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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's almost here! 2017 Santos Tour Down Under and the official opening race of the season. It is listed as being televised in the USA on Uiversal HD. Elsewhere? Where to watch the race - Santos Tour Down Under

Nice to read up a bit on this years race after finishing up shoveling snow! I'm liking Mathews on Giant now... Stages seem a little less suited to sprinters but the course seems pretty similar to years past.
 

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Definitely nice to think of cycling season starting and warmer weather after we just got some snow and temps in the 20's for the weekend.
 

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Hi! :)

The WorldTour Season 2017 starts with the Tour Down Under!
Who will win the race?

If you're a fan of prediction-games, maybe this well-crafted web-site (in english or german) could be of interest.
New for 2017 in addition is the game mode "Light" where you just predict the Top5 of a race.

https://www.xoo-cy...tion-game/

Prediction-game to the most important races of the cycling year.
Season starts in a few hours with the Tour Down Under!

Best wishes for 2017 to everyone!


Regards,
Ramirez
 

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I have been thoroughly enjoying watching Caleb Ewan this week. Seeing his forehead almost rub against his front tire as he magically finds the right position for his sprints to always end up half a wheel ahead of Sagan. It also exciting to see new faces succeed while familiar ones continue to do well (eg. Sagan and Porte). I'm hoping this will be a sign for the rest of the season.
 

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Always a great time of year to live in Adelaide :)

Whilst Caleb is killing it now, most of the Euro guys are very early in their season whereas we've just had the Aussie National Champs so fitness levels are usually at different levels this time of year.
Will be interesting to see how he goes against the big hitting power sprinters like Kittel and Greipel etc later in the season. Still, you can only beat who is in the race with you at that time.
 

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@TmB123

I was thinking the same thing, although Ritchie Porte seemed to do really well in the TdF last year in July (mechanicals aside). He's looking really fit right now. I really hope he can keep it going through to the Tour.

Having been watching the last few episodes via streaming, I have to say the Aussie crowds have been spectacular. REally supportive and enthusiastic, but not obnoxious and blocking the roads. Props to them!

BTW, live stream starts on Tiz in 10 minutes! :)

Edit: Also, from a team cooperation standpoint, BMC seemed to be doing a better job than some of the others. They really took good care of Porte yesterday.
 

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TmB123, good point. I know Valverde has said that the reason in the past Spaniards also did so well early in the season is because of the weather they live in and get to train in year round. Now everyone has training camps in Spain so the Spaniards early season edge isn't what it used to be. Although he did say there is still a built in advantage to just living in a more moderate climate year round. I'd think in a way those who live and train in Australia may have a similar early season advantage.
 

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Back in the early days of the race a lot of the euro pros would turn up horribly unfit and just use it more or less as a training ride and just roll around at the back. These days with World Tour points on offer, teams take it a lot more seriously.

@Migen21 - yep, the crowds are usually well behaved here, so many people out on bikes with all the visitors and other support events, street parties, car park racing, womens series etc, it's just an awesome week and a half long festival of cycling, get out on training rides with the pros etc, just great fun (except for losing some of my KoM's each year! ;-) )
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I agree. It's a good start to the season.
Yeah, it sure has! Only 2 winners over 6 stages... wow! Caleb Ewen looks fantastic and only 22! That sprint form! Porte crushed the climbing... Does BMC have a change in approach going forward now? Ewan is smallish for a sprinter right? 5' 5" and 135. It'll sure be interesting to see him grow.
 

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Yeah, it sure has! Only 2 winners over 6 stages... wow! Caleb Ewen looks fantastic and only 22! That sprint form! Porte crushed the climbing... Does BMC have a change in approach going forward now? Ewan is smallish for a sprinter right? 5' 5" and 135. It'll sure be interesting to see him grow.
I think BMC will have a similar approach to last year, but maybe more "clarity" about what everyone's role should be??? Rohan Dennis should be a year stronger and Porte is supposed to be ready to do a better job of challenging the big guns like Froome. GVA should be ready to go for the Classics. We'll see. Ewan is the real deal for sure, but a lot of the great bunch sprinters weren't in Australia for these races (Cavendish, Greipel, Kittel, Viviani, Modolo, Kristoff, etc.) and Saganprobably isn't going to take any unnecessary risks this early in the season (before the Classics) to win a bunch sprint. That being the case, the wins this week weren't as big as some, but he looks great and should be ready to challenge everybody if he can stay healthy.
 

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While Sagan is an excellent finisher I don't think he can be called an out and out sprinter in pure terms. I think Ewan will struggle against the more powerful pure sprinters later in the season. Think I read a comment recently from Ewan saying that he isn't getting any faster (maybe he was foxing a little?).

Not sure if any of you follow the Cycling Maven on YT, but this is a pretty good Vlog from a spectators perspective of the Willunga stage.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think BMC will have a similar approach to last year, but maybe more "clarity" about what everyone's role should be??? Rohan Dennis should be a year stronger and Porte is supposed to be ready to do a better job of challenging the big guns like Froome. GVA should be ready to go for the Classics. We'll see. Ewan is the real deal for sure, but a lot of the great bunch sprinters weren't in Australia for these races (Cavendish, Greipel, Kittel, Viviani, Modolo, Kristoff, etc.) and Saganprobably isn't going to take any unnecessary risks this early in the season (before the Classics) to win a bunch sprint. That being the case, the wins this week weren't as big as some, but he looks great and should be ready to challenge everybody if he can stay healthy.
I can't rep anybody these days! I try to spread it around no less!

At 135 can Ewen really get the power? I can see Sagan trying hard but trying hard "conservatively." 3 2nd place finishes? A guy that is in the hunt with the big ones, albeit not a pure sprinter, but with the "pure" sprinters? He's the green jersey because he can make it over the mountains.

Porte is the question... they still have Teejay right?
 
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