The 14th edition of the Tour Down Under starts next week and already a number of European and US teams have touched down in Adelaide, Australia ahead of the road season opener.
The six-stage race enters a new post-Armstrong era but still boasts some of the biggest names in the sport, and will see the GreenEdge team make their full collective debut. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) also makes his comeback after suspension but really the main aspect of the race is its position both as a WorldTour event and its standing as the first major event of the road season.
The Tour Down Under route itself has also been modified, with a shake-up in the form of the longed-for hill-top finish on Stage 5 at Old Willunga Hill along with a new classification process to be used for the first time for SKODA King of the Mountain climbs where Menglers Hill on Stage 4 and Old Willunga Hill on Stage 5 have received Cat 1 status.
But for now the riders and teams are become acclimatized to the weather. Their first collective day in Australia was spent out on the bike, as this gallery of images shows. The riders are all based in the same hotel, throughout the race.
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