The 14th Santos Tour Down Under enters a new era in 2012, post the appearances of Lance Armstrong which the race built a new level of recognition on as it entered the UCI’s ProTour, with a renewed Australian focus on the six-stage race this January with the unveiling of WorldTour neophytes GreenEdge.
The Tour Down Under receives a further 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.
Stage 1Tuesday, January 17 2012
- Location:Prospect – Clare
- Distance:149 km
Stage 2Wednesday, January 18 2012
- Location:Lobethal – Stirling
- Distance:148 km
Stage 3Thursday, January 19 2012
- Location:Unley – Victor Harbour
- Distance:134.5 km
Stage 4Friday, January 20 2012
- Location:Norwood – Tanunda
- Distance:130 km
Stage 5Saturday, January 21 2012
- Location:McLaren Vale – Old Willunga Hill
- Distance:151.5 km
Stage 6Sunday, January 22 2012
- Location:Adelaide City Council Street Circuit
- Distance:90 km
The Liquigas-Cannondale squad was presented at the headquarters of Citroen Italia in Milan on Thursday, but it remains to be seen whether Ivan Basso or Vincenzo Nibali will be in the driving seat at the 2012 Giro d’Italia.
After skipping the Giro to focus on the Tour de France last year, Basso has already confirmed that he will return to the corsa rosa this season, but his teammate Nibali has thrown his hat into the ring in recent weeks. Team manager Roberto Amadio has clear ideas about who should be behind the wheel in May, but he insisted that the riders would have their say.
Almost a week into the their training camp in Benicassim, Spain and Omega Pharma–Quick-Step is ramping up their preparations ahead of the 2012 road season.
The likes of Tom Boonen, Sylvain Chavanel and Tony Martin have all been racking up the miles with team director Tom Steels having the riders focus on, “rhythm and speed so we’ll be ready in the first races of the season, starting with the Tour de San Luis in Argentina.”
The Tour Down Under selection have already left for Australia, while Zdenek Stybar has been focussing on his cyclo-cross campaign. Levi Leipheimer is another noticeable absentee – the American has been allowed to remain at home in California in order to prepare for his season.
Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge) as one of Australia’s best cyclists over the last decade has been rewarded for his exploits, winning Sunday’s Australian Road National Championship from Matthew Lloyd (Lampre-ISD) and Richie Porte (Sky).
“This is one of my proudest moments in cycling,” Gerrans said having completed the 163.2 kilometre race in a time of 4:07:38.
For Gerrans, who won the national under 23 title in 2002 and was the bronze medallist in the 2011 edition of the championships, today’s result was just reward given the 31-year-old also has the honour of being the only Australian to have won a stage in all of the Grand Tours.
The RadioShack-Nissan jersey was unveiled at the team’s presentation in Luxembourg on Friday evening.
The kit, which is similar to the Leopard-Trek outfit from 2011, is designed by Craft. The main difference from the 2011 kit being a thin red line across the chest, along with title sponsor RadioShack.
The team were presented live on Luxembourg television with Andy and Frank Schleck taking centre stage in their home nation.
The team had early outlined their main aims for the season, which included the three grand tours, Worlds, and Classics.
The merger of the Leopard Trek and RadioShack squads has led to the formation of a super group of sorts, and the main players from each side – Andy and Fränk Schleck, Fabian Cancellara, Andreas Klöden and Chris Horner – sang from the same song sheet under the watchful gaze of the svengali Bruyneel.
After experiencing first hand the creative differences of Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong at the 2009 Tour de France, Bruyneel is aware of the need for harmony in a team filled with potential front men.
“It’s always a challenge,” he said. “Sometimes managing egos can be difficult but at the end of the day the team’s goal is the most important. So when you have two riders who are contenders, one will know if the other is better, and I also have the experience to recognise that.”
Team Sky unveiled its 2012 line-up on Wednesday. The 28-man team, featuring riders from 12 nations, has made 8 new signings ahead of the new season and will be looking to build on a strong 2011.
Mark Cavendish brings his rainbow jersey with him and will lead the team along with Tour de France contender Bradley Wiggins. Cavendish brings with him three former HTC-Highroad teammates in Bernhard Eisel, Danny Pate and Kanstantsin Siutsou.
“With Mark Cavendish joining riders like Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas and Edvald Boasson Hagen, we have a hugely talented squad of riders with proven ability at the very highest level of our sport. We made great strides in 2011, in what was our second season as a WorldTour team. The challenge for all of us is to build on those achievements and become an even stronger and more successful team,” said team boss Dave Brailsford.
The team has strengthened in other areas too, signing a handful of talented neo-pros with Salvatore Puccio, Luke Rowe and Sergio Henao.
Team Sky for 2012
Davide Appollonio (ITA)
Michael Barry (CAN)
Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR)
Mark Cavendish (GBR)
Alex Dowsett (GBR)
Bernhard Eisel (AUT)
Juan Antonio Flecha (ESP)
Chris Froome (GBR)
Mathew Hayman (AUS)
Sergio Henao (COL)
Jeremy Hunt (GBR)
Peter Kennaugh (GBR)
Christian Knees (GER)
Thomas Löfkvist (SWE)
Lars-Petter Nordhaug (NOR)
Danny Pate (USA)
Richie Porte (AUS)
Salvatore Puccio (ITA)
Michael Rogers (AUS)
Luke Rowe (GBR)
Ian Stannard (GBR)
Kanstantsin Siutsou (BLR)
Chris Sutton (AUS)
Ben Swift (GBR)
Geraint Thomas (GBR)
Rigoberto Urán (COL)
Bradley Wiggins (GBR)
Xabier Zandio (ESP)
The annual Jayco Bay Cycling Classic begins January 1 and once again some of the fastest men and women in the world will take on the four-race series.
The ‘Bay Crits’ mark the start of the start of the Australian summer of cycling and is an important marker ahead of the Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships (January 5-10) and the Santos Tour Down Under (January 15-22).
In its 23rd year, the Bay Crits has the added prestige of being the debut race for WorldTour neophytes, GreenEdge who will be lead by defending men’s champion, Matt Goss. While the Milan-San Remo-winner is playing down his own chances of making it back-to-back victories, GreenEdge boasts plenty of speed with Goss joined by tried and tested lead out man and former HTC-Highroad teammate Leigh Howard, six-time winner of the series Robbie McEwen,Wes Sulzberger and Mitch Docker.
Four days of spectacular racing kicks off on January 5 at the Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships with the nation’s best cyclists fighting it out in criterium, road race and time trial disciplines in the historic centre of Ballarat, Victoria. Australia’s National Road Championships will be an all-Australian affair for the first time in 2012 with race organisers calling time on international entries after ongoing criticism from domestic riders and supporters.
Under 23 men’s criteriumThursday, January 5 2012
- Distance:33 km
Elite/Under 23 women’s criteriumThursday, January 5 2012
- Distance:33 km
Elite men’s criteriumThursday, January 5 2012
- Distance:44 km
Under 23 men’s road raceSaturday, January 7 2012
- Distance:122.4 km
Elite women’s road raceSaturday, January 7 2012
- Distance:102 km
Elite men’s road raceSunday, January 8 2012
- Distance:163.2 km
Under 23 men’s time trialTuesday, January 10 2012
- Distance:27.1 km
Elite women’s time trialTuesday, January 10 2012
- Distance:27.1 km
Elite men’s time trialTuesday, January 10 2012
- Distance:38.2 km
The 14th Santos Tour Down enters a new era in 2012, post the appearances of Lance Armstrong which the race built a new level of recognition on as it entered the UCI’s ProTour, with a renewed Australian focus on the six-stage race this January with the unveiling of WorldTour neophytes GreenEdge.
The race receives a further 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.
In 2011, Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Cervelo) brought the traditional sprinter’s dominance of the race to an abrupt end becoming the first non-sprinter since 2006 to take the Tour Down Under’s overall prize, despite the presence of Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad), Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo) and two-time winner, Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto). The man who got closest to Meyer, was Matt Goss (HTC-Highroad) two seconds in arrears on general classification, and with the two Australians set to take the start line in Prospect wearing GreenEdge kit, this year more than ever it may be a case of anything could happen.
Two-time winner to begin European season in Mallorca
Following the revelation late last month that Allan Davis is set to miss the Tour Down Under for the first time in the event’s 13-year history, the GreenEdge recruit has admitted that it was “time for a change.”
Davis, 31, joined the WorldTour neophytes after a frustrating second and final season with Astana. He has kicked off the New Year by racing the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic in Victoria in the lead up to the Mars Cycling Australia National Road Championships in Ballarat this coming weekend. The Bundaberg-native, riding for GreenEdge composite team Mitchelton Wineries – Lowe Farms, was the standout performer for the new outfit in Victoria, and finished first overall after a hugely consistent display. He finished third, second, eighth and third on the four stages.
“Without disrespect to the Bay Crits that’s just the way it is at this time of year – a bit of race fitness in the legs before the nationals,” Davis explained in response to the question surrounding why the GreenEdge men had failed to produce a stage win. “It’s such a tough [nationals] course so it goes a long way. Especially in my boat, along with a couple of other guys, without doing much racing towards the end of last season. This is exactly what a few of us need.”
- Jan 14 - Santos Tour Down Under 2012 Jan 15-22
- Jan 13 - Liquigas-Cannondale 2012 Team.
- Jan 12 - 2012 NIKE MARK CAVENDISH
- Jan 11 - Gabe Winawer
- Jan 10 - Omega-Pharma-Quick Step
- Jan 9 - Simon Gerrans Wins Australia Road National Championships 2012!
- Jan 8 - Cavendish for NIKE.
- Jan 7 - RadioShack-Nissan Jersey 2012
- Jan 6 - RadioShack-Nissan ready..
- Jan 5 - Team Sky 2012.