Tour Down UnderJuż we wtorek, australijskim wyścigiem Tour Down Under, zostanie zainaugurowany sezon wyścigów Pro Tour 2010. Na starcie stanie wiele gwiazd, m.in. Lance Armstrong oraz Cadel Evans. W ekipie Liquigas pojedzie Maciej Paterski.

Po raz pierwszy Tour Down Under odbył się w 1999 roku i od tego czasu jest największym szosowym wyścigiem na półkuli południowej. W 2008 roku wyścig dołączył do kalendarza UCI Pro Tour.

Bez jazdy indywidualnej na czas oraz bez etapów górskich. Tak będzie wyglądał tegoroczny Tour Down Under, w którym szansę na końcowy triumf będą mieli sprinterzy. Kolarze rywalizowali będą na sześciu etapach, a najdłuższy z nich ma 149,5 km.

Wyścig będzie wyjątkowy. Kibice na trasie będą mogli podziwiać swojego rodaka, Mistrza Świata ze startu wspólnego, Cadela Evansa, który od tego sezonu jeździ w barwach BMC Racing Team. Zobaczą też nową siłę w peletonie: Radioshack (z Lance Armstrongiem) oraz Team Sky.

O końcowy triumf na pewno powalczą poprzedni zwycięzcy: Allan Davis (Astana), który zwyciężył w 2009 roku, a także Andre Greipel (Team Columbia), triumfator z 2008. Do walki włączą się zapewne Greg Henderson (Team Sky), który wygrał niedzielne kryterium, a także Stuart O’ Grady (Team Saxo Bank), Robbie McEwen (Team Katusha) oraz Baden Cooke (Team Saxo Bank).

My liczymy na dobry występ Macieja Paterskiego (Liquigas), jedynego Polaka w tym wyścigu.

Poszczególne etapy Tour Down Under 2010:

I etap, Clare – Tanunda, dystans 141 km

II etap: Gawler – Hahndorf, dystans 133,5 km

III etap: Unley – Stirling, dystans 132,5 km


IV etap: Norwood – Goolwa, dystans 149,5 km

V etap: Snapper Point – Willunga, dystans 149 km

VI etap Adelaide, dystans 90 km

Lista startowa Tour Down Under 2010:

ASTANA (KAZ)
1. DAVIS Allan AUS
2. PEREIRO Oscar ESP
3. DMITRIYEV Valeriy KAZ
4. GRIVKO Andriy UKR
5. JUFRE POU Josep ESP
6. HERNANDEZ BLAZQUEZ Jess ESP
7. STANGELJ Gorazd SLO

Team Manager: BONTEMPI Guido ITA
TEAM RADIOSHACK (USA)
11. ARMSTRONG Lance USA
12. IMPEY Daryl RSA
13. MCCARTNEY Jason USA
14. POPOVYCH Yaroslav UKR
15. ROSSELER Sebastien BEL
16. VAITKUS Tomas LTU
17. STEEGMANS Gert BEL

Team Manager: AZEVEDO Jose POR

BMC RACING TEAM (USA)
21. EVANS Cadel AUS
22. HINCAPIE George USA
23. KROON Karsten NED
24. WYSS Danilo SUI
25. KOHLER Martin SUI
26. SANTAMBROGIO Mauro ITA
27. FREI Thomas SUI

Team Manager: LELANGUE John BEL

OMEGA PHARMA LOTTO (BEL)
31. DELAGE Mickal FRA
32. KAISEN Olivier BEL
33. LJUNGBLAD Jonas SWE
34. LLOYD Matthew AUS
35. ROELANDTS Jurgen BEL
36. LOWIK Gerben NED
37. VAN GOOLEN Jurgen BEL

Team Manager: REDANT Hendrik BEL

TEAM HTC – COLUMBIA (USA)
41. GREIPEL Andre GER
42. ROGERS Michael AUS
43. GRABSCH Bert GER
44. EISEL Bernhard AUT
45. SIEBERG Marcel GER
46. GOSS Matthew AUS
47. ROULSTON Hayden NZL

Team Manager: PEIPER Allan AUS

TEAM SKY (GBR)
51. SUTTON Christopher AUS
52. VIGANO Davide ITA
53. SWIFT Ben GBR
54. HAYMAN Mathew AUS
55. DOWNING Russell GBR
56. FROOME Christopher GBR
57. HENDERSON Greg NZL

Team Manager: YATES Sean GBR

AG2R LA MONDIALE (FRA)
61. ELMIGER Martin SUI
62. DESSEL Cyril FRA
63. KADRI Blel FRA
64. KRIVTSOV Yuriy UKR
65. MANDRI Ren EST
66. RAVARD Anthony FRA
67. TURPIN Ludovic FRA

Team Manager: BIONDI Laurent FRA

TEAM KATUSHA (RUS)
71. McEWEN Robbie AUS
72. PLIUSCHIN Alexander MDA
73. VORGANOV Eduard RUS
74. RIPOLL HORRACH Juan ESP
75. GALIMZYANOV Denis RUS
76. VANDENBERGH Stijn BEL
77. KLIMOV Sergey RUS

Team Manager: KONYCHEV Dmitri RUS

TEAM SAXO BANK (DEN)
81. OGRADY Stuart AUS
82. VOIGT Jens GER
83. KLOSTERGAARD Kasper DEN
84. COOKE Baden AUS
85. HOJ Frank DEN
86. HAEDO Juan Jose ARG
87. LUND Anders DEN

Team Manager: McGEE Bradley AUS

MILRAM (GER)
91. FOESTER Robert GER
92. FOTHEN Markus GER
93. ROELS Dominik GER
94. ROHREGGER Thomas GER
95. STROETINGA Wim NED
96. ROBERTS Luke AUS
97. SCHRODER Bjorn GER

Team Manager: ALGERI Vittorio ITA

FRANCAISE DES JEUX (FRA)
101. SULZBERGER Wesley AUS
102. PINOT Thibaut FRA
103. HUTAROVICH Yauheni BLR
104. ROUX Anthony FRA
105. CHEREL Mikael FRA
106. CAZAUX Pierre FRA
107. VICHOT Arthur FRA

Team Manager: BRICAUD Thierry FRA

CAISSE D’EPARGNE (ESP)
111. VALVERDE Alejandro ESP
112. SANCHEZ Luis Leon ESP
113. ROJAS Jose ESP
114. GUTIERREZ Ivan ESP
115. GARCIA Jose ESP
116. DRUJON Mathieu FRA
117. PERGET Mathieu FRA

Team Manager: STEPHENS Neil AUS
EUSKALTEL EUSKADI (ESP)

121. SICARD Romain FRA
122. CASTROVIEJO Jonathan ESP
123. IZAGUIRRE Gorka ESP
124. MINGUEZ Miguel ESP
125. NIEVE Mikel ESP
126. SESMA Daniel ESP
127. VELASCO Ivan ESP

Team Manager: GONZALEZ DE GALDEANO Alvaro ESP

RABOBANK (NED)
131. BROWN Graeme AUS
132. CLEMENT Stef NED
133. FLENS Rick NED
134. LEEZER Tom NED
135. MOERENHOUT Koos NED
136. VAN EMDEN Jos NED
137. WEENING Pieter NED

Team Manager: MAASSEN Frans NED
LIQUIGAS-DOIMO (ITA)

141. DALL ANTONIA Tiziano ITA
142. KOREN Kristjan SLO
143. GUARNIERI Jacopo ITA
144. PATERSKI Maciej POL
145. FINETTO Mauro ITA
146. SAGAN Peter SKV
147. SABATINI Fabio ITA

Team Manager: MARIUZZO Dario ITA

GARMIN TRANSITIONS (USA)

151. BOBRIDGE Jack AUS
152. DEAN Julian NZL
153. MEYER Cameron AUS
154. MEIER Christian CAN
155. LOWE Trent AUS
156. HUNTER Robbie RSA
157. WILSON Matthew AUS

Team Manager: WHITE Matthew AUS

FOOTON-SERVETTO-FUJI (ESP)

161. BENITEZ ROMAN Jos Alberto ESP
162. CARDOSO Manuel POR
163. PEREZ ARRIETA Aitor ESP
164. GUTIERREZ P. David ESP
165. MERLO Michele ITA
166. PEDERSEN Martin DEN
167. VITORIA David SUI

Team Manager: ZANINI Stefano ITA

QUICK STEP (BEL)

171. VAN IMPE Kevin BEL
172. FACCI Mauro ITA
173. KVIST Thomas Vedel DEN
174. MAES Nikolas BEL
175. ENGELS Addy NED
176. VAN DE WALLE Jurgen BEL
177. STAUFF Andreas GER

Team Manager: SLYCKE Rik Van BEL

UNISA – AUSTRALIA (AUS)
181. MATTHEWS Michael ACT
182. DENNIS Rohan SA
183. CLARKE Simon VIC
184. ROE Timothy SA
185. CANTWELL Jonathan QLD
186. McDONALD Peter NSW
187. Australia open road champion (TBC)

Team Manager: SANDERS Dave (AUS)

Mapy: www.tourdownunder.com.au

There are a dozen reasons why the 12th edition of Australia’s premier race, the Santos Tour Down Under, could prove to be the greatest in the race’s history.

Not least of all is the return of Lance Armstrong to Australian shores – the American made his professional comeback at the event in 2009 and in 2010 brings a new team, RadioShack, intent on delivering results with the hype that surrounds the seven-time Tour de France winner.

Whilst last year the man many believe to be cycling royalty used the event as a launching pad for his global cancer awareness campaign, can we expect his 2010 visit to possess a greater competitive edge? The next fortnight will provide the answer.

There’s also the much-anticipated appearance of Australia’s own world champion, Cadel Evans, the BMC Racing rider keen to display the rainbow stripes to appreciative Adelaide crowds – tipped to be even bigger than the phenomenal number that witnessed last year’s event.

Race director Mike Turtur pulled off what he described as ‘a coup’ in organising Evans’ appearance at the race, although the parcours won’t suit the likes of climbers such as Evans. The opening event on the ProTour calendar has favoured the fast men, particularly since gaining ProTour status in 2008.

“It’s again lining up to be a big sprinters’ race,” said Turtur. “I think we’ve got a good race on paper because that’s the style of race it is [a sprinters’ event]. If you look at [Tirreno] Adriatico it’s the same, Paris-Nice is a different race and so is the Tour de Suisse… each race has certain aspects that make it more attractive to certain riders.”

And the two men who have won the past two editions will be returning to the fold as favourites in Adelaide in 2010. André Greipel, the 2008 champion, and Allan Davis, last year’s victor, surely enter this year’s edition the two men to beat. Whilst the two sprinters are different in style and stature, they both possess the firepower to prevail in the surrounds of the South Australian capital.

Greipel has indicated he and his HTC-Columbia teammates are ready for whatever is thrown at them – and with the likes of Bernhard Eisel, Matt Goss and Leigh Howard supporting him, the German will be hard to beat.

Meanwhile, Davis has experienced a chequered preparation for the event, recently announcing his deal to ride for Astana after leaving Quick Step, with whom he won last year’s Tour Down Under. In recent days he has said that while he’s riding for a different outfit, his form remains very similar to that with which he began the 2009 edition of the race.

“I’ve had some good quality base training over the [Australian] summer; I’m pretty much in the same condition as I was last year and what I have been over all the years [I’ve ridden the Tour Down Under],” Davis explained.

“I’ve had six [stage] victories, I’ve been second overall twice and had the [overall] win last year; it’s somewhere where I’ve always started off the season well,” he added.

Garmin-Transitions recruit Jack Bobridge is one rider who impressed during last year’s edition of the race, the local lad returning as part of the American outfit and keen to get on with the job. While he was given free rein to ride off the front in 2009, this year will be different proposition.

He will have South African sprinter Robbie Hunter and experienced Kiwi fast man Julian Dean in the team as possible dark horses for a stage victory. “There will definitely be some stages we can have a crack at,” said Bobridge recently.

“I’ve learnt to use my head a little bit more – last year I definitely got recognised and I got what I needed – a pro contract. This year I’m a bit smarter and I think I’ll use my strengths to jump up the road when it’s worthwhile doing.

“This year my role will be slightly different to what it was last year – we’ve got Robbie Hunter and Julian Dean and they’re good sprinters, so we’ll have to see how it goes and where everyone’s form is on the first stage,” he explained.

And while the competition promises to be fierce, Australia’s summer sun will again shine on the opening round of the ProTour, with forecasting for the early part of the race delivering days conducive to large crowds and fine times – the conditions are ripe for the nation’s biggest race to become even bigger on its 12th birthday.