Santos Tour Down Under 2013 Preview

Our guide to opening race of 2013 WorldTour season - and of course our FantasyCycling game

by Simon_MacMichael   January 20, 2013  

Tuesday sees the start of the Santos Tour Down Under, the first race of the 2013 WorldTour season, and we’re probably not alone in looking forward to seeing some action on the road following a seemingly interminable close season when the ongoing dispute over Katusha’s licence, the rumblings of the Padova investigation and of course the fallout from the US Postal scandal have dominated the headlines.

The race in South Australia also marks the start of our 2013 Fantasy Cycling game, and if you haven’t registered already, head over here to get started. If you’re playing the premium version, which costs just £10 for the entire season, don’t forget that you can enter two teams – one in which you can transfer riders in and out, and one purist team that you set at the start of the race. Full details are in our How to Play guide.

Simon Gerrans won last year’s edition, giving Australian WorldTour outfit the perfect end to its debut race, and the pre-race favourite says he’s determined to defend his title, with Matt Goss also providing the team’s focus in the sprints finishes that could feature in all but one of the stages.

There’s some strong competition for him, though, not least Andre Greipel, the Lotto Belisol man who has ten career stage victories to his name in this race, while Garmi-Sharp’s Tyler Farrar and Argos-Shimano’s Marcel Kittel and Movistar’s Jose Joaquin Rojas are among the other likely challengers in sprints.

Sky have sent a Classics focused squad here, with CJ Sutton the focus in the sprints with a leadout from Geraint Thomas, and Edvald Boasson Hagen their focus for the overall. He lies third in the pre-race betting.

Second favourite is BMC Racing’s Philippe Gilbert in the world champion’s jersey, and also here are Andy Schleck of RadioShack-Leopard-Trek who will be looking to put a 2012 that was blighted by injury and strained relationships within the team behind him, and Giro d’Italia podium finisher Thomas de Gendt, who may fancy his chances on that last but one stage.

Today’s People's Choice Classic isn’t part of the Tour Down Under itself – nor indeed our Fantasy Game – but the 30-lap criterium formerly known as the Cancer Council Classic, has become established as the curtain raiser to the event.

If nothing else, it’s an advance opportunity to see who’s brought their sprinting legs with them – Greg Henderson became the first rider to win a race in Team Sky colours here in 2010, and finished the Tour Down Under third overall.

The following year, Matt Goss kicked off the season in which he would win Milan-Sanremo with victory and here he’d finish second overall in the Tour Down Under itself, winning a stage and the sprints jersey.

Last year, it was André Greipel who won the race – he’d go on to win three sprints in last year’s Tour Down Under, a race in which he has twice won the overall.

The inclusion of a first-ever summit finish in the race last year on Old Willunga Hill, which returns this year, means Greipel was never going to get a third overall victory.

Sky’s Sutton says that if anything this year’s race is even tougher for the sprinters. They should still contest the finishes of most stages, but they won’t be on the podium come next Sunday.

NB You can bring up larger versions of the stage maps below by clicking on the thumbnails in the gallery above.

Tuesday 22 January
Stage 1
Prospect to Lobethal
135km

It’s almost certain that a sprinter will take today’s stage and, with it, the leader’s ochre jersey, with the only categorised climb of the stage coming ahead of three circuits of a closing loop that features a flat, three-kilometre run-in to the line.

WIth the road climbing from the start, it's virtually certain that a break will get away early on, but it's equally a dead cert that the sprinters' teams will slowly reel them in to make the catch ahead of that finale.

Wednesday 23 January
Stage 2
Mount Barker to Rostrevor
116.5km

Saturday’s Stage 5 at Old Willunga Hill is likely to decide the GC in this year’s race, but today could go some way towards determining who’s around to contest the overall by then, depending how it pans out.

That’s because of the climb of Corkscrew Road, crested 7 kilometres from the finish.

If a selection is made there and the front group manages to keep the chasing pack at bay on a fast downhill run to the line – shades perhaps of Simon Gerrans’ victory at Milan-Sanremo last March – those bonus second plus any time gap could prove invaluable later in the race.

Thursday 24 January
Stage 3
Unley to Stirling
139km

Today is the first of two consecutive stages that should in theory end in a bunch sprint, the parcours featuring a climb early on preceding six circuits of a loop with an undulating profile that could result in an attacking stage.

The hills could also sap some sprinters’ legs ahead of the finale, which has a flat final 3km run to the line. The peloton will have already been through the finish line five times by now, so it will hold no surprises.

Friday 25 January
Stage 4
Modbury to Tanuda
126.5km

There’s no loop today, just a zig-zagging first half to the stage as it heads out to the east of Adelaide, with the climb of the wonderfully named Humbug Scrub coming after 30km.

The parcours eventually swings north and through the day’s two sprint points, less than 10km apart before another flat run to the line which again looks a safe bet for the sprinters to fight it out.

Stage 5
Saturday 26 January
McLaren Vale to Old Willunga Hill
151.5km

Old Wilunga Hill had been featured in the Tour Down Under prior to last year’s edition, but 2012’s race featured the first ever summit finish there and it turned out not only to be a cracking stage, but also the one that decided the race.

Alejandro Valverde, in his first race back since serving a two-year ban, took the win in a two-way sprint for the line with Simon Gerrans, and the two would go into the final day level on GC in terms of time, the Australian wearing the leader’s ochre jersey on countback of stage placings.

Again, this looks like being the decisive stage, beginning with three laps of along of a circuit that skirts the coast before two loops taking in Old Willunga Hill itself.

Live coverage on Sky Sports 1 HD from 0030 to 0500 with highlights at 0830-1100 (SS4) and TBC.

Sunday 27 January
Stage 6
Adelaide
90km

Definitely one for the sprinters to contest the finish, however close the GC battle is. Should there be a similar scenario this year to the one we saw last year with Gerrans and Valverde, the question will be whether the man lying second aims to grab bonus seconds at the two intermediate sprints?

With 20 laps of a 4.5km circuit, there will be breakaways, but as the first WorldTour race of 2013 comes to a close the sprinters’ teams will be going flat out to bring back any escapees and set up the finale for their men.

Santos Tour Down Under 2013 Provisional Start List

ORICA GREENEDGE (AUS)

1. GERRANS Simon (AUS)
2. DURBRIDGE Luke (AUS)
3. IMPEY Daryl (RSA)
4. GOSS Matthew (AUS)
5. CLARKE Simon (AUS)
6. MOURIS Jens (NED)
7. O’GRADY Stuart (AUS)

Team Manager: WILSON Matthew (AUS)

BMC RACING TEAM (USA)

11. GILBERT Philippe (BEL)
12. SANTAROMITA Ivan (ITA)
13. KOHLER Martin (SUI)
14. LODEWYCK Klaas (BEL)
15. MOINARD Amael (FRA)
16. MORABITO Steve (SUI)
17. WYSS Danilo (SUI)

Team Manager: BALDATO Fabio (ITA)

LOTTO BELISOL (BEL)

21. GREIPEL Andre (GER)
22. HANSEN Adam (AUS)
23. KAISEN Olivier (BEL)
24. HENDERSON Gregory (NZL)
25. ROELANDTS Jurgen (BEL)
26. SIEBERG Marcel (GER)
27. WELLENS Tim (BEL)

Team Manager: FRISON Herman (BEL)

SKY PRO CYCLING (GBR)

31. BOASSON HAGEN Edvald (NOR)
32. EISEL Bernhard (AUT)
33. ROWE Luke (GBR)
34. HAYMAN Mathew (AUS)
35. STANNARD Ian (GBR)
36. SUTTON Chris (AUS)
37. THOMAS Geraint (GBR)

Team Manager: ARVESEN Kurt

RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK (LUX)

41. SCHLECK Andy (LUX)
42. BENNETT George (NZL)
43. DIDIER Laurent (LUX)
44. HERMANS Ben (BEL)
45. PINTO MACHADO Tiago (POR)
46. SERGENT Jesse (NZL)
47. VOIGT Jens (GER)

Team Manager: AZEVEDO Jose (POR)

GARMIN-SHARP (USA)

51. FARRAR Tyler (USA)
52. HAAS Nathan (AUS)
53. BAUER Jack (NZL)
54. MORTON Lachlan (AUS)
55. HUNTER Robert (RSA)
56. DENNIS Rohan (AUS)               
57. VON HOFF Steele (AUS)

Team Manager: VANBONDT Geert (BEL)

TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF (DEN)

61. SORENSEN Chris (DEN)
62. MIYAZAWA Takashi (JPN)
63. MCCARTHY Jay (AUS)
64. JENSEN Christopher (DEN)
65. BOARO Manuele (ITA)
66. CANTWELL Jonathan (AUS)
67. DUGGAN Timothy (USA)

Team Manager: GUIDI Fabrizio (ITA)

BLANCO PRO CYCLING TEAM

71. BOBRIDGE Jack (AUS)
72. BROWN Graeme (AUS)
73. KELDERMAN Wilco (NED)
74. RENSHAW Mark (AUS)
75. SLAGTER Tom-Jelte (NED)
76. TANNER David (AUS)
77. TJALLINGII Maarten (NED)

Team Manager: DEKKER Hendrik (NED)

ASTANA PRO TEAM (KAZ)

81. GUARDINI Andrea (ITA)
82. IGLINSKIY Maxim (KAZ)
83. AGNOLI Valerio (ITA)
84. KASHECHKIN Andrey (KAZ)
85. PONZI Simone (ITA)
86. GASPAROTTO Enrico (ITA)
87. GUARNIERI Jacopo ( ITA)
Team Manager: ZANINI Stefano ( ITA)

MOVISTAR TEAM (ESP)

91. ROJAS Jose Joaquin (ESP)
92. AMADOR Andrey (CRC)
93. CAPECCHI Eros (ITA)
94. GUTIERREZ Ivan (ESP)
95. HERRADA Jose (ESP)
96. MORENO Javier (ESP)
97. VISCONTI Giovanni (ITA)

Team Manager: ARRIETA LUJAMBIO Jose Luis (ESP)

VACANSOLEIL DCM PRO CYCLING TEAM (NED)

101. DE GENDT Thomas (BEL)
102. WAUTERS Willem (BEL)
103. MARCZYNSKI Tomasz (POL)
104. MARKUS Barry (NED)
105. VAN POPPEL Boy (NED)
106. VALLS Rafael (ESP)
107. VAN HUMMEL Kenny (NED)

Team Manager: VAN POPPEL Jean Paul (NED)

AG2R LA MONDIALE (FRA)

111. HUTAROVICH Yauheni (BLR)
112. CHEREL Mikaël (FRA)
113. APPOLLONIO Davide (ITA)
114. BAGDONAS Gédiminas (LIT)
115. BONNAFOND Guillaume (FRA)
116. KERN Julian (GER)
117. KADRI Blel (FRA)

Team Manager: BIONDI Laurent (FRA)

LAMPRE-MERIDA (ITA)

121. LLOYD Matthew (AUS)
122. CIMOLAI Davide (ITA)
123. FAVILLI Elia (ITA)
124. FERRARI Roberto (ITA)
125. MORI Manuele (ITA)
126. PIETROPOLLI Daniele (ITA)
127. STORTONI Simone (ITA)

Team Manager: VICINO Bruno (ITA)

FDJ (FRA)

131. BONNET William (FRA)
132. VEIKKANEN Jussi (FRA)
133. COURTEILLE Arnaud (FRA)
134. DELAGE Mickael (FRA)
135. DEMARE Arnaud (FRA)
136. ELISSONDE Kenny (FRA)
137. MANGEL Laurent (FRA)

Team Manager: MADIOT Yvon (FRA)

OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP CYCLING TEAM (BEL)

141. FENN Andrew (GBR)
142. GRABSCH Bert (GER)
143. PAUWELS Serge (BEL)
144. PINEAU Jerome (FRA)
145. RABON Frantisek (CZE)
146. STEEGMANS Gert (BEL)
147. VELITS Peter (SVK)

Team Manager: VAN SLYCKE Rik (BEL)

EUSKALTEL-EUSKADI (ESP)

151. IZAGIRRE Gorka (ESP)
152. ABERASTURI Jon (ESP)
153. OROZ Juan Jose (FRA)
154. ASTARLOZA Mikel (ESP)
155. BRAVO Garikoitz (ESP)
156. IZAGIRRE Ion (ESP)
157. LOBATO Juan Jose (ESP)

Team Manager: DIAZ Alexander (ESP)

TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO

161. KITTEL Marcel (GER)
162. AHLSTRAND Jonas (SWE)
163. CLARKE William (AUS)
164. DE KORT Koen (NED)
165. HUGUET Yann (FRA)
166. HUPOND Thierry (FRA)
167. TIMMER Albert (NED)

Team Manager: ENGELS Addy (NED)

CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING (ITA)

171. AGOSTINI Stefano (ITA)
172. SALERNO Cristiano (ITA)
173. WURF Cameron (AUS)
174. CANUTI Federico (ITA)
175. MARANGONI Alan (ITA)
176. SAGAN Juraj (SVK)
177. VANDBORG Brian (DNK)

Team Manager: CONTE Biagio (ITA)

UNISA AUSTRALIA

181. PHELAN Adam (AUS)
182. DEMPSTER Zakkary (AUS)
183.GIACOPPO Anthony (AUS)
184. HOWSON Damien (AUS)
185. KERBY Jordan (AUS)
186. SULZBERGER Bernard (AUS)
187. WATSON Calvin (AUS)

Team Manager: SANDERS Dave

7 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Fantastic preview Simon

It seems Rohan Dennis will be out with a virus, which is disappointing as he could have challenged for the win

posted by TERatcliffe26 [3901 posts]
20th January 2013 - 11:53

like this
Like (12)

TERatcliffe26 wrote:
Fantastic preview Simon

It seems Rohan Dennis will be out with a virus, which is disappointing as he could have challenged for the win

Pity that. He was a useful rider last year. I wonder if we'll do as well this time; it was my best finish in a tour last time round, due mainly to Will Clark. At least the game is more or less the same as last year so we're more familiar with tactics. Which sprinters are in form? Stages 2 and 3 will favour the stronger sprinters I think rather than the flat-out speed merchants.

And those wheels are exactly what I need!!

posted by Alan Tullett [1439 posts]
20th January 2013 - 13:00

like this
Like (10)

Will this be shown on any UK channels or is it internet only?

posted by rintintin [10 posts]
21st January 2013 - 0:53

like this
Like (12)

rintintin wrote:
Will this be shown on any UK channels or is it internet only?

Its on Sky sports

posted by TERatcliffe26 [3901 posts]
21st January 2013 - 9:37

like this
Like (15)

TERatcliffe26 wrote:
rintintin wrote:
Will this be shown on any UK channels or is it internet only?

Its on Sky sports

Yeah just discovered that myself, not happy about this!
Angry
Bloody Sky better not have too much cycling this year, previous coverage of theirs has been worse than ITV4 Sick

'Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you'

livestrongnick's picture

posted by livestrongnick [1788 posts]
21st January 2013 - 9:49

like this
Like (14)

Alan Tullett wrote:
TERatcliffe26 wrote:
Fantastic preview Simon

It seems Rohan Dennis will be out with a virus, which is disappointing as he could have challenged for the win

Pity that. He was a useful rider last year. I wonder if we'll do as well this time; it was my best finish in a tour last time round, due mainly to Will Clark. At least the game is more or less the same as last year so we're more familiar with tactics. Which sprinters are in form? Stages 2 and 3 will favour the stronger sprinters I think rather than the flat-out speed merchants.

And those wheels are exactly what I need!!

I guess we will see, I cant see past Greipel and I think EBH could well win the overall, but I guess we shall see. Hopefully I wont loose it on the last stage like last year, thats if I get close. But its gonna be more important to get the correct riders this year

posted by TERatcliffe26 [3901 posts]
21st January 2013 - 10:46

like this
Like (13)

livestrongnick wrote:
TERatcliffe26 wrote:
rintintin wrote:
Will this be shown on any UK channels or is it internet only?

Its on Sky sports

Yeah just discovered that myself, not happy about this!
Angry
Bloody Sky better not have too much cycling this year, previous coverage of theirs has been worse than ITV4 Sick

Sky won't show anything other than this, everything else will be on eurosport. Im not expecting the coveragae to be great, but may watch it just to see the stage finishes

posted by TERatcliffe26 [3901 posts]
21st January 2013 - 10:47

like this
Like (14)