Lance Armstrong, Tour Down Under 2010

Lance Armstrong and Twitter once again joined forces to good affect, this time to organise a mass ride in Adelaide today.

An estimated 5,000 - 8,000 cyclists converged in Wigley on the outskirts of Adelaide, joining Armstrong, Robbie McEwen and other riders here to participate in next week's Tour Down Under, for a pedal up and down the sea front.

"It was busy. Chaotic," Armstrong said. "But it was a controlled chaos, certainly the biggest one that I've been a part of. We gave them a little more notice than normal and we had a lot of support from the local police, that was really helpful. Everybody was very mindful and respectful. There was a few crashes I could hear, but it was great."

"We got lucky because it's a cycling city and because of the race you have people here," Armstrong said.

Armstrong first Tweeted about the ride on Wednesday after arriving in Australia, saying; 'Having dinner at my favorite spot here in Adelaide. I feel a Twitter ride coming on. Can Adelaide top Dublin??'

The following day he confirmed the location, saying; 'Ok Adelaide... 9am Saturday. Wigley Reserve. Come one come all!' With just two days notice the local authority put in temporary toilets, a marquee, drinks and a sausage sizzle. Local police were also on hand to provide a rolling road block.

"There'll be other [rides],  but I don't think anybody will top what we had here today, that was a huge amount of people. Part of me says we'll never do better than today, we'll never do another one. But part of me thinks we should go somewhere very unique, where people wouldn't expect me to go. We'll see, a lot of it is just instinct and seeing if we have the time and seeing if we have the urge."

The phenomenon of impromptu Twitter Rides started in Paisley, Scotland last year when Armstrong invited local cyclists to join him for a ride. Hundreds turned up in the rain, swamping the hotel he was staying in and virtually closing the road outside.

That was then topped in Dublin when the Police closed Pheonix park for a Twitter ride after the Tour of Ireland and even more people turned up. Adelaide now has the honour of hosting the biggest ever Twitter ride. Where next?

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Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling when channel surfing in 1989 and happening across the greatest ever edition of the Tour de France. He's been a Greg LeMond fan ever since. He started racing in 1995 when moving to university in North Wales gave him more time to train and some amazing roads to train on. He raced domestically for several years, riding everything from Surrey leagues to time trials, track and even a few Premier Calendars. In 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium with the Kingsnorth International Wheelers. 


Since working for Cycling Weekly he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He can still be seen at his club's evening races through the summer but he still hasn't completed the CW5000 challenge!


SIMON IS CURRENTLY RIDING

Road bike: Pinarello K8S with Shimano Dura Ace

TT bike: Specialized Venge road bike with FFWD wheels and Easton Attack TT bars

Gravel bike: N/A

Training bike: Rourke custom hand made with Reynolds 853 steel