The Tour Down Under 2012, alrighty! We’ve had the little teaser of a crit race around a park on the edge of Adelaide’s CBD, which Andre Greipel emphatically dominated, we’ve had head knocks and called cops for GreenEDGE riders.
It’s sad to see GreenEDGE already having to deal with negative press, but that seems to be the Australian way: tall poppies beware. Now we get past the rubbish and see: some proper bike racing!
Stage One is going to be a bunch sprint.
It’s a hot day in Radelaide (37 degrees), and the profile looks bumpy, but this won’t be enough to trouble anyone.
An unthreatening: break will be allowed to head up the road, the teams with sprinters will control things, and on the faintly downhill final 3km, the lads will be travelling at warp speed with leadout trains going head to head for the first time.
Andre Greipel is probably the fastest sprinter in the world in situations where it isn’t too technical coming into the (preferably) flat or faintly downhill: finale, and so it’s hard to see him losing today.
That said, Gossy for GreenEDGE, Renshaw for Rabobank, Petacchi for Lampre & Eddie the Boss for SKY will all be doing their best to knock the big Gorilla off.
My pick: Greipel from Goss, with Renshaw 3rd.
Read more from Toby at his site, Tobbloganning.