After what feels like decades since the season ended it is finally time for people forget about the media’s obsession with the Armstrong saga and get back to what really matters: RACING!!!
As winter has settled in and many of us in the Northern Hemisphere are battling with ice and snow, the Southern Hemisphere is enjoying the heat of summer. We can’t help but think how nice it is for them to host a UCI World Tour event and give us poor souls on the turbo something to keep us going until we can finally get the bikes out of the shed.
The Santos Tour Down Under is the first stop on the world cycling calendar. Covering 759 km over 6 stages, plus the People’s Choice Classic, the 2013 Tour Down Under takes place from 20th to the 27th of January amongst some of the most stunning scenery South Australia has to offer.
There are six jerseys to compete for at the Tour including:
Santos Tour Down Under Ochre Leader’s Jersey – Given to the rider who has accumulated the fastest overall time during the 7 stage event. In 2012 it was Australian Simon Gerrans of Orica GreenEDGE who was crowned overall winner of the event and he returns to the TDU to defend his title.
Skoda King of the Mountain Jersey – Awarded to the rider who finishes with the most mountain points that is accumulated during each stage. Rohan Dennis from UniSA Australia won the 2012 award.
Jayco Sprint Jersey – Awarded to the rider who accumulates the most sprint points over the race. The 2012 Santos Tour Down Under the jersey was awarded to Edvald Boasson Hagen of Team Sky.
Cycle Instead Young Rider Jersey- Awarded to the rider ages 25 or under that has the fastest cumulative time. It was Rohan Dennis from UniSA Australia won the 2012 award.
Europcar Most Competitive Rider Jersey – This jersey is awarded to the rider who is felt to have instigated the most attacks, breakaways or rode for a member of their team to give them the greatest advantage. 2012 saw Jan Bakelants from RadioShack- Nissan take the honours.
Hindmarsh Winning Team Jersey – This jersey is awarded to the team with the fastest cumulative time over the race. Last year RadioShack-Nissan was the winner of the team jersey.
The race begins in Adelaide on Sunday January 20th with a quick 51km closed circuit race, which is meant to be a preview to the tour and a chance for the public to get up close and personal with the riders. Six stages will follow over 759 km on routes that are not laid out just to benefit the sprinters. It is a course that will challenge even the world’s best riders and show up those who have been taking it easy over the rest period.
Stage 1: 22nd Jan 2013 L’Oreal Men Expert Stage – Prospect to Lobethal, 135km.
Stage 2: 23rd Jan 2013 – Hahn Super Dry Stage – Mt Barker to Rostrevor, 116.5km.
Stage 3: 24th Jan 2013 – BikeExchange.com.au Stage – Unley to Stirling, 139km.
Stage 4: 25th Jan 2013 – Bupa Stage – Modbury to Tanuda, 126.5km.
Stage 5: 26th Jan 2013 – Jayco Stage – McLaren Vale to Old Willunga Hill, 151.5km.
Stage 6: 27th Jan 2013 Last day – Adelaide City Council Street Circuit, 90km.
Like all UCI World Tour events, the Tour Down Under attracts the top pro teams every year as they begin their campaign to become the team to watch for the coming 12 months. Over the years it has mainly been sprinters who have claimed glory in Australia but as the course is altered slightly to accommodate a variety of skill sets, it is the all-rounders that look to take centre stage.
As the 2013 race calendar begins, cycling fans all over the world are looking forward to the Tour Down Under, as it heralds in the new season ahead. It is a time where we can finally forget what has happened in the off season and concentrate on rebuilding the sport we feel so passionate about. South Australia now takes centre stage; are they ready for us?
Orica Greenedge (AUS)
Simon Gerrans (AUS), Luke Durbridge (AUS), Daryl Impey (RSA), Matthew Goss (AUS), Simon Clarke (AUS), Jens Mouris (NED), Stuart O’Grady (AUS). Team Manager: Matthew Wilson (AUS)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Phillipe Gilbert (BEL), Ivan Santaromita (ITA), Martin Kohler (SUI), Klaas Lodewyck (BEL), Amael Moinard (FRA), Steve Morabito (SUI), Danilo Wyss (SUI). Team Manager: Fabio Baldato
Lotto Belisol (BEL)
Andre Griepel (GER), Adam Hansen (AUS), Olivier Kaisen (BEL), Greg Henderson (NZL), Jurgen Roelandts (BEL), Marcel Sieberg (GER), Tim Wellens (BEL). Team Manager: Herman Frison (BEL)
Sky Pro Cycling (GBR)
Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR), Bernhard Eisel (AUT), Luke Rowe (GBR), Mathew Hayman (AUS), Ian Stannard (GBR), Chris Sutton (AUS), Geraint Thomas (GBR). Team Manager: Kurt Arvesen
Radio Shack Leopard Trek (LUX)
Andy Schelck (LUX), George Bennett (NZL), Laurent Didier (LUX), Ben Hermans (BEL), Tiago Machado Pinto (POR), Jesse Sergent (NZL), Jens Voigt (GER). Team Manager: Jose Azevedo (POR)
Tyler Farrar (USA), Nathan Haas (AUS), Jack Bauer (NZL), Lachlan Morton (AUS), Robert Hunter (RSA), Rohan Dennis (AUS), Steele Von Hoff (AUS). Team Manager: Geert Vanbondt (BEL)
Team Saxo-Tinkoff (DEN)
Chris Sorensen (DEN), Takashi Miyazawa (JPN), Jay McCarthy (AUS), Christopher Jensen (DEN), Manuele Boaro (ITA), Jonathan Cantwell (AUS), Timothy Duggan (USA). Team Manager: Fabrizio Guidi (ITA)
Blanco Pro Cycling Team (NED)
Jack Bobridge (AUS), Graeme Brown (AUS), Wilco Kelderman (NED), Mark Renshaw (AUS), Tom-Jelte Slagter (NED), David Tanner (AUS), Maarten Tjallingii (NED). Team Manager: Hendrik Dekker (NED)
Astana Pro Team (KAZ)
Andrea Guardini (ITA), Maxim Iglinskiy (KAZ), Valerio Agnoli (ITA), Andrey Kashechkin (KAZ), Simone Ponzi (ITA), Enrico Gasparotto (ITA), Jacopo Guarnieri (ITA). Team Manager: Stefano Zanini (ITA)
Movistar Team (ESP)
Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP), Andrey Amador (CRC), Eros Capecchi (ITA), Ivan Gutierrez (ESP), Jose Herrada (ESP), Javier Moreno (ESP), Giovanni Visconti (ITA). Team Manager: Jose Luis Arrieta Lujambio (ESP)
Vacansoleil Dcm Pro Cycling Team (NED)
Thomas De Gendt (BEL), Willem Wauters (BEL), Thomas Marczynski (POL), Barry Markus (NED), Boy Van Poppel (NED), Rafael Valls (ESP), Kenny Van Hummel (NED). Team Manager: Jean Paul Van Poppel (NED)
AG2R La Mondiale (FRA)
Yauheni Hutarovich (BLR), Mikaël Cherel (FRA), Davide Appollonio (ITA), Gédiminas Bagdonas (LIT), Guillaume Bonnafond (FRA), Julian Kern (GER), Blel Kadri (FRA). Team Manager: Laurent Biondi (FRA)
Matthew Lloyd (AUS), Davide Cimolai (ITA), Elia Favilli (ITA), Roberto Ferrari (ITA), Manuele Mori (ITA), Daniele Pietropolli (ITA), Simone Stortoni (ITA). Team Manager: Bruno Vicino (ITA).
William Bonnet (FRA), Jussi Veikkanen (FRA), Arnaud Courteille (FRA), Mickael Delage (FRA), Arnaud Demare (FRA), Kenny Elissonde (FRA), Laurent Mangel (FRA). Team Manager Yvon Madiot (FRA)
Omega Pharma-Quick Step Cycling Team (BEL)
Andrew Fenn (GBR), Bert Grabsch (GER), Serge Pauwels (BEL), Jerome Pineau (FRA), Frantisek Rabon (CZE), Gert Steegmans (BEL), Peter Velits (SVK). Team Manager: Rik Van Slycke (BEL)
Gorka Izagirre (ESP), Jon Aberasturi (ESP), Juan Jose Oroz (FRA), Mikel Astarloza (ESP), Garikoitz Bravo (ESP), Ion Izagirre (ESP), Juan Jose Lobato (ESP). Team Manager: Alexander Diaz (ESP)
Marcel Kittel (GER), Jonas Ahlstrand (SWE), William Clarke (AUS), Koen De Kort (NED), Yann Huguet (FRA), Thierry Hupond (FRA), Albert Timmer (NED). Team Manager: Addy Engels (NED).
Cannondale Pro Cycling (ITA)
Stefano Agostini (ITA), Cristiano Salerno (ITA), Cameron Wurf (AUS), Federico Canuti (ITA), Alan Marangoni (ITA), Juraj Sagan (SVK), Brian Vandborg (DNK). Team Manager: Biagio Conte (ITA)
UNISA Australia (AUS)
Adam Phelan (AUS), Zakkary Dempster (AUS), Anthony Giacoppo (AUS), Damien Howson (AUS), Jordan Kerby (AUS), Bernard Sulzberger (AUS), Calvin Watson (AUS). Team Manager: Dave Sanders