Cycling: All the big names out to kick start 2013 season

The international cycling year has kicked off with the Tour Down Under prologue race taking place last night in front of an estimated 108,000 people.
Lotto-Belisol rider Andre Greipel took out his third prologue race edging out Australian sprinter Matthew Goss.
The Tour Down Under has been known to attract the big names of cycling with stars such as Lance Armstrong, Cadel Evans and Greipel having graced the race with their presence in previous years, this year is shaping to be just as big with some of the best International cyclists choosing the Tour Down Under to kick start their 2013 season.
Andy Schleck after having a horrid run with injury in 2012 is looking to get his promising career back on track in 2013 and has chosen Adelaide to begin his comeback. While he has said he will not be looking to win the event he will be looking to help out his Radioshack teammates and attack where possible.
Andre Greipel has won the Tour Down Under on two previous occasions (2008 and 2010) with 11 stage victories. He has already conceded that his attention will be mainly on breaking Aussie sprinter Robbie McEwen’s record of 12 stage victories in the TDU as the new course provided for this year’s TDU may not provide a suitable chance for the giant Belgian rider to have a realistic shot at overall honours.
Simon Gerrans who was the 2012 winner of the event will be looking to make it back to back titles as he hits the roads of Adelaide for the recently formed Australian Pro Cycling team Orica Green Edge.
Philippe Gilbert is the current holder of the rainbow jersey after winning the World Championships late last year. He will be looking to continue on from this good form with a strong showing at the TDU and a good start to the New Year.
Stuart O’Grady who is a South Australian boy will be looking for another strong showing in front of his home crowd. Having won the TDU on two previous occasions (1999 and 2001) this will be one of O’Grady’s final TDU with his expected retirement to come in the next couple of years.
Edvald Bossan Hagen who was one of Bradley Wiggins’ main lead out men in his victory at the Tour de France last year will also open his 2013 campaign at the TDU.
Tyler Farrar and Aussie Matt Goss will give Greipel some competition when it comes to the sprint points after all three had strong showings at last year’s Tour de France. Goss finished third in the sprinters classification behind eventual winner Peter Sagan and Greipel.
The Australian crowds will also have an eye on ex-Orica Green Edge rider Jack Bobridge who left the Australian team at the end of last year to join Blanco Pro Cycling Team. This will be Bobridge’s first race with his new team.

Elsewhere attention will be on the Tour of Oman in a few weeks’ time (February 12-17) as Australian and 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans looks to put an illness effected 2012 season behind him as he battles against current Tour de France title holder Bradley Wiggins.
Wiggins, who was also the Gold medalist in the Olympic time trial last year, will also be looking for a fresh start in 2013 after his 2012 season was cut short following an accident which left him hospitalised after he was knocked from his bike by a motorist in the UK late last year.
The two Tour de France winners will also come up against fellow ex-Tour de France title holder and controversial rider Alberto Contador. All three cyclists will be looking to kicks start their 2013 seasons on their way to winning the major prize of regaining/retaining the Tour de France yellow jersey.

About Patrick Glover

My name is Patrick Glover. I have just finshed four years of Uni where I have obtained a degree in Communicaton and Meida Managment and a Graduate Diploma in Journalism. I love anything sport and this has led to my want to become a sports journalist. I am a huge cricket fan and play at a distrcict level with Glenelg in Adelaide.

Comments

  1. Ben Footner says:

    I’m not a huge fan of cycling but the TDU just gets bigger and bigger every year. The atmosphere is fantastic with all the various towns along the route decorating themselves and holding street parties etc.

    A great event for Adelaide and South Australia!

  2. Does Adelaide really miss the screech & smoke of the Grand Prix? This Melbournite would trade that for the quieter thrills of the Tour Down Under road race… Glad to be brought ‘up to speed’ with your preview… Look forward to reports from the Tour…

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