This weekend sees the start of the 2014 UCI World Tour with the traditional season-opener the Santos Tour Down Under, which begins on Sunday, January 19 with the 50km People’s Choice Classic. The six main stages then continue starting with the 135km leg from Nuriootpa to Angaston and ending on Sunday, January 16 with the new Adelaide city circuit of 18 laps over 85.5km.
Team Sky are, of course, fielding a strong team with home-fan favourite Richie Porte backed by Philip Deignan, Bernard Eisel, Christopher Sutton and GB’s Ian Stannard, Luke Rowe and Geraint Thomas. Despite being far from the somewhat cooler Welsh climate, Thomas – making his fourth appearance at the Tour Down Under – appears more than ready for the work ahead, saying, ‘I love being in Oz. It’s a great place to come. The lifestyle here is good. It’s the sort of place you get up in the morning and go for a run before you go to work. It’s an active, healthy place to be… Obviously the weather is great, if not a touch hot at the moment. The roads for riding and training around Adelaide are really good, especially for this time of year. And then the Tour Down Under itself is a good hard race to kick-start the season.’
Further details on the Santos Tour Down Under at tourdownunder.com.au