Stage 4: Norwood - Goolwa
It's all hard work during the first half of stage four, with the run up Gorge Rd and Fox Creek Rd making riders earn the downhill charge and flat out racing to Goolwa, south of Adelaide.
While there's no dramatic rise in altitude climbing to Lenswood, the constant uphill drag will make it difficult for riders, and the probable south-westerly wind that will hit the peloton as it makes its way to Goolwa will take its toll.
Baden Cooke has won a stage of the race in Goolwa before and look out for the Saxo Bank sprinter this year as he stands a solid chance of being in contention for overall honours. The day suits his attributes and he should be in the running for the win.
Team Milram's Luke Roberts says:
This stage we start off with a pretty tough start; up through the Gorge straight away, which is pretty hard. In previous races when we've started there it's easy for a breakaway to slip off before the climb because the roads are twisting and winding... you only need a couple of hundred metres on the bunch and you're out of sight and gone.
Should everyone want to get into the breakaway, or there are some guys who have already lost time and are trying to get into the break, then an escape group won't get away so easily near the start but it will be flat out through those winding roads which will make it difficult. Then you hit the climb through the Gorge and over to Cudlee Creek, again on winding roads, before heading towards Lobethal where there's the steep climb of Fox Creek Road. That's a one kilometre wall!
From there on it's not so difficult - after then some of the guys might let a group go or there could be a decisive move already gone. I think the sprinters' teams will be looking to let a non-threatening group get away by the time we come to that section and then from Mt Barker there's a long gradual descent to Goolwa.
There's a bit of wind, so it's better for a team to take control of the front of the race and keep their man out of the wind on the run to Goolwa and hopefully keep a group under a control if need be.
The thing you're got to look out for is if you put your whole team on the front to control it for a sprint then you're not left with a train for the finale. You've got to rely on a sprinter who can work almost on his own or with just a couple of guys to lead him out. [André] Greipel is well suited to this stage because he can win it alone or with a train.
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