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Close encounter of a third kind: Martin Kohler strokes a koala bear. (Photo by Georges Luechinger / BMC Racing Team Mediaservice).
Close encounter of a third kind: Martin Kohler strokes a koala bear. (Photo by Georges Luechinger / BMC Racing Team Mediaservice).

The Jungle Book

16. January 2010

Adelaide

The calm before the storm: The evening before the kick-off criterium takes place in Adelaide, representatives of the local zoo introduced the participants of the Tour Down Under to some very special furry friends. 

Two small eucalyptus trees were placed in the middle of the Rider Village to give the two koala bears a space to play.  Comfortably ensconced in their leafy domain, the koalas happily munched eucalyptus leaves while photographers managed to snap up-close-and-personal shots.  BMC’s Martin Kohler went so far as to pet one of the friendly cuddly animals.  His boss, Directeur Sportif John Lelangue joined in the action with the baby kangaroos.  “It is an unbelievable feeling to have a baby kangaroo in your arms!” he marveled.  And though there were several snakes on display, the members of the BMC Racing Team drew the line at cuddling with the reptiles: snakes, no thanks.