Sunday 20 January 2008 at 01h44

The Tour Down Under is a cycling race which exists since 1999 and which thus celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. That's not the only reason to party, because in 2008 the Tour Down Under for the first time becomes part of the UCI ProTour (for at least 3 years).


The Down Under Classic

The Tour Down Under, organised by Events South Australia, really starts only next Tuesday, but today the Down Under Classic will be the official warming up for the Tour Down Under.

This race will take place in Glenelg, close to Adelaide, at 7PM (9AM UK time). Before the race the teams will be presented to the public at 4.30PM (6.30AM UK time) during a freely accessible event.

The Down Under Classic follows a two kilometers long flat track where the riders will do 25 tours to come to a total distance of 50 kilometers. At the 5th, 10th, 15th and 20th crossing of the finish line the riders will sprint for the green sprinters jersey sponsored by SA Lotteries.

For this stage "0" of the Tour Down Under the Australian riders are said to have the biggest chances to win because they could better prepare themselves in December and January. This afternoon we'll know whether Robbie McEwen (Silence-Lotto; the winner of the 2006 Down Under Classic), Stuart O'Grady (CSC), Graeme Brown (Rabobank) or Allan Davis (Australia-UniSA) will have met the expectations. The winner of last year's Down Under Classic, Mark Renshaw (Crédit Agricole) is of course also in the list of favourites.

Being part of the ProTour, that's reason for a party!

The South Australia advertising caravan in the Tour de France 2007,  Thomas VergouwenSince a few years the Tour de France advertising caravan has some cars which advertise the state South Australia and the Tour Down Under, but since the UCI has decided to make the Tour Down Under part of the ProTour calendar, it's the first time the Tour Down Under will see participate all ProTour teams ...

The Tour Down Under will not only be the first event on the ProTour calendar in 2008, but also the first not European event which becomes part of the UCI ProTour. UCI ProTourThe Tour Down Under organisation is very happy with this change, even though everyone knows that this is mainly due to A.S.O., RCS and UniPublic (the organisors of respectively the Tour de France, the Vuelta a España and the Giro d'Italia) refusing to be part of it. Becoming part of the ProTour is one of the reasons to organise a street parade next Tuesday at 8AM (10PM UK time): the riders on their bikes and the team cars will be part of the parade before balloons will be released to celebrate the arrival of the UCI ProTour in Australia.

The UCI ProTour 2008 start next Tuesday!

The Tour Down Under stages

All Tour Down Under stages will take place in and around Adelaide in the state of South Australia over a total distance of 785 kilometers. The Tour Down Under really starts next Tuesday with the first stage over 129 kilometers from Mawson Lakes to Angaston with at the end of the stage a circuit which will be taken twice.

The second stage of 148 kilometers connects Stirling to Hahndorf. This stage's track is quite complicated with a first part from Stirling to Echunga followed by a loop around Echunga and a second loop at the end of the stage which will be taken 5 times by the riders before they'll pass the finish line for the last time in Hahndorf.

Thursday's stage, stage three will start in Unley (fictive start), with the real start in Sturt, to finish 139 kilometers from there in Victor Harbor.

The fourth stage on Friday will go from Mannum to Strathalbyn and the riders will have to ride for 134 kilometers.

On Saturday Willunga is both the start and finish city of the fifth stage with a first loop which will be taken 3 times and a second loop which will be taken once. A part of both loops is common and that part will thus be taken 4 times.

The sixth and last stage will take place next Sunday and will again follow a quite original track: a short 5.5 km loop will be taken not less than 16 times to come to a total distance of 88 kilometers.
The Tour Down Under 2008 track - click on it to see a big version
The Tour Down Under 2008 track - click on it to see a big version; Tour Down Under

The teams and the selected riders

Below is a list of teams which participate in the Tour Down Under 2008 and the selected riders. 133 riders of 22 different nationalities will start (compared to 112 riders last year) of whom 29 have participated in the Tour de France 2007.
AG2R - La Mondiale

team manager: Laurent Biondi (Fra)

1. Martin Elmiger (Sui)
2. Sylvain Calzati (Fra)
3. Renaud Dion (Fra)
4. Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr)
5. Laurent Mangel (Fra)
6. Lloyd Mondory (Fra)
7. Stéphane Poulhies (Fra )

team manager: Sean Yates (Gbr)

71. Jose Luis Rubiera (Esp)
72. Steve Morabito (Sui)
73. Julien Mazet (Fra)
74. Aaron Kemps (Aus)
75. Benoit Joachim (Lux)
76. Rene Haselbacher (Aut)
77. Koen De Kort (Ned)

Bouygues Telecom
team manager: Ismael Mottier (Fra)

51. Xavier Florencio (Esp)
52. Dimitri Champion (Fra)
53. Aurelien Clerc (Sui)
54. Nicolas Crosbie (Fra)
55. Jerome Pineau (Fra)
56. Erki Putsep (Est)
57. Evgeny Sokolov (Rus)

Caisse d'Epargne
team manager: Neil Stephens (Aus)

81. Luis Leon Sanchez (Esp)
82. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Esp)
83. Nicolas Portal (Fra)
84. Mathieu Perget (Fra)
85. Pablo Lastras (Esp)
86. Juan Horrach (Esp)
87. Ivan Gutierrez (Esp)

team manager: Bernard Quilfen (Fra)

121. Mickael Buffaz (Fra)
122. Jean-Eudes Demaret (Fra)
123. Nicolas Hartmann (Fra)
124. Yann Huguet (Fra)
125. Amaël Moinard (Fra)
126. David Moncoutié (Fra)
127. Sébastien Portal (Fra)

Crédit Agricole
team manager: Serge Beucherie (Fra)

31. Simon Gerrans (Aus)
32. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun)
33. Christophe Kern (Fra)
34. Christophe Le Mevel (Fra)
35. Mark Renshaw (Aus)
36. Pierre Rolland (Fra)
37. Jeremy Hunt (Gbr)

Team CSC
team manager: Scott Sunderland (Aus)

11. Stuart O'Grady (Aus)
12. Kasper Klostergaard (Den)
13. Kurt Asle Arvesen (Nor)
14. Allan Johansen (Den)
15. Lars Bak (Den)
16. Nicki Sorensen (Den)
17. Matt Goss (Aus)

team manager: Gorka Gerrikagoitia (Esp)

141. Mikel Astarloza (Esp)
142. Francisco Javier Aramendia (Esp)
143. Jon Bru Pascal (Esp)
144. Aitor Galdos Alonso (Esp)
145. Andoni Lafuente (Esp)
146. Amets Txurruka (Esp)
147. Ivan Velasco Murillo (Esp)

Française des Jeux
team manager: Thierry Bricaud (Fra)

101. Philippe Gilbert (Bel)
102. Mikael Delage (Fra)
103. Timothy Gudsell (Nzl)
104. Christophe Mengin (Fra)
105. Yoann Offredo (Fra)
106. Jeremy Roy (Fra)
107. Jussi Veikkanen (Fin)

team manager: Reimund Dietzen (Ger)

131. Jan Robert Forster (Ger)
132. Thomas Fothen (Ger)
133. Heinrich Friederich Haussler (Ger)
134. Volker Ordowski (Ger)
135. Matthias Russ (Ger)
136. Carlo Westphal (Ger)
137. Peter Wrolich (Aut)

team manager: Bruno Vicino (Ita)

161. Fabio Baldato (Ita)
162. Emanuele Bindi (Ita)
163. Paolo Fornaciari (Ita)
164. Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita)
165. Massimiliano Mori (Ita)
166. Christian Murro (Ita)
167. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita)

team manager: Dario Mariuzzo (Ita)

111. Valerio Agnoli (Ita)
112. Michael Albasini (Sui)
113. Kjell Carlstrom (Fin)
114. Murilo Fischer (Bra)
115. Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro)
116. Ivan Santaromita Villa (Ita)
117. Mauro Da Dalto (Ita)

team manager: Vittorio Algeri (Ita)

41. Elia Rigotto (Ita)
42. Brett Lancaster (Aus)
43. Martin Muller (Ger)
44. Enrico Poitschke (Ger)
45. Sergio Ghisalberti (Ita)
46. Dennis Haueisen (Ger)
47. Igor Astarloa (Esp)

Quick.Step - Innergetic
team manager: Rik van Slycke (Bel)

91. Mauro Facci (Ita)
92. Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukr)
93. Alessandro Proni (Ita)
94. Leonardo Scarselli (Ita)
95. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel)
96. Kevin Van Impe (Bel)
97. Davide Vigano (Ita)

team manager: Erik Dekker (Ned)

151. Graeme Brown (Aus)
152. Jan Boven (Ned)
153. Matthew Hayman (Aus)
154. Rick Flens (Ned)
155. Bram De Groot (Ned)
156. William Walker (Aus)
157. Theo Eltink (Ned)

Saunier Duval-Scott
team manager: Jose Antonio Fernandez (Esp)

171. Jose Alberto Benitez (Esp)
172. Jesus Del Nero (Esp)
173. Arkaitz Duran (Esp)
174. Dennis Flahaut (Fra)
175. Josep Jufre (Esp)
176. Ruben Lobato (Esp)
177. Iker Camano (Esp)

team manager: Hendrik Redant (Bel)

21. Robbie McEwen (Aus)
22. Mario Aerts (Bel)
23. Matthew Lloyd (Aus)
24. Wim van Sevenant (Bel)
25. Nick Gates (Aus)
26. Pieter Jacobs (Bel)
27. Olivier Kaisen (Bel)

Team High Road
team manager: Alan Peiper (Aus)

61. Bernhard Eisel (Aut)
62. Marcus Burghardt (Ger)
63. Andre Greipel (Ger)
64. Adam Hansen (Aus)
65. Greg Henderson (Nzl)
66. Frantisek Rabon (Cze)
67. Scott Davis (Aus)

Australia - UniSA
team manager: Dave Sanders (Aus)

181. Allan Davis (Aus)
182. Luke Roberts (Aus)
183. Karl Menzies (Aus)
184. Wes Sulzberger (Aus)
185. Matt Wilson (Aus)
186. Simon Clarke (Aus)
187. Richie Porte (Aus)


In addition to the ProTour teams there's thus only one Australian team which participates (it's probably not completely by accident that that team's sponsor is one of the Tour Down Under's main sponsors ;-) ... The teams which have an Australian team manager did ask him to go to the Tour Down Under and Australian riders seem to have been privileged for participation as well.


The Tour Down Under live

Would you like to know who wins the ochre leader's jersey? Follow the Tour Down Under live on the web site or on your mobile phone at

In the 9 years the Tour Down Under exists, the AG2R team has won it 4 times already (Gilles Maignan in 2000, Mikel Astarloza in 2003, Simon Gerrans in 2006 and Martin Elmiger last year) ... Will the team manage to get a fifth victory in 10 years?

door Thomas Vergouwen
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this publication is published in: Cycling general (except Tour de France) | Tour Down Under


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