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European Cyclists In ‘Tour Down Under’

  • January 15th, 2009
  • Posted by Daniel Challis

Top cyclists from Europe have made the journey to Australia for the upcoming major race of 2009, the ‘Tour Down Under’, held in South Australia.

After leaving one of the worst winters in Europe, cyclists have been thawing out in the Adelaide heat in preparation for the race…


A particularly harsh Winter has plagued Europe, with heavy snowfalls, sub-zero temperatures and major flooding affecting the preparation of riders.

Heavy snowfall closed Madrid’s airport on the weekend (10-11.01.09); and Germany is experiencing one of its coldest winters in history, temperatures going down to as low as -34.6 degrees in parts of the country.

Belgium cyclist Mario Aerts revealed he left Brussels just last week in -10 degrees.

Cyclists from countries such as Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland and Sweden will be competing in the 850 kilometre race across South Australia, which will run from the 18.01.09 to the 25.01.09.


Australian cyclists have experienced much milder weather conditions over the past few months compared with their European counterparts in their preparation for the race.

Olympic medalist rider Stuart O’Grady said he favoured the Australians based on their early training in and around the course.

“The guys doing hard kilometres in November and December, when most of the European peloton are on holidays or recovering, will have a big advantage,” O’Grady said.

Around 20 Australian riders will be entering the competition as opposed to over 100 European cyclists.


Seven-time Tour de France champion American Lance Armstrong will also feature in the race, after being out of top-level cycling for three years.

Armstrong will line up for the Kazakhstan team Astana as fans gear-up for his long-awaited comeback.

He told reporters that he had trained hard and was doing all right for “an old man”.


Amanda Lulham, The Daily Telegraph, Iced-up European cyclists facing and uphill tour, (14.01.09),,22049,24909233-5001023,00.html, (14.01.09).

Tour Down Under official website,, (14.01.09).

picture: Riders in last years Tour Down Under