All on for young and old in South Australia
By Les Clarke in Adelaide
Now in it's eighth year, the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under continues to evolve as Australia's premier stage race. Cut back to five stages in 2006, the addition of the Jacob's Creek Down Under Classic, a criterium through downtown Adelaide, will showcase the event's riders before they begin the 735-kilometre event that takes in the surrounds of Adelaide.
The 2006 field is crammed with experience and talent, with riders such as Allan Davis, Robbie McEwen and Cadel Evans looking to find some early season form or even a stage win, and the youth brigade, with gun 20-year-old Rabobank pro William Walker hoping to take advantage of some great form after his win in the national open road championships, where he showed he is a superstar of the very near future. "I've got good hopes for this week - I'll see what I can do. I've got good form, obviously, but it's just that I haven't done this race before and it makes it a little bit harder," said Walker, before adding, "I don't really know what to expect, but it'd to great to grab a stage win or be up there overall."
One of the most successful and experienced riders in the field, Robbie McEwen, believes the young riders in this year's race will be hungry for the win and may have what it takes to snare a victory. "As one of the senior members of the peloton I realise it gets harder each year to get into form quickly; these young guys come up really quickly and they ride at a high level. We've got some great young guys coming through and I think they'll try and make themselves famous over the next week or so here in South Australia."