Wiggins 2013 Schedule

Bradley Wiggins 2013 race scheuleWith such an incredible year drawing to an end for Bradley Wiggins, there has of course been huge speculation as to his likely schedule for 2013. A month back Sky boss Dave Brailsford gave the first hint, commenting to reporters at UK Sport’s World Class Performance conference in Leeds, ‘It does look as though the plan going into next year… is that the Tour of Italy would be a very good target for Bradley and leave Froomey then to focus on the Tour de France,’ although he has since suggested that plans are rather more flexible than that and that Wiggins may still be in contention at the TdF. With rather more certainty we do know that Wiggins won’t feature in the traditional season opener, the Santos Tour Down Under (Australia, January 22-27), where Sky have already announced that Edvald Boasson Hagen, who finished seventh at this year’s event, will lead out with former stage winner Chris Sutton going for sprint glory.


However, according to Spanish website (with no indication as to why they should know when no one else does) Wiggins 2013 will open with the Tour of Algarve (February 13-17), which he will follow with Tirreno-Adriatico (March 6-12), the Tour of Catalonia (March 18-24) and then either the Giro del Trentino or Tour of Romandy. Likely pure speculation, but it looks to Cyclo like a reasonable run up to the Giro d’Italia which begins in Naples on May 4.



An all Oz-squad for GreenEDGE

Commenting on the decision Race Director Mike Turtur has said, ‘GreenEDGE has selected a high quality team to make its debut at our race, which is fantastic. We expect the riders will do very well competitively and be a team that the fans will embrace.’ adding that the inclusion of the GreenEDGE squad marked a milestone in Australian cycling. The reigning Santos Tour Down Under winner and Australian National Time Trial Champion, Cameron Meyer, will headlines the seven-rider squad.


Speaking of his pride and their chances of success, GreenEDGE General Manager Shayne Bannan said, ‘We’re obviously really proud to have such a great line-up for our first race on the WorldTour. Having our debut in Australia is exciting. It’s a race that has gone from strength to strength over the last years. We are trying to honour that by bringing a really competitive roster. It will be a hard race, but we have a good chance to put GreenEDGE on the map in our first big, international competition.’
Led by Team Manager, Matt White (AUS) and the squad will comprise: Cameron Meyer, Matt Goss, Stuart O’Grady, Simon Gerrans, Jack Bobridge, Leigh Howard and Robbie McEwen.



Greipel for Triple?

With German sprinter Andre Greipel now confirmed for the Team Lotto Belisol Tour Down Under squad it’s clear he will be heading out with the intention of making it three times lucky, having taken then win in both 2008 and 2010 editions – the only other rider ever having won twice being Australian favourite  Stuart O’Grady (1999 and 2001). The WorldTour opener – which takes place in and around Adelaide January 15 to 22 – always attracts the cream of riders hoping to make an early season impression and Race Director Mike Turtur confirmed Greipel’s involvement, saying, ‘We know Greipel is a formidable sprinter and our race suits him well, so it will be interesting to see if he can be the first rider to win three editions of the Santos Tour Down Under.’


Marc Sergeant, Team Director of the newly-named Team Lotto Belisol, added, ‘The Lotto Belisol squad will be built around our top sprinter André Greipel. Also André has a very warm relationship with the Australians and their Santos Tour Down Under. With Adam Hansen and Greg Henderson in the lineup, we have a local Australian and New Zealand rider, each with a specific role to support the team.’

The Lotto Belisol squad for the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under has now been confirmed as including: André Greipel (GER), Adam Hansen (AUS), Greg Henderson (NZL), Olivier Kaisen (BEL), Vicente Reynes (ESP), Jürgen Roelandts (BEL) and Marcel Sieberg (GER).



Get Ready for the Tour Down Under

January 15 to 22 is the date for your diary as the Santos Tour Down Under 2012, the traditional Australian kick-off event of the UCI WorldTour, draws near. First held in January 1999, the event has grown exponentially ever since and is now, by far, the biggest cycling race in the southern hemisphere – it became the opener for the WorldTour in 2008 making it the first non-European country to be included in the gruelling calendar and now attracts in excess of 780,000 spectators. Adding to the event’s prestige was the fact that cycling legend Lance Armstrong chose it in 2009 for his much-publicised return to pro racing.


Although at its heart the TDU is a week long WorldTour event, in a wider context it is an all-round festival of cycling with numerous associated activities (and more than a hint of party atmosphere) that also offers a unique opportunity for amateur riders to take to the pro route via the Skoda Breakaway Series.


When it comes to the main event the action gets underway with the Down Under Classic, a closed circuit road race through Adelaide which allows spectators an unparalleled opportunity to get up close to some of the biggest cycling stars in the world. After a day’s break the six subsequent stages traditionally break out of the city for a true tour of the regions highlights with the 2012 stages breaking down as:


Stage 1 (Tuesday January 17) – Prospect to Clare, 149km

Stage 2 (Wednesday January 18) – Lobethal to Stirling, 148km

Stage 3 (Thursday January 19) – Unley to Victor Harbor, 134.5km

Stage 4 (Friday January 20) – Norwood to Tanunda, 130km

Stage 5 (Saturday January 21) – McLaren Vale to Old Willunga Hill, 151.5km

Stage 6 (Sunday January 22) – Adelaide City Circuit – 90km, comprising 20laps.


As you would expect from a WorldTour event there are a number of highly fought over jerseys awarded at the Santos Tour Down Under – whilst the Tour de France’s leaders jersey is yellow and the Giro d’Italia’s is pink (the maglia rosa), the TDU’s is ochre; in addition the Skoda king of the Mountain and Jayco Spirit jersey (awarded to the rider who leads the sprint points tally after each stage) are also up for grabs along with the Cycle Instead Young Rider Jersey goes to the U25 with the fastest cumulative time at the end of each stage. Finally there is the Hindmarsh Most Aggressive Rider Jersey (taken by local hero Stuart O’Grady of Team Leopard-Trek in 2011) and the South Australia Brilliant Blend Winning Team Jersey which, this year, went to Movistar.


Only two riders have ever won the Santos Tour Down Under twice: Australia’s Stuart O’Grady (1999 and 2001) and Germany’s André Greipel (2008 and 10).



TDU Filling Out

Team Katusha have announced that their bid at the Santos Tour Down Under, the South Australian event which really kick-starts the pro-cycling season (January 15-22) will be lead by three-times World Champion Oscar Freire. Commenting on the news Race Director Mike Turtur said: “Spaniard Oscar Freire has accomplished what only legends like Alfredo Binda, Eddy Merckx and Rik Van Steenbergen have been able to do: win three World Road Race Championships (1999, 2001, 2004). His other impressive results include winning the Milan to San Remo three times (2004, 2007 and 2010) as well as several Grand Tour stages.”


In addition the Spaniard is also a four time TdF stage winner, a winner of the TdF Green Jersey (2008) and winner of seven stages of the Vuelta a Espana. The Russian team’s line-up will also include Xavier Florencio, Giampaolo Caruso, Eduard Vorganov, Maxim Belkov and Luca Paolini.


BMC Racing have also confirmed their Tour Down Under squad: Team Manager, Rik Verbrugghe (BEL) and include riders: Alessandro Ballan (ITA), Adam Blythe (GBR), Marcus Burghardt (GER), Martin Kohler (SUI), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Tim Roe (AUS) and Greg Van Avermaet (BEL).



Men Down Under

Team Sky have named their provisional seven-man line up for the 2012 Tour Down Under, the traditional Australian season opener. They comprise Great Britain’s Geraint Thomas and Alex Dowsett, Australians Mathew Hayman, Michael Rogers and Christopher Sutton, Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen (a heavily tipped TdU winner following an outstanding 2011) and the USA’s Danny Pate making his Sky debut after the move from HTC-Highroad.


Rabobank has similarly revealed their TdU squad; they will be fielding: Luis Leon Sanchez, Mark Renshaw, Michael Matthews, Graeme Brown, Tom Leezer, Jos Van Emden and Wilco Kelderman.


The Tour Down Under takes place January 17-22 and in 2012 will see a one-day Cancer Council Classic preceding the main six-stage event.