January 18, Stage 2: Stirling - Paracombe 148.5km

Tour Down Under: Stage 2 preview

Four-time Tour Down Under stage winner Baden Cooke says...

"Everyone knows the Stirling loop, it's solid but not crazy hard and will be a lot less hard being at the start of the stage. Those small climbs are somewhat decisive when the stage finishes in Stirling but won't be so important at the start. Usually you see a breakaway of three of four guys and then the peloton will slow down a little bit then obviously, as the stage comes through Norton Summit 50km from the finish you will see the speed ramp up as the main bunch chases the breakaway. The finish up in Paracombe is going to be solid but it's not out of reach for guys like Sagan, Simon Gerrans or Alejandro Valverde.

"I think Norton Summit is a bit too far out to go for a rider to make a move there. You might see someone jump there but I don't think they can hold on to the finish, It would be very difficult to hang on from there. It probably wouldn't be a bad tactic to send someone away but I don't think it would stay away. The WorldTour racing is just too organised and most of the leaders will stay with their teams and wait for the finish.

"UniSA have always had a home ground advantage, they know the roads and they are always willing to have a crack. Sometimes the WorldTour teams fall into riding like a WorldTour event, letting a break go and then chasing them before the finish. UniSA isn't locked into that way of doing things and my recommendation to them would be to keep doing what you're doing, look at the course very closely and keep on having a crack as anything is possible. If something out of the norm happens, it's likely to have that team in it."


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