January 17, Stage 1:
Prospect - Clare 149km
- Daniel Simms
June 14, 2011, 0:00 BST,
January 12, 2012, 7:34 GMT
Stage 1 profile
Cameron Meyer says...
I've noticed at the TDU this year that the stages are a little bit longer. Maybe that extra 10 or 20 kilometres in the heat could be quite telling. My pick for this one is that it will definitely be a sprint finish. I don't think there'll be much to do for the climbers who think they can win the Tour, I think they'll stay quiet.
There'll be a small breakaway that goes out of Gepps Cross, we'll be along the main road out of Mawson Lakes then it will start getting a little lumpy though Gawler. They'll let a break go and most of the sprint teams will reel it in with a bit of a downhill run into the finish line into Clare.
It will be sit in, ride the legs in a little bit first stage. Blow any cobwebs out that you might have and have a nice 150 kilometres or so in the peloton and get the feel back in. It looks like it could be quite quick going into the finish and so you'll have to watch for any crashes or splits that happen in that last little bit to the line. Otherwise it's a pretty simple day to sit in the bunch and let the sprinters have their say.
Matt Goss says...
The first stage is always going to be a bit nervous. Everyone will be getting a feel for being in the pro peloton again. It's going to be pretty full on from the start. This year is more of a flat start to what is normal. The KOM won't play much of a role in the first stage but there will probably be a little breakaway gone.
For all the sprinters teams, they're trying to keep it together for a sprint. Two or three riders will nip off the front and they'll be left out there until the 140 kilometre mark. You definitely want to have them caught by then. That's what brought me unstuck a little bit last year, with the downhill run into a finish.
This will be the first time that all the sprint trains come together so it's going to be pretty exciting. As the first race for GreenEdge we want to be very present and showing what the lead out can do. You'll have Sky there with Boasson Hagen, Lotto-Belisol with Greipel and Henderson and he's going really well, Petacchi, Renshaw, Michael Matthews can go on to win overall as well. It's going to be really interesting for the sprinters.
Image ©: Santos Tour Down Under