Support cast from France plays key role at Inside The Peloton function
TWO of Australian cycling's biggest names - Brad McGee and Scott McGrory - teamed up for a Tour de France spectacular on Saturday night in Bendigo.
A group of more than 120 cyclists, competitive or recreational, mingled with cycling fans for a spectacular insight to the world's greatest road race.
McGee and McGrory, at left and right in the picture, achieved plenty on the road and track, and are doing a lot for the sport.
McGrory and the Bendigo International Madison committee again showed great foresight and courage to put this event on.
It was not just a night to go "Inside the Peloton", but also to help raise funds for Bendigo teenager Braeden Dean in the lead-up to his first world junior track championships campaign.
It was many years ago that McGee and McGrory began their journey to being not just among Australia's best, but fierce competitors against riders from many nations.
A remarkable career for McGee included being the first Australian to wear the leader's jersey in the world's three biggest road classics - Tour de France, Tour of Italy and Tour of Spain.
McGrory won gold in the madison at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, excelled on Europe's six-day circuit, and is a dual winner of the Bendigo International Madison track classic.
At Hotel Shamrock in Bendigo they gave a unique glimpse into the Tour de France and more.
A key part of McGee's message was "dare to dream" and that anything is possible, whether it be cycling, footy or any other sport.
Extreme commitment is what it took for him to compete against the best in the world's most gruelling, but also prestigious road classics.
McGee and McGrory were the lead acts at Saturday's function, and called on some "big names" to make the function a resounding success.
The supporting cast included Orica GreenEdge sport director Matt White who spoke to McGee, McGrory and the Bendigo audience during a live cross via phone as stage 14 in the Tour de France unfolded.
There was more to come as McGrory and McGee later spoke to Scott Sunderland.
Video messages from Bendigo-Castlemaine cycling star Zak Dempster and Simon Clarke were also shown. Both share a unique bond as Bendigo International Madison winners.
As the night rolled on it was back to France and another cross to cycling commentator Matt Keenan.
The audience not only heard Keenan talk about the intricacies of the race coverage through SBS and networks around the world, he also went into the commentary booth where Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen were at work.
As we roll toward next year's Bendigo International Madison plans are place for the unveiling of a Hall of Fame.
Names such as McCaig and Macdonald have figured in every carnival.