January 20, Stage 2:
Gawler - Hahndorf 133.5km
- Cycling News
January 12, 2010, 23:44 GMT,
January 18, 2010, 11:43 GMT
Starting in Jack Bobridge's hometown of Gawler, stage two will likely see the young South Australian, riding for Garmin-Transitions, try and make his mark late in the day.
Taking riders through the Barossa Valley via the sleepy towns of Williamstown, Forreston, Gumeracha, Mt Pleasant and Birdwood, there are some windswept sections in this part of the stage where a rider with Bobridge's strength could get away and take several minutes on the peloton.
While the day's climb at Checker Hill Rd isn't overly taxing, it may provide the opportunity for a break to gain more time in an effort to stay away until Hahndorf, the finish town that's a perennial favourite with fans thanks to its quaint German heritage and friendly atmosphere.
In reality it should be another sprint finish however, with André Greipel the obvious candidate for stage honours after a final run in that suits the big German perfectly.
Team Milram's Luke Roberts says:
Checker Hill comes later than it has ever before - I don't know from last year's race but I've looked at results and seen where it went - but Checker Hill has traditionally come about 30km into the stage after running through the Gorge and up Checkers Hill. This year it's about 40km before we come into the finish in Hahndorf.
Often, when we've gone over Checker Hill in the past the peloton explodes to pieces but on the descent, after we've turned and come into Birdwood, it was so long to the finish that no one would really want to keep going in a break.
This year, once you're off the descent and back down towards Gumeracha then it's only 30-odd kilometres to Hahndorf and it's possible to keep going from there - a good group can keep going to the finish from there. Checker Hill can throw a spanner in the works.