"The first two stages should be pretty straight forward and should be settled in bunch sprints," Mitchelton-Scott's head sports director, Matt White, tells Cyclingnews. "That said, the weather will always influence the day at a race like the Tour Down Under. It's basically hot or really hot, but the strength of the wind will determine how stressful a day it will turn out to be.
"Stage 1 is very flat but has many kilometres of open and exposed roads, and that's where the heat and the wind will factor in. We have started in Port Adelaide many a time but never finished there so the run-in and circuits will be new for all. There are several small climbs and descents in the first half of the race, but the break should be quick to go, and expect a rider from the national team from UniSA to be in there for sure."
The day before the stage, it was announced that, because of the forecast strong winds, the stage would not include the final 3.4km finishing circuit, which takes the riders over two exposed bridges in Port Adelaide, meaning that the stage would be run over 129km.