Pro Cycling: Santos Tour Down Under
Today sees the start of the Pro season proper down in South Australia, at the Santos Tour Down Under (if you don’t count the Tour de Luis… and who is!?). Although the ‘People’s Choice Classic’ criterium has already been run the road stages start today and incorporate 6 stages which definitely suit the type of sprinter who still has it in the tank after a climb.
André Greipel took the People’s Choice Classic in a sprint against Matthew Goss after Lotto-Belisol bossed the final few laps and Greipel’s win never really looked in doubt in my opinion. The criterium is a little tease at what is coming but the stages of the main race should certainly see some more upsets due to the UNISA Australia team (the University of South Australia squad) taking part who always show well in this race with young talent and also the knowledge that if anyone other than a super strong sprinter wants to win this race they will need a lot of early season savvy, team work and also luck to stay away.
Looking at the stages and knowing how this race usually pans out the favourites are all big sprinters who can mix it up on short climbs. These are also guys who don’t need a big train and can survive on their own, picking off the best wheel from other teams and surviving on instinct alone. Simon Gerrans (GRE), Edvald Boasson Hagen (SKY), André Greipel (LOT) and Marcel Kittel (ARG) are the four main riders I would suggest will be vying for the top spot overall if the racing goes according to plan.
Due to time differences, the Santos Tour Down Under will be shown at all sorts of different times depending on your local provider. The race begins around midday in South Australia so it may be best to try and pick up the highlight show rather than a live feed but if you’re feeling wide awake ProCyclingLive are displaying links to feed you can watch the race from.
Hope everyone enjoys this season, it’s going to be a great year of racing!