airport in St. Maarten, waiting for my brother to arrive on another flight. I see Shaun O’Hara, a NY Giant, a Pro Bowler, and a Super Bowl champion walk through the customs. Huh? Woah. (I’m a Giants fan). Yet no one blinked an eye. Likely because they don’t care so much about the NFL in St. Maarten, but also because the guy plays in a helmet and isn’t a RB, WR, or QB.

    But, if he was someone a bit different, say a QB, he’d have been swamped with people. Funny how that works.

    I do wonder what will happen to Pharmstrong. I am almost sad thinking about how many people are going to be crushed when it is finally revealed he’s dirty; anyone being objective already knows it.

  14. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  15. @Oli Brooke-White
    WAKE UP, OLI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. SupermanSam :
    @mightyninja I do feel a little sorry for the little guy though, I mean his stack the day before was a pretty good one, big face plant. He got back on & finished and rode the next day. He’s tightened his helmet strap now though I see. Some good pics here:http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/2011/01/tdu-stage-2-victoria-versus-new-south-whales/

    yeah I know, I’m being a bit cynical but reading that article he did come across a little bit whiney.

  17. @Oli Brooke-White
    yeah sorry Oli, I get your point. Back to JB!

  18. Bit late to the thread but I was lucky enough to be standing near the top of the hill outside the township of Sterling last January for stage 3 of the 2010 edition of the Tour Downunder (same stage that was held yesterday) when Jacky Bobby was riding for the UniSA team – i.e. before he was picked up by Sky – its a great team to watch as the young guns are always going out on the attack for a bit of airtime. He and one of the other riders in that team, possibly one of the Meyer brothers, attacked off the bunch through the town and hit that hill full gas – I mean they just flew up it – it would be a good 9 percent or so – and lead a break for a lap or so as I recall – man you could tell then he was destined for great things seeing that – it was pretty exciting to watch in person.

  19. @Kiwicyclist – Wow, that is a great experience. Nothing like seeing someone on the rise, before they have been heard of by everyone else.

    Watching dudes that fast in person is always exciting.

  20. This puts the whole CoTHO thing to rest once and for all.

  21. @Marko
    “If you’re doing that stuff sober, something wrongs with YOU.”
    Love the emphasis on you.

  22. Oli Brooke-White:

    Hawkeye:Boardman on a superman bike (since banned) carrying (allegedly) the dirtiest blood since good old Bjarne in Pyjamas had to wake up nightly during his ’96 TdF win to ensure he didn’t develop a clot from carrying a haematocrit of 63.

    Boardman dirty? Where exactly did you pick up this scurrilous gossip from? Everything I’ve read points to him being as clean as a whistle throughout his career.
    No argument about Riis obviously…

    Heh. I actually have no evidence for it Oli. I’ve only ever actually heard it spoken of as a stated fact when ever his time is mentioned.

    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.

  23. Imagine the times that those boys could do in the Superman position!

  24. @Oli Brooke-White
    SUPERMAN POSITION NOT REQUIRED – JACKY BOBBY JUST BEAT BOARDMAN’S INDIVIDUAL PURSUIT RECORD. WOOT WOOT!

  25. BOOOOOOOOOOOM! JackyBobby just pumped it!! Pushing out a few 60″ kilos in the middle there! Holy. Crap.

  26. 4:10.5 for the IP. RiDICulously fast time!

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

  28. Agreed mate. Yowza!!

  29. @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.

  30. @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.

  31. @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.

  32. 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……

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

  34. 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

  35. @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.

  36. 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

  37. 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…

  38. @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???

  39. Eek, don’t go there!!

  40. @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.

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

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

  42. @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).

  43. @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.

  44. 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.

  45. @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…

  46. @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…

  47. @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.

  48. 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?

  49. @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.

  50. @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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