Stage 1: Prospect to Clare - Tour Down Under 2012 Stage Preview

Uploaded by UniSouthAustralia on 12.12.2011


So Pat, here we are at Stage One of the
Santos Tour Down Under for 2012, really exciting
and we've got a stage that starts here in Prospect
next to the Town Hall, makes it's way out to Gepps Cross
the riders will be under race neutral
and then they start the 149 km stage
pretty much heading north to Clare.

We've never finished in Clare. We've had a start at Clare two years ago.
Now, looking at the profile of the stage
doesn't look overly difficult on paper.
The stage can go two ways
if it's a hot north easterly, which can happen in January
then it's going to be a very long day in the saddle for the riders.
I predict an old fashioned, aggressive start to the tour
and Team UniSA will, as always, be on the attack from day one.

By the time they get to Clare, they're actually over
they've climbed over 400 metres, very slow over that distance
but they're actually up and they'll actually go to a maximum of around
450 metres above sea level up there and then they'll actually
be going downhill heading in towards Clare
and the last couple of kilometres, I imagine that
it will be a bunch finish if the wind hasn't had a lot to play
and I'm sure again the sprinters will be well out there
doing their best to win the first stage of the Santos Tour Down Under.

As the peloton leaves from Adelaide, they'll have a cross head wind
a lot of cross wind as well, and on these flat roads, as we can see
these are perfect conditions to blow the peloton up into smaller groups
and I think, as you can see, as the grain is almost blowing flat
on a day like today, there will not be a bunch sprint.

Really, they're dangerous conditions for riders to have to ride in a
echelon formation where they're in a cross wind
it's probably about as bad as it gets.

Okay Pat, so here we are in Kapunda, sprint number one.
So just coming up over the hill, they'll be sprinting
the last few hundred metres to just past the council offices there.
What will the riders be feeling at this stage?

You know, they'll be racing hard from the gun
especially if there are cross winds like we predict.
The first Jayco Sprint of the Tour Down Under is
uphill, they won't be in the biggest gear for that
and straight after the sprint, the hydration station is just up the road there...

Wait, wait, wait. You're not talking about that hydration station back there?
So, what we're talking about here of course is the hydration station
where the riders get some food, they get some fluids.
If a cyclist loses a couple of percent
by way of body weight through lack of hydration
so through sweating and not replacing that
where cyclists don't get those bottles of water in and those electrolytes in
that can already start to affect performance
and if they then go downhill from there, the performance can really be affected
up to 20 to 30 percent at the end of a race and particularly in hot conditions.

It's no use to drink all this at once.
It's all about drinking just a little bit
probably a mouthful every five minutes, drink a mouthful or so
and then you'll go through one of these full biddens every 25 minutes.
A lot of riders towards the end of the race will be dehydrated
and they have they evening to rehydrate themselves.
But not at the pub.

Not at the pub, right, got that.
Now some tips for people who'd like to come up and see the sprint at Kapunda.
So the riders, as you'll know, come up the Northern Expressway
so see the start at Prospect and then come up
Main North Road and make your way through to Kapunda
as quickly as you can, set yourself up here for the sprint in the main street
and as soon as the riders have left here, you'll make your way
up to Clare, but of course not following the same track that the riders follow.

So, Pat, they've rehydrated at Kapunda
then there's about 10 km until Taylor's Run, the category three
first Skoda King of the Mountain.

It's quite a long but easy climb, but then
after that it's all a relatively undulating run into Clare.

That's right Pat, we've got another sprint at Riverton
heading up in towards Seven Hills and then of course into Clare.
Having done this last stage, we can see that the last kilometre or two
is relatively flat until you actually get to about 500 metres out
when there's an average three percent downhill gradient.
So the riders are really going to reach some kind of speed
heading into the finish line here at the show grounds in Clare.

You know, the riders, the sprinters could well reach speeds over
70 kilometres per hour on this downhill run into the finish
and they may well be putting on a 55 for this downhill run into Clare.

So for spectators, Pat, they really want to get here as quickly
as they can, the spectators, line up because it will be a very
very fast finish here at the first stage
of the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under.