Gallery: Evans, Porte and Schleck endure the heat at Tour Down Under

Tour Down Under Countdown: 4 days to go

Scorching temperatures and a stellar line-up are set to make next week's Santos Tour Down Under one of the most hotly-anticipated openers to the road cycling season in recent years.

With Cadel Evans (Team BMC), Richie Porte (Team Sky) and an in-form Simon Gerrans (Orica GreenEdge) leading the home charge, and a re-instated Frank Schleck flying the flag for his new Trek Factory Racing, there will be a fierce battle for the overall title, while Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel will go head-to-head in the sprints. The six-day WorldTour event kick starts on Tuesday with a 135km stage from Nuriootpa to Angaston.

The People's Choice Classic once again raises the curtain for the event with a criterium in the centre of Adelaide. And ahead of the racing the professional peloton have been acclimatising to the 40-plus degree temperatures.

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