April 12/99 11:37 am - The Chris Sheppard Report from OZ
Posted by Editor on 04/12/99
Shep in OZ
or....Veggie mite World Cup#2
Sorry for the delay in sending this out but the leaded gas fumes must have got to me!
At first I thought a trip to Sydney would be the bomb, but after staying in the middle of suburbian hell I have now changed my mind. Aside from the usual fringe benefits of a warm climate (weather was OK, I got a good tan) my stay could be compared with that of an Australian being dropped in Van Nuys, and being told to go train! Not fun!
Race day was quite normal with me looking at everyone else and thinking, "boy am I fat compared to these guys!". There were three riders missing from the top 50 so the tempo was hard from the get go. Playing passive wimps were, Shamoe, Rolli, and myself as we filtered into the thirties for the first time up the climb. The tempo was being torked by any one of the six French riders that finished in the top 12 (and Dr Dre). Slowly we picked our way through the field with Shamoe continuing his attack all the way to the finish. Not only did Shamoe stomp mud holes in the Euros' asses, he dug deep in the end to ride Tinker off his wheel and end up in thirteenth (Arrrr well done lad)! Dre rode well in the top 15 till the last lap where he fell back to 20th. Like those two I progressively moved forward after my nasty start, and climbed up to 19th....and then I said, "hey I don't need extra money", and tumbled back to 28th. Actually I needed the money, but when you hit the wall with a lap left there's nothing you can do. "C'est la vie".
The highlights of riding and motor pacing in Sydney included: being fingered, spit on, called a pansy, or pussy in tights (these two were quite popular), and also being chased by a three legged dog! What a fine country! If you thought the land of leather skin was a good place to train think otherwise. I would feel safer riding naked through a trailer park in rural West Virginia with "I'm easy" markered on my back than training in Sydney!