Velorooms - Cycling Forum

Professional Cycling => Road Races => Topic started by: search on January 08, 2018, 12:27

Title: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: search on January 08, 2018, 12:27
Santos Tour Down Under[1]

The Santos Tour Down Under was first held in 1999 and has grown year on year to become the biggest cycling race in the southern hemisphere.

This nine-day event brings top UCI WorldTour professional cycling teams to race on the streets of Adelaide and regional South Australia each January. Up for grabs are important UCI points and the Santos Ochre Leader’s Jersey.

In 2008 the Santos Tour Down Under joined the prestigious UCI WorldTour and was the first event outside cycling's traditional home of Europe to do so. The UCI WorldTour brings together the most prestigious teams and the best riders in the world to compete in the best races.

Some of the very best in road cycling have competed at the Santos Tour Down Under during its eighteen-year history. Tour de France winners Oscar Pereiro, Andy Schleck, Alberto Contador and Carlos Sastre have all raced in Adelaide, alongside Aussie legends Simon Gerrans, Stuart O’Grady, Robbie McEwen, Cadel Evans and Allan Davis.

(https://www.kidsinadelaide.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Tour-Down-Under.png)
Not just a bike race, the Santos Tour Down Under is a festival of cycling, with a range of associated events and festivals that create a massive party atmosphere across South Australia. Amateur cyclists can also get involved in the action through the Subaru Breakaway Series, which gives people the chance to ride part of the UCI WorldTour race route.

The Santos Tour Down Under invites the whole state to the party by taking the race through South Australian regions. The race typically starts and concludes with exciting Adelaide city street circuits, with stages 1-5 being held in regional South Australia. The Santos Tour Down Under provides a significant contribution to the state's tourism industry and showcases the attractions of South Australia to the world through global television coverage.


(https://i.imgur.com/TA6mpKl.png)
14.01. / People’s Choice Classic: Adelaide - Adelaide (50,6 km)

The People's Choice Classic is the perfect opportunity to see the world's best cyclists test their skills in the East End of Adelaide.

Held on the streets of Adelaide, this closed-circuit road race is a preview to the Santos Tour Down Under and sets the tone for the week ahead.


(https://i.imgur.com/X4H7yAp.png)
16.01. Stage 1: Port Adelaide - Lyndoch (145,0 km)

Historic Port Adelaide will be the setting for the start of Stage 1 of the Santos Tour Down Under.

The cyclists will ride north along the Port River Expressway and out to the Barossa, taking in scenic views of pastures and vineyards on their way to the finish arch in Lyndoch.


(https://i.imgur.com/6G2Q4jb.png)
17.01. Stage 2: Unley - Stirling (148,6 km)

Metropolitan Unley will be the setting of the start of Stage 2 of the Santos Tour Down Under.

The peloton will travel from Unley through to the Adelaide Hills, making three laps of the leafy suburb of Stirling before the race finish on Mount Barker Road.


(https://i.imgur.com/MkBKuwb.png)
18.01. Stage 3: Glenelg - Victor Harbor (146,5 km)

The beachside suburb of Glenelg will be in the spotlight for this varied stage which sees the peloton travel through the Fleurieu Peninsula and McLaren Vale.

The riders will take on Pennys Hill Road for the Subaru King of the Mountain points before the three-lap finishing circuit around Victor Harbor.


(https://i.imgur.com/vr19OnL.png)
19.01. Stage 4: Norwood - Uraidla (128,2 km)

Cycling enthusiasts will put their skills to the test from Norwood to Uraidla on the Bupa Challenge Tour just hours before the professionals tackle the stage.

Riders will take on the famous Norton Summit for the Subaru King of the Mountain before riding uphill into Uraidla for the finish arch.


https://twitter.com/LasterketaBurua/status/882559366452432896

(https://i.imgur.com/BHT2Z85.png)
20.01. Stage 5: McLaren Vale - Willunga Hill (151,5 km)

Stage 5 is a favourite for the spectators and is heralded as the 'Queen' stage of the Santos Tour Down Under - and 2018 will be no different.

The day will start in McLaren Vale, famous for its winemaking. The town is always in party mode during the race, with the peloton headed for the iconic Willunga Hill.

Fans flock roadside to cheer on their heroes in what is often the deciding stage of the Santos Tour Down Under.


(https://i.imgur.com/ZqpsCEL.png)
21.01. Stage 6: Adelaide - Adelaide (90,0 km)

The final stage of the Santos Tour Down Under in 2018 will see the peloton race through the streets of Adelaide on this fast-paced 4.5km circuit.

Touching the tip of the City of Adelaide Tour Village and starting and finishing by Elder Park on the banks of the River Torrens, there are plenty of great vantage points to catch the riders fly past.


Race Broadcast:

The 2018 Santos Tour Down Under TV broadcast will be shown exclusively across the Nine Network in Australia.

(https://i.imgur.com/1aeAA88.png)

The 2018 Santos Tour Down Under will also be broadcast internationally on multiple networks across Europe, Asia and the Americas.
 1. Source of all text: tourdownunder.com.au / profiles via @@laflammerouge16
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: search on January 08, 2018, 12:46
so compared to 2017 the usual Stirling finish is back in (which hopefully should help in having more than two different stage winners this year), replacing a sprint, and Paracombe was substituted by the new Uraidla hill top finish.

The startlist looks alright, here are some of the contenders (in no particular order - and discounting the fact that there are probably no real "contenders" other but Porte, Ewan and maybe Sagan):

Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Leadbelly on January 08, 2018, 13:47
Sprints

#lotto Greipel

Has he regained his "instinct on a bike"?

His end of season results were inconclusive. A slew of top-5s with one victory at Eurometropool, but in that win he was only up against Van Lerberghe and Devriendt.

This is an important race for his confidence I think.
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: search on January 08, 2018, 13:48
the selection process for the UniSA team for Down Under is going on differently as initially planed:

Quote
In 2018, some developments that Cycling Australia had hoped to initiated would see a little change in the dynamic of the UniSA team. The sport’s administrators are aiming to provide a ‘reward’ for excellence in the domestic National Road Series (NRS) by giving the winning team five places in the subsequent edition of the Tour Down Under.

That is, at least, the intention as announced last November after an “extensive review” of the NRS.

The reality, however, may be a little different. There are regulations that need to be adhered to and it involves ensuring that all riders who compete in WorldTour races are subjected to stringent doping controls. Cycling Australia was apparently reminded of this detail in March last year but, according to some closely associated with the NRS, it seems that the federation hasn’t managed this element correctly.

Roughly translated, the rules stipulate that riders should be subjected to the highest drug testing protocols in cycling for a minimum of six weeks. If they haven’t been, then sorry: no place for you in the WorldTour.

http://www.ridemedia.com.au/features/selection-unisa-team-interesting-conundrum/
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: LukasCPH on January 08, 2018, 16:10
the selection process for the UniSA team for Down Under is going on differently as initially planed:

http://www.ridemedia.com.au/features/selection-unisa-team-interesting-conundrum/
*insert appropriate Aussie swearwords* :angry
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Leadbelly on January 08, 2018, 16:26
Freiberg and Porter as trackies might be on some sort of drug testing programme, dunno about anyone else.
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Servais Knavendish on January 08, 2018, 20:59
Is this (on paper) the weakest Team Sky stage race squad ever?

BERNAL, Egan (Col)
DIBBEN, Jon (GBr)
DOULL, Owain (GBr)
HALVORSEN, Kristoffer (Nor)
LAWLESS, Chris (GBr)
PUCCIO, Salvatore (Ita)
WISNIOWSKI, Lukasz (Pol)
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: t-72 on January 08, 2018, 23:04
Is this (on paper) the weakest Team Sky stage race squad ever?

BERNAL, Egan (Col)
DIBBEN, Jon (GBr)
DOULL, Owain (GBr)
HALVORSEN, Kristoffer (Nor)
LAWLESS, Chris (GBr)
PUCCIO, Salvatore (Ita)
WISNIOWSKI, Lukasz (Pol)

eh...there's this report:
https://twitter.com/roadcc/status/950494826113376256


and here's a clue:
https://youtu.be/rejGjetruck
check 2:33 - South Australia police will get a problem with this rascals close-quarters maneuvring!

Looking forward to see #sky Kristoffer Halvorsen vs  #mitchelton[1] Caleb  Ewan !

The strength of a stage race squad in January depends a lot on if it is actually an objective for anyone - and the young riders generally are much quicker to get in shape than the veterans. Egan Bernal is quite good at his best!

 1. (#orica <--- no longer! Lukas! We need an icon!)
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: LukasCPH on January 09, 2018, 10:40
Looking forward to see #sky Kristoffer Halvorsen vs  #orica[1] Caleb  Ewan !
 1. (#orica <--- no longer! Lukas! We need an icon!)
I'm on it, I'm on it. But I have other things to do, too!
Had you used #mitchelton, the smiley would have almost-magically updated to the 2018 kit soon. :P
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Leadbelly on January 09, 2018, 13:16
the selection process for the UniSA team for Down Under is going on differently as initially planed:

http://www.ridemedia.com.au/features/selection-unisa-team-interesting-conundrum/

https://twitter.com/cyclingtips/status/950541139064504320

People like Dempster and Earle are in the neighbourhood if needed. Brenton Jones won't be unless he's changed his plans at the last mo.

https://twitter.com/brenton_jones/status/949933709603479553
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: search on January 09, 2018, 13:26
People like Dempster and Earle are in the neighbourhood if needed.

yeah, Rob Arnold listed both of them in the potential team to be chosen

    Scott Bowden (TAS)
    Zack Dempster (VIC)
    Nathan Earle (TAS)
    Alex Porter (SA)
    Tim Roe (SA)
    Steele von Hoff (VIC)
    Sam Welsford (WA)

http://www.ridemedia.com.au/features/whos-likely-make-unisa/
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Leadbelly on January 10, 2018, 05:22
yeah, Rob Arnold listed both of them in the potential team to be chosen

    Scott Bowden (TAS)
    Zack Dempster (VIC)
    Nathan Earle (TAS)
    Alex Porter (SA)
    Tim Roe (SA)
    Steele von Hoff (VIC)
    Sam Welsford (WA)

http://www.ridemedia.com.au/features/whos-likely-make-unisa/

....... and it is those exact riders who make the cut. So Bennelong end up supplying four and not five.
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: LukasCPH on January 11, 2018, 15:58
https://twitter.com/flobikes/status/951467844881014784
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Mellow Velo on January 12, 2018, 17:56
 Just read over on BR and it's good news for UK fans.
Freesports have taken up the slack left after the demise of The Bike Channel and is now showing the TDU live. :)
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Leadbelly on January 14, 2018, 20:13
https://twitter.com/petosagan/status/952532831263182850
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: t-72 on January 14, 2018, 21:37
And then Sky has no sprinter, no WT debut for Halvorsen (the race would have suited him so well). Broken something in the hand inside of the longest finger - do you call that middle finger in english?
Plan is to fly to Manchester for repairs and practice indoors.
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: jon ezeitza on January 15, 2018, 12:29
And then Sky has no sprinter, no WT debut for Halvorsen (the race would have suited him so well). Broken something in the hand inside of the longest finger - do you call that middle finger in english?
Plan is to fly to Manchester for repairs and practice indoors.
Chris Lawless has not done badly. It can be Halvorsen's replacement.
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: L'arri on January 16, 2018, 10:26
And we're off!

Greipel takes his first win (hopefully of many) this season. Comfortable too, especially since he came through late. Or was it just that Ewan started waaaaaaay too early?  :lol
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Armchair Cyclist on January 16, 2018, 10:46
Just read over on BR and it's good news for UK fans.
Freesports have taken up the slack left after the demise of The Bike Channel and is now showing the TDU live. :)

Good news for some UK fans: Freesports does not broadcast on the transmitters that serve 1/4 of the population (including me :angry).
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Jimmythecuckoo on January 16, 2018, 16:34
It's a pretty good channel to be honest.

Loads of rugby league on it and now cycling...

which is no consolation to you of course.
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Carlo Algatrensig on January 16, 2018, 20:52
Good news for some UK fans: Freesports does not broadcast on the transmitters that serve 1/4 of the population (including me :angry).

I'm in an area where it does broadcast so set my freeview box to record the race last night. the first hour of the recording wasn't the cycling and when it did get to the cycling the recording finished with 60km of the race to go.
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Mellow Velo on January 17, 2018, 16:59
I'm in an area where it does broadcast so set my freeview box to record the race last night. the first hour of the recording wasn't the cycling and when it did get to the cycling the recording finished with 60km of the race to go.

 Today's stage was recorded and shown later. This time the epg slot ran out with only 10kms to go. :fp
The same thing used to happen with Bike Channel.
The secret is to record the programme that follows.
Live again tonight, but the epg has re-scheduled for 90 minutes later than on Tuesday, so should be OK.

Anyhow, the Santos Bore Down Under accompanied by the sleeping draught that is Phil and Paul, equaled a mega siesta for me.
Paracombe sorely missed as Ewan takes one of stages meant the puncheurs.
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Leadbelly on January 17, 2018, 22:05
Paracombe sorely missed as Ewan takes one of stages meant the puncheurs.

Maybe this is a small step on the journey of him becoming the rider we thought he might be.

I must have seen him at the Worlds in Valkenburg, but it didn't stick in my mind. However I'm surely not the only one who's main first memory of him is in Firenze in the U23 race. First year in that category and he was right up there on a lumpy course. That performance though has become a millstone that I (and others?) have placed round his neck and he has never lived up to the expectations generated by that one race.
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: AG on January 18, 2018, 00:44
todays stage to Victor Harbour will be shorter due to the heat.   

Tomorrows stage may also be cut short, but Saturday we are due for cooler weather so the Wilunga Hill stage will go ahead as scheduled.

Sensible decision I think.  40 degrees is just too hot to be riding long stages ... the risk of sunstroke and heat exhaustion for these riders is high as it is.
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Leadbelly on January 18, 2018, 08:36
I struggle in 25° temperatures. I can't imagine what cycling in 40°+ is like. :flustered

Surely there must be a point though, what with the extreme weather protocol, where racing even just 40-50 km in very high temps is just not going to be viable or healthy. Has a stage anywhere ever been cancelled due to heat?
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Leadbelly on January 18, 2018, 10:41
https://twitter.com/tourdownunder/status/953838376079147008

One small step forward, one step back. :-x

Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Francois the Postman on January 18, 2018, 10:52
Wasn't there a stage in Oman in 2014 or 2015 where they did start but called it quits due to extreme heat and sand storms and no-one caring about the race anyway except for the Oman Tourist Board? Rubber tyres melting and exploding didn't help.

Ah yes, Stage 5 in 2015.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSv9WKOyHCA

They had a heated debate, no kiddin'.

It was shortly followed by crazy snow hitting the giro, and another oven-hot ride through the fourth biggest race in the world, and ultoimately the creation of the uci's extreme weather protocol for the 2016 season.

I fear we will never see the likes of 2010's Kuurne Brussel Kuurne, with 26 riders finishing. or maybe we will, because it is easier to get off your bike yourself in a one-day race if it gets too silly for you. A fairly inconsequential luxury you don't have n stage races. Extreme weather and stage races don't mix well and require collective approaches more than one-day events. Maybe there is hope for my desire to see heroic rides braving epic challenges yet.
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: L'arri on January 18, 2018, 11:33
Wasn't there a stage in Oman in 2014 or 2015 where they did start but called it quits due to extreme heat and sand storms and no-one caring about the race anyway except for the Oman Tourist Board? Rubber tyres melting and exploding didn't help.

Ah yes, Stage 5 in 2015.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSv9WKOyHCA

They had a heated debate, no kiddin'.

It was shortly followed by crazy snow hitting the giro, and another oven-hot ride through the fourth biggest race in the world, and ultoimately the creation of the uci's extreme weather protocol for the 2016 season.

I fear we will never see the likes of 2010's Kuurne Brussel Kuurne, with 26 riders finishing. or maybe we will, because it is easier to get off your bike yourself in a one-day race if it gets too silly for you. A fairly inconsequential luxury you don't have n stage races. Extreme weather and stage races don't mix well and require collective approaches more than one-day events. Maybe there is hope for my desire to see heroic rides braving epic challenges yet.

Generally agree but it's worth pointing out that a lot of the polemic over the Protocol so far has been the way it's been applied rather than the terms of it.

It depends on the circumstances of the day and most of the peloton riding in Oz are not used to these conditions so early in the year. Not the race's fault, I suppose, but teams don't have their full support setup on the ground, so that could be a factor too.

I was there at KBK in 2010 and though my umbrella was wrecked the moment I stepped out of my car I still say it wasn't bad enough not to race. It was ugly but not impossible.

So few riders finished that day, I think, because so many had ridden OHN the day before and the motivation wasn't there for what used to be an almost guaranteed mass sprint.

Several editions of Flemish one-dayers were cancelled due to weather conditions in the 2000s, usually due to snow, none that I can recall after they had already started. That's what made the Oman situation awkward, if I remember correctly, and also that infamous neutralisation during the Giro that effectively gave the win to Quintana.
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: L'arri on January 18, 2018, 11:56
Dear the gods of Cycling,

It's Caleb here. Are you listening?

(http://i67.tinypic.com/x27vqq.jpg)

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change

(Kittel's power output, more competition for sprints at GTs, MitchScott's ever-growing focus on GC)

Courage to change the things I can

(Holding form beyond first week of January, even deeper aero tuck)

And the wisdom to know the difference between going too soon and going too late.

Ay men

 :P
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Leadbelly on January 19, 2018, 05:41
https://twitter.com/dnlbenson/status/954223353774014464
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: AG on January 19, 2018, 11:48
yeah there is a bit of a fuss that they should have stopped the race today, or done more ...

but really - they are holding a bike race ... in Australia ... in January.    It gets hot!!!   that isnt news.  it isnt unexpected.  Adam Hansen is the riders rep, and I think upset people a bit when he basically said "if you cant take the heat, dont start the year with the Tour Down Under"    :lol

there are a number of teams who have been here for about 2 weeks to aclimitise, and I think they did better today.
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Mellow Velo on January 19, 2018, 16:20
So far it's been last year's the Tour of Britain, with the oven door left open, instead of the fridge.
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Leadbelly on January 19, 2018, 17:24
there are a number of teams who have been here for about 2 weeks to aclimitise, and I think they did better today.

However Haas, who had been in the country for a while, suffered mightily as well.

45° temps sounds like extreme weather to me. Surely there has to be a cut-off point?
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Joelsim on January 19, 2018, 19:35
I see Ruben Fernandez is no better than last year.
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: M Gee on January 20, 2018, 01:09
Having lived, and ridden in Las Vegas, NV; and Phoenix, AZ, I have known temps of 40C and above. And I will swear that the only secret to dealing with them, and they can be dealt with, is HYDRATION. Drinking lots and lots of water. So you can sweat it out. Now, I will modify that statement somewhat - it also depends on the relative humidity. 40C in Doha is NOTHING like 40C in Phoenix AZ or Las Vegas. I just don't know anything about the humidity in Oz. 40C on the Arabian gulf, and you are talking HUMID heat. 40C in Las Vegas, and no problem - it is dry dry dry. In Phoenix, it is dry, but only one "dry", with perhaps 30-40% humidity. I don't think it is humanly possible to deal with 40C in Doha without consequence, whereas I wouldn't particularly be concerned in NV or AZ. Same thing in the US "South" (Memphis, New Orleans, Jacksonville, Atlanta) - 100F is intolerable there, and racing in it can be life-threatening. So what is the humidity at the TDU?

FYI, I saw temps of 120 F (49C) in Vegas one year. I had a sweet little TR4 convertible, and I drove around with the top down on the way to work. The wind dried the sweat so fast I didn't have to worry about any odor at work. But somewhere around there - 120F or 50C - is where I think the limit should be, even if it's dry.
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: M Gee on January 20, 2018, 01:29
 :D
Sagan. This man just keeps getting better and better.
http://www.tourdownunder.com.au/news/2018/jan/19/just-in-case-you-couldnt-love-peter-sagan-any-more (http://www.tourdownunder.com.au/news/2018/jan/19/just-in-case-you-couldnt-love-peter-sagan-any-more)

First - he VOLUNTEERS to help the volunteers working the race.
Second - he manages multiple "star" requests for pics, photo ops, etc, with aplomb, humility, and class.
Third - he just doesn't lose his cool.

Can you imagine how Bradley would have responded to this pressure?

The very first year that Sagan was present in the pro peloton, Joe Papp cast doubt on Sagan's validity in another forum. Because I put some credence in Joe's opinion, I have watched Sagan carefully. No rider will ever be beyond suspicion, but Sagan has had no hint of dopage, to date.

AND, he has repeatedly responded to public situations like nothing more than a regular guy.

I know Echoes will disagree, but it looks to me like Sagan, in spite of his star status, remembers that he is no better than the rest of us, when it gets down to the final day. That is the essence of humility.

I like it.

Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Francois the Postman on January 20, 2018, 02:57
With all that stage for aftermath hot weather talk during stage 5...

the jaded cynic in me just has a hard time to take riders who moan about safety seriously, knowing the things they chose to do to their own body or tolerate from others around them without creating too much of a stir about that.

It feels a bit like the very people organizing a torchlit procession through a fireworks factory getting hot under the collar about the dangerous predicament the supplier of the safety manual is putting them into by having misspelled 'there might be exploZions" on page 4, rather than looking at the wisdom of the tour's theme to begin with.
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: Francois the Postman on January 20, 2018, 03:03

First - he VOLUNTEERS to help the volunteers working the race.


Evil grin: I bet joining the clean-up crew was just a last-ditch attempt to retrieve some incriminating evidence he lost down that stretch of road after some indulgent crowd-pleasing bike bunny hopping ;)
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: M Gee on January 20, 2018, 18:55
Evil grin: I bet joining the clean-up crew was just a last-ditch attempt to retrieve some incriminating evidence he lost down that stretch of road after some indulgent crowd-pleasing bike bunny hopping ;)

Man, you rollin' like a bowlin' ball with that cynic today!
 :lol
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: AG on January 21, 2018, 00:21
I have never been a Sagan fan. 

But I have to admit he has grown up.  Lost some of the over the top arrogance and gained a little humility along the way. 

He wont ever be my favourite rider, but I do admire his incredibly freaky skills on the bike - and accept his wins with a little more grace these days  :lol
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: LukasCPH on January 21, 2018, 23:03
Caleb's Prayer
Thy wish shalt be granted, oh young one! :angel

Gushing over The Sagz
Thank & bless Kate.
When she came into his life, he turned from a spoiled little clown into a thoughtful young man who takes on his responsibilities with grace.
:shh
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: L'arri on January 22, 2018, 10:27
Difficult to know what to make of the heat situation in the last week. Certainly it has kept Adam Hansen busy.

I have sometimes thought, with a certain level of cynicism, that the equation also has to do with the physical and temporal distance from the traditional epicentre of cycling. In this way, Qatar or Oz in Jan or Feb might provoke a less tolerant reaction from riders than, say, the Tour or the Vuelta in July and Aug.

Elsewhere, and always acknowledging that I'm far away and entirely dependent on the quality of the media, the TDU seemed to lack something this year. If anything, the tight time gaps ought to have made it more exciting but I felt like, between the sprints and the déjà vu at Willunga, there was something a bit less sparkling about it.

Impey was a worthy, if rather surprising, winner. I knew he could TT and sprint a bit but I thought he was more like of those guys who shows up in a reduced bunch situation, in the mould of a Meersman or an Albasini. That said, Albasini has certainly excelled at Flèche-Wallonne and LBL, so I suppose I should not be surprised to read that Impey will be targeting those races this season.

And the South African has never, it must be said, really been given his head. He is a reliable and loyal team player, we know that, and the team stood by him throughout his brush with the Dark Side. Those events could have made him a bit more reticent with the media but on the bike he doesn't make too many waves either. It will be interesting to see what he can do with more leadership opportunities.
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: t-72 on January 22, 2018, 21:10
Some seem to think heat is used as an excuse, but as a responsible leader you don't want to see people collapsing from heat exhaustion. I have even seen that taken into account on admission tests for elite soldiers, who might be one of the few groups expected to out-hardman even the most hardman cyclist.

However, there are many ways to avoid heat exhaustion. Stopping the race is the extreme end means of controlling the situation. Early morning starts, plenty of drink available, ice betweeen the shoulderblades, shortening stages etc are other tricks in the toolbox. On a circuit course they could actually install 100m of showers on the early laps, using gardening hoses.

Heat is very difficult to judge if you are not on location and more or less actually riding. It's not just temperature, as wind and humidity plays very important roles when temperature hovers around body temperature. On the same hot day it can be tolerable with a little wind in the open plains and valleys while absolutely unbearable on  a steep climb in a wind-protected valley.

Another factor: there are spectators too, and I have seen them collapsing on football matches with temperatures ~ 41-42 celsius (and a football stadium is usually fairly well protected with regards to wind).  Heat collapse is a threatening situation, and sports are, and should be, considered games, in that context. I would prefer a cautious approach, in the long run that is fairly tolerable.

I also think that in general it is easier to apply the race-obstructing heat countermeasures (such as a "peloton leader" stopping the stage under a bridge) if it happens in a less prestigeous race.  The Tour and the Vuelta seem fairly immune to heat related race changes, although temperatures can certainly be high at times. However, there hasn't been very many heat-related injuries either in these races in recent years, as far as I can remember?


 
Title: Re: Santos Tour Down Under
Post by: AG on January 23, 2018, 03:58
and - they have an extreme weather protocol for exactly that reason - that its expected to be hot so they make arrangements.

They did start the race earlier, and reduce the length of the stage ... they did have extra feed zones and water ... short of actually cancelling the stage there isnt much they can do.

They did cancel the family/ mass participation ride that was due to be held before the stage, which was sensible.


Other than that - realistically, there were only a few riders who 'needed' to go full gas.  The rest could easily have formed a bus at the back and taken it easy without too much hassle.   My sympathy is somewhat limited