At last, the season starts again!
We’re off down to Australia for 4 short criterium style races, in 4 days. Points are awarded each day and totalled to find the winner. Here is how the points are awarded:
1st – 12
2nd – 10
3rd – 8
4th – 7
5th – 6
6th – 5
7th – 4
8th – 3
9th – 2
10th – 1
Each race should last around 1 hour and they are very fast!
Stage 1 – Thursday
The previous winners of this race is a who’s who of Australian sprinting. Robbie McEwan has won it 6 times, Mark Renshaw has won it twice and all these guys have won it once: Cooke, Davis, Goss, Ewan, Sutton and Browne.
In 2013, stage one was won by Caleb Ewan, in a sprint. Stage 2 was a breakaway success for Luke Durbridge. Stage 3 was won by Mitchell Docker in another long break, but Caleb Ewan got enough points to take the overall win. This was a huge moment for the 18 year old and really put him on the map. He has signed a contract with Orica GreenEDGE , but he doesn’t join them until October.
Orica send a very strong team, looking to get ready for the National Championships and the Tour Down Under. They have Goss, Horward, Durbridge, Hepburn and Docker. Goss had a poor 2013 and is determined to get back to winning ways, especially as he is in the final year of his current contract. Some think that Ewan has been signed as a replacement for him, so it will be very interesting to see them battle against each other.
The youngster is quick, but now we’ll be able to match him against one of the quickest sprinters in the world. Both will ride the Tour Down Under too, so it could be a very interesting couple of weeks.
We have 3 more big name riders here: Zak Dempster(NetApp-Endura), Allan Davis(unsigned) and Steele Von Hoff(Garmin). Both are quick and will be in the mix. Orica have the strongest team, by a mile, and want at least 2 wins. They can win from a sprint but could claim breakaway wins, like in 2013.
It looks like being an exciting 4 days and should give a little insight before the Australian Nationals and the Tour Down Under.