Traditional launch of the World Tour season, the Tour Down Under cross sprinters looking for early success and punchers who dream of victory. Who will succeed Tom Jelte Slagter?
Far from the harsh European winter, the global platoon got used to export to enjoy the summer in the southern hemisphere. If some choose the Tour de San Luis in Argentina, the Tour Down Under, World Tour event, which occupies the media scene.
Formerly preserve of sprinters (Greipel, Davis and O’Grady), the Australian test navigates between flat course and rugged with a preference for the latter in recent years, evidenced by the success of Gerrans and Slagter over the last two editions. This season the contenders are many, starting with the Australians themselves who want to shine on their land.
Evans And Gerrans Door Head Posters
The podium of the recent championship road cycling will also present in full force . Simon Gerrans champion before Cadel Evans and Richie Porte try it three after its success in 2006 and 2012. On a flat, its qualities punchers , to add to its good speed in a small group course , make the runner Orica GreenEDGE favorite number one on the six stages whose double ascent Wilunga Hill Saturday. It is this fifth step that should decide the final outcome. On these slopes , Gerrans will resist the horde of suitors, first and foremost Cadel Evans and Richie Porte but also Frank Schleck and Robert Gesink . The last two , however, should toil on percentages too low for their qualities of pure climber. In puncher style , Enrico Gasparotto is rather monitor , winner of the Amstel Gold Race in 2012.
Tea sprinters Huskies
The other attraction of the week will be the first real explanation between sprinter. If Marcel Kittel, the new terror sprint since last year, won the traditional criterium preceding the Tour Down Under, the German Giant-Shimano will face strong competition early in the season. The duel with his compatriot Andre Greipel will be the first big moment of the sprint of the season. Germany should also squat podiums throughout the week since besides Kittel and Greipel, Rick Zabel, son of and new nugget of mass arrivals across the Rhine will also be present. The new generation will have another representative in the person of Caleb Ewan, future star of world cycling. On his land, he should not have many opportunities in Orica but one never knows. Rojas, twice third in the Tour Down Under, and Van Poppel will try to join in the fight.
And The French ?
Not left the French could shine on a race that succeeded them very rarely ( last victory by Gilles Maignan 2000 ) . And if Thomas Voeckler could join in the fight for victory ? We know that he has much later but why not objective ? At home on the short climbs and strategist , Voeckler has its part to play , as Maxime Bouet . Leader at AG2R -La Mondiale , it will rein to place the team of Vincent Lavenu top of the world rankings early in the season . A notch or two below the favorites , the French rider must expect a comemorative to join in the fight for the final victory . Finally the curiosity of the week will be Pierre- Henri LECUISINIER . Bated by Marc Madiot and FDJ.fr to Bernaudeau and Europcar, LECUISINIER promising. It should be discreet , we will scrutinize his every move for the first elements of answers when his ability to play at the highest level .