The Tour Down Under, held in Adelaide, Australia, is set to get underway this Sunday, January 17th, with a strong field of riders that include seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and his new Radio Shack Team.
The race will begin with a criterium race through Adelaide on Sunday with riders battling it out for the coveted Ochre Jersey. Then on Tuesday, Stage 1 will begin, as the cyclists head out on the road to begin the race proper. Over the course of the six stages, they’ll cover nearly 500 miles, in what has become a competitive and challenging start to the cycling season.
For Armstrong’s part, he has been looking forward to his return to Adelaide since he put in his first appearance there last year when he began his comeback. He ended up finishing a surprisingly strong fifth in the General Classification, and he hopes to improve on that this year. Lance claims that he is further along at this point than he was last season, and that he is riding stronger and with more confidence. That’s probably bad news for the other riders, although you have to wonder how much longer the 38-year old cyclist can continue to compete at such a high level.
Watch for updates next week, as the race gets rolling along. It should be a good way to gauge Lance’s strength, and how the new Radio Shack team is working together. They say that they are not going out to win the team competition, but instead, grab stage victories. Should be fun!
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