The UCI World Championship Cycle Races have been
run ridden and won and Wollongong is fluffing out its feathers and settling back to normal. But, Oh! What a week Bill and I had. First, a little reminder of my earlier post, Wollongong is on the map!
Bill ended up volunteering every day on split shifts. In the morning he delivered vehicles to block key intersections from being “ram-road attacked” by rogue terrorists in vehicles, and in the afternoon, he fetched them back to the depot again. Wollongong is not in the habit of having terrorism – I’m not sure any of us would have known what to do in the event, but happily, we never had to learn.
I ended up volunteering five days, and they were full on, eight to nine hours each day. I was at the railway station, in the shopping mall, at the above intersection which is outside the hotel used by many of the UCI officials and part of the main racing track, at the finish line where a special platform for accessibility needs had been erected, and, busiest of all, at the intersection where riders made their first turn for most of the races. Some days the sun blasted us, other days the rain pelted down. On the rainy days I discovered the spectator guides we were handing out would also make good papier-mâché 🙂
Here’s a selfie where I tried my best to look less stern than in the photo on my previous post.
Here’s one taken from that first turn. It’s in the CBD at the bottom of the main street. The shops are at one end, and the beach at the other. That’s something kind of unique to Wollongong.
We Spectator Services volunteers had a private Facebook group and some of the photos and videos uploaded there are superb. They far out-pass my hasty snaps. Here is a video, courtesy of Bronwyn Marvell, taken behind the winning line of the Elite Women’s race. Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten had just ridden 165klm (102 mi), up and down hills, in the pouring rain, with a broken elbow so she had to remain in the saddle the whole time, to end with a sprint to the finish line. No wonder she looks stunned. Happy. But stunned.
Next year the event is held in Glasgow. Perhaps this post will inspire some of you locals to get along to see it.