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Gallery: Tour Down Under team presentation

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Merckx was an extremely popular figure in Adelaide for the official race opener.

Merckx was an extremely popular figure in Adelaide for the official race opener.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The UniSA-Australia team were presented first on stage. Boat loads of talent in this young squad and they'll certainly be chasing stage wins in the race.

The UniSA-Australia team were presented first on stage. Boat loads of talent in this young squad and they'll certainly be chasing stage wins in the race.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Vacansoleil-DCM's Wouter Mol (far right) has been selected as the race's "obscure pro".

Vacansoleil-DCM's Wouter Mol (far right) has been selected as the race's "obscure pro".
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Saxo Bank have two Australians in their team - Luke Roberts a South Australian had his own personal tifosi in attendance.

Saxo Bank have two Australians in their team - Luke Roberts a South Australian had his own personal tifosi in attendance.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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FDJ-BigMat keep much the same colours of the former FDJ squad. Jeremy Roy was very popular.

FDJ-BigMat keep much the same colours of the former FDJ squad. Jeremy Roy was very popular.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Paul Sherwen did a great job of translating Rojas' comments about the race.

Paul Sherwen did a great job of translating Rojas' comments about the race.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Rabobank's Mark Renshaw got one of the biggest cheers by the crowd.

Rabobank's Mark Renshaw got one of the biggest cheers by the crowd.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Garmin Barracuda's Nathan Haas was given plenty of attention by the presenters. He went on to take three of the four sprints in the Classic that followed.

Garmin Barracuda's Nathan Haas was given plenty of attention by the presenters. He went on to take three of the four sprints in the Classic that followed.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Lotto-Belisol looked confident, and with Andre Greipel they had good reason to be.

Lotto-Belisol looked confident, and with Andre Greipel they had good reason to be.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The sign on board ahead of the race start.

The sign on board ahead of the race start.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Eddy Merckx has a go on the "Didge".

Eddy Merckx has a go on the "Didge".
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD)

Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD)
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Former world champion Alessandro Ballan.

Former world champion Alessandro Ballan.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Valverde has said that he's happy to be back in Adelaide for the race.

Valverde has said that he's happy to be back in Adelaide for the race.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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The Astana squad in their familar aqua blue.

The Astana squad in their familar aqua blue.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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AG2R have a rich history in Adelaide. Martin Elmiger (left) is a former winner.

AG2R have a rich history in Adelaide. Martin Elmiger (left) is a former winner.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Euskatel-Euskadi will hope that this season they can attract an international sponsor with some international success. This could be a great place for the team to start.

Euskatel-Euskadi will hope that this season they can attract an international sponsor with some international success. This could be a great place for the team to start.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Controversial figure Alejandro Valverde signs on. This is the second time he's appeared at the Tour Down Under.

Controversial figure Alejandro Valverde signs on. This is the second time he's appeared at the Tour Down Under.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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GreenEdge on stage. Cameron Meyer fielded questions on returning to the race as a defending champion.

GreenEdge on stage. Cameron Meyer fielded questions on returning to the race as a defending champion.
(Image credit: Sirotti)

The Down Under Classic, the traditional precursor to the Tour Down Under's official start on Tuesday, gave fans their first chance to see some of the professionals in attendance up close. The team's presentation which preceded the race gave the assembled crowd a little bit of an insight in some of their heroes before the actual racing began.

First on stage were the always popular UniSA-Australia team, followed by the 18 WorldTour squads.

Among the most popular were the locals Luke Roberts (Saxo Bank) and Stuart O'Grady (GreenEdge), but there were also big cheers for Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan), Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) and 'new Australian' Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Barracuda).

Eddy Merckx was also on hand for the event, and the Belgian legend took the opportunity to attempt playing the indigenous instrument - the didgeridoo.

See the full gallery of the team's presentation here.