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January 16/07 9:10 am - Tour Down Under: Preview & Photos

Posted by Editoress on 01/16/07

Tour Down Under Preview - Australia

Greg Descantes is at the Tour Down Under, providing our coverage.

Photos from the "Night of Stars" at the Adelaide Superdome with track races and team presentations.

It's now 1 PM on Tuesday with today's agenda featuring a press conference with Bjarne Riis at 2 pm followed by The Tour Down Under Classic, a 50-km crit in downtown Sydney, which due to UCI regulations does not count to towards the GC in the Tour Down Under.

The men's race will be preceded by a women's crit, which will feature the return of 2000 Australian Junior Road Champion Katie Brown, one of the six Australian women who was struck down by an 18-year-old German driver in a horrific accident in 2005 that claimed the life of Amy Gillette.

While the Aussies and South Africans will be used to the stifling summer heat here in South Australia, European riders who arrived earlier this week will hopefully have made the most of their time to acclimatize themselves as today's forecast calls for a dry and very hot afternoon, with temperatures climbing to 40 Celcius and the UV index rated at an extreme 11.

At a press conference yesterday, Laurent Brochard, defending TDU champion Simon Gerrans, Stuart O'Grady and Robbie Hunter all said they were looking forward to the race. Seasoned interviewees all, they each promised give it 110 per cent and take the race one day at a time.

Gerrans said his form now was ahead of where it was last year at this time. The day before he'd missed the early wining break in the National Road Championships and rather that press on decided to "save a few pennies for this week."

When asked who he'd have to keep an eye on this week, Gerrans pointed to O'Grady, the freshly crowned South Australian state road champion, who agreed he is prepared to "dig pretty deep" this week knowing that after the race he and his CSC team are off to California for a month's training camp and the Tour of California, where it will be his American teammates who will a starring role.


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