Posts Tagged ‘Adam Hansen’

Source: TDU Website

Germany’s Andre Griepel stomped on hopes of a local win to celebrate Australia Day when he claimed his third stage victory to take over the lead in the Tour Down Under.

The Team High Road cyclist sprinted home in a time of 3hr26min46sec edging out Australian Allan Davis (Australia-UniSA) and Spaniard Jose Benitez (Saunier Duval) after a 147 kilometre stage through the McLaren Vale wine growing region on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula. His win has moved him to the top of the classification with a seven second buffer over Davis in second place. Spain’s Jose Rojas (Caisse d’Epargne) is sitting in third overall, 20 seconds off the race lead. Continue Reading »

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The 2008 ProTour season is now upon us. Cyclingpost.com previews the first big race of 2008 – The Tour Down Under.

Now into its 10th year, the Tour Down Under has been nothing short of a success. Its ‘Honour Roll’ shows that is has certainly attracted some big names in cycling. Stuart O’Grady, Michael Rogers, Cadel Evans, Luis Leon Sanchez, Andrea Tafi and Laurent Brochard are just some of the riders who have had an impact on this race.

In recent years the race has become very formulaic – a breakaway would invariably form early on in the first stage representing most, if not all teams, and build up a sizeable gap on the rest. The peloton would enjoy a somewhat leisurely ride to the finish line. The rest of the race therefore became a battle between a select few to see who would take out the title.

The main instigators of the aggression has come from the local Australian teams, using the big stage to demonstrate their abilities. But with the elevation to ProTour ranks comes a change to the makeup of riders who will be competing.

133 riders, comprising of 19 seven-men teams will head off from Mawson Lakes on Stage 1. This is an increase from the 112 who took to the start line last year.

29 riders taking their place in the Tour Down Under also took part in the 2007 Tour de France, whilst 22 nationalities are represented – highlighting both the quality and diversity of this years’ field.

The 785 km race comprises of 6 stages:

Tue Jan 22 – Mawson Lakes to Angaston (129 km)
Wed Jan 23 – Stirling to Hahndorf (148 km)
Thu Jan 24 – Unley to Victor Harbor (139 km)
Fri Jan 25 – Mannum to Strathalbyn (134 km)
Sat Jan 26 – Willunga to Willunga (147 km)
Sun Jan 27 – Adelaide to Adelaide (88 km)

Stage One
Tuesday’s stage takes riders from the northern suburbs of Adelaide into the famed Barossa Valley and will be ideal for those riders looking for a good overall result. The only KOM climb for the day comes within 15 kilometres of the start line and will be the perfect launching pad for the day’s first big serious attacks.

If a good-sized break does get clear on the Gould Creek climb it may be a case of see you in Angaston. Most teams will be looking to place a rider in the break, so the initial attacks could include some big names.

Two intermediate sprints are on offer as the peloton make their way through the picturequse vineyards. The run into Angaston is slightly uphill but wont effect the sprinters opportunities, if the breakaways are reigned in.

The Favourites
At Sunday’s press conference both Robbie McEwen (Silence-Lotto) and defending champion Martin Elmiger (Ag2r-La Mondiale) predicted an ‘unpredictable’ first stage. McEwen doesn’t write off the possibility of a mass bunch sprint.

With the TDU gaining ProTour status, McEwen believes this will change the intesity and tactics of the race. “There are ProTour points on offer, which teams like to have, that individual riders like to have. None of these teams want to travel all the way to Australia and embarrass themselves by missing the break, not having anyone up in the overall”.

There are 5 previous TDU winners who would like to stamp their authority on the race: O’Grady, Sanchez, Mikel Astarloza, Simon Gerrans and Elmiger. Although O’Grady is still working his way back to top form following his horrendous crash in last year’s Tour de France, expect him to be his ever aggressive self when the opportunity presents itself.

Some local riders who have shown good form over the summer include recently crowned Australian Road Race Champion Matthew Lloyd (Silence-Lotto) and runner-up, Adam Hansen (Team High Road). Hansen in particular looks strong after also winning the Australian Time Trial championship.

UniSA-Australia, the only non ProTour squad at the TDU will be out to impress too, showing that their wildcard selection is justified.

The Tour Down Under promises to be wide open where any rider who has this race as one of their seasons’ objectives will be in with a chance.