Monday, December 17, 2007

Whitewashed at Cronulla

I must keep a tally of these fortunate riders who win their final pro races to end their careers on a fairytale high. It's very un-Australian to do it, though. Real Aussies make a duck in their last innings, like Bradman. Anyway, Whitey's done it and I missed it 'cause I had a commitment to my almost-9 year old daughter and her latest ballet performance. Such is life (another Aussie tradition, look it up.)

But my non-attendance won't stop me saying 'well done'. I've never knowingly raced or ridden with Matt White (maybe I was at the back of a training bunch once or twice) but he's been part of the local scenery for yonks. Whilst I'm impressed with Matt's career and his final win I do have to say it amuses me to see riders take out these heart-stopping finales. I always think of the tour-Tour crits and the shenanigans that go on to please the crowd (what, you mean they aren't for real?). And interestingly this was not just Matt's last win as a pro, he's also very much a local to the district. So it's a win all round. A good news story when cycling's got some much-needed but rare local commercial TV coverage. But whatever really went on during that final breakaway, the trick here is to look real. And to me, from what I did see, it was convincing.

From Australian Matt White (Discovery Channel) has ended his professional career on the highest of notes, taking victory at the Cronulla International Grand Prix an event staged in Sydney's Sutherland Shire, home to White and many other professional cyclists. The victory on his home's shores served to bookend White's career. The 33 year-old claimed his first major win at the Under 17 Road Team Time Trial component of the 1990 Australian Titles in Western Australia.