Tymmsy, you did us proud. You rode at the front, brought back breaks, controlled the race, had McEwen barely holding your wheel, and you played a big part in winning the overall team classification. You rode like a seasoned pro all week long…until the champagne celebration at the end. Where did it all go wrong? Was it nerves being up on stage in front of 10,000 spectators with 4 cycling legends, or was it simply inexperience with that tricky champagne cork?
Tymmsy (left), Jeremy Hunt, Matt Wilson, Simon Gerrans, Baden Cooke (right)
Whatever it was, if you read one TIP on this blog all year long folks, this should be the one. Old or young, you never know when you might be up on the podium with 4 other Tour de France stars and need to spray champagne at a split second notice. This will help prepare you for that moment of a lifetime. This is the stuff they don’t teach you at the AIS.
1. Pre-shake champagne bottle before attempting to open. Shake vigorously in a vertical motion. Note the PRO stance. Hunched forward, one foot back for balance, baseball cap on straight.
2. Once champagne is cocked and loaded, it’s time to open. This is the tricky part that sometimes gets you. Note the little metal wire around the cork . You need to twist this wire in a counter-clockwise motion to unwind it from the cork.
3. If you still can’t get the wire off the cork while everyone else has been spraying their champagne on the crowd for 30 seconds, it’s time to call in some back-up. Don’t be afraid to get the SRAM neutral support up to the podium with a set of snippers. This is exactly what they’re trained to do.
4. Once you get the wire off the cork, it’s time to get the cork itself off. This is another tricky part, but with proper technique it can be very elegant. To get the cork off, hold the bottle in one hand and the thumb of the other hand pressing on the cork. Press upwards, away from the bottle and the pressure should release the cork 15 meters into the air. I know…the PROs make it look easier that it actually is…
5. Once the cork is off you NEED to create more pressure by blocking the bottle opening with your thumb so the champagne actually sprays out of the bottle. Continue shaking while spraying. I’m not sure what’s going on in the picture of Tymmsy below (far left)….maybe he got stuck with a cheap bottle of chardonnay? And what’s with the stance? Not pro! Note Gerro and Cookie. They’ve still got the bottle spraying 2 minutes after they started. True professionals. Notice Jez guzzling half the bottle he saved for himself. Not a drop to waste. What a champion.
There you have it folks. The Bay Crits have wrapped up and it’s back to real life for Tymmsy and the rest of us. Thanks for all the entertainment and TIPs that this series has provided over the past week!