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January 22, 2011
It's the best day of racing that you'll see every year at the Tour Down Under, the famous stage with two encounters over Old Willunga Hill.
The stunning Fleurieu Peninsula, where the vines meet the sea, will ease the peloton into the 131km of racing before heading west to McLaren Vale – South Australia's other famous wine region.
Old Willunga Hill Road has been a mecca for crowds that follow this race and the atmosphere there will much like that experienced on the roads of Europe during Grand Tours.
Rabobank's Graeme Brown says:
Whoever is leading on GC, probably Goss so HTC-Highroad will ride on the front.
For Sky, Michael Rogers and Simon Gerrans could light up the first climb if they really want to win the stage.
If the sprinters get over the first lap then they've just got to suffer again. For example Andre Greipel got dropped on the second lap last year but he came back. If he gets dropped on the first lap then he's going to get dropped again. It's tailor made for Matt Goss really. Mark Cavendish won't be there to lead him out. Half of his team won't be there after being on the front all week. He's probably going to have to fight it out by himself. If he's lucky he'll have one or two guys there with him but I can't see him getting dropped when they race. He was the only guy at the Nationals that could go with Simon Gerrans when the proverbial hit the fan.
Image ©: Santos Tour Down Under