One of the most compelling and obvious reasons to watch the race is because it's the first of the new season. We get a glimpse into the new teams, kits, and riders who will be fighting it out for each squad. Australia didn't have many of the superstars on display, but there were several key riders who look like they are going to be great this year. Rohan Dennis looked strong and very capable for BMC, hence the first overall place. Dumoulin looked like he is going to be a star this year. If he gets the team support for some of the big races, he could be a fantastic all around rider. Of course, he may be overshadowed by the sprinter Marcel Kittel who may have usurped Cavendish as the world's fastest man ... and his hair is definitely superstar quality. Impey, Pozzovivo, and Porte looked very competitive. The best kit award goes to ... Team Cannondale - Garmin. They looked sharp with the green argyle and POC accessories.
|Ryder - looks fast. Source: Cannondale - Garmin website|
The TDU takes place in a great location with some decent climbs and some strong winds to test the riders. It was a fast race which made for some exciting action, and a few scabs along the way. The television coverage was fantastic, the background information about south Australia was really well done, and the geography makes me want to visit as soon as possible.
The Saxo Team is going to be tough this year, and it's main rival will be the Sky Team. There are so many strong riders on these two teams. Movistar will be good too, but I won't predict too many big wins unless there is an upset in the major tour races this year as Quintana is a climbing machine. Cannondale Garmin will look good, but not to many wins this year. Although I do have high hopes for Talansky and Martin, and Ryder is always my favorite for his laid back attitude and nationality reasons.
I want to head down under now more than ever! Happy Australia Day!