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Tour Down Under Discussion

This race is really one of the old ones. Not only on the calendar (being there since 2008, formerly run as PT event but for several years now as C1 category mainly for the PCT puncheurs.
But also age wise of the team captains. Most of the stars here have passed the 30 years with several being beyond their prime even.
This goes for the top6 sprinters and 11/14 of the best.
Puncheur wise a bit more balanced 6/11 are 30+.

Then again it`s good to see, that those being younger are the next generation having quite a lot of prime years left.

GC wise the winners of the latest three editions are all within the top5 puncheurs once again. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/vvg.png Gautier, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/del.png Schreurs and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kmm.png Flügel will have younger challenge though by pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/duo.png Borges and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kul.png Vakoc mainly but also from the next on the list such as Yates, Bilbao, Edmondson or veterans Trofimov/Froome, who still have it at high age.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/del.png Schreurs817174pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kul.png Barbin787176
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/duo.png Borges807181pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cfe.png Ben Nasser786976
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kul.png Vakoc807174pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cfe.png Quevedo786575
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/vvg.png Gautier806877pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/xr0.png Dyrnes786577
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kmm.png Flügel806772pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cad.png Pichon786274
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Yates797580pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Landa786169
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/sct.png Bilbao797175pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/del.png Stuyven776674
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/bnz.png Edmondson797076pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kul.png Grippo776669
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/duo.png Trofimov797070pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/min.png Bru776672
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rak.png Froome795170pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/vlv.png Dieteren776366
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/yor.png Bellis787475pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/itd.png Gougeard776068

Sprinter wise it could be interesting as well as the non top finish on Willunga Hill means, sprinters can go high in the GC as well as Ewan`s podium in 2018 has shown.
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/itd.png Degenkolb vs pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eur.png Lo Cicero is one of the huge duels in the PCT on paper! And adding pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/del.png Guarnieri, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/sct.png Ciolek, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kmm.png Cavendish and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cfe.png Vanderbiest we could see some excellent sprints here early on in the season.
And not to forget the two youngsters pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/yor.png Enger and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Zabel or MG known winners in pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/min.png Vantomme, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mck.png Holloway or pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kul.png Lavoine.

Last but not least the kind of rider, that is made for hard sprint finishes, that we see here in Australia.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/xr0.png Houle, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Yates or pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/lpu.png Cerny
are great riders on such terrain, even though latest might need to support pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/lpu.png Gaviria, who is the faster sprinter. Also pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eur.png Modolo, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/del.png Kreder, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/yor.png Bellis or pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rak.png Kuboki could go well here.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/itd.png Degenkolb848169pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/xr0.png Houle797875
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eur.png Lo Cicero847864pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/lpu.png Gaviria798271
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/del.png Guarnieri828166pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/eur.png Modolo788173
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/sct.png Ciolek827865pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/del.png Kreder788070
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cfe.png Vanderbiest827764pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/rak.png Kuboki777773
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kmm.png Cavendish828064pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/yor.png Redecker777872
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/yor.png Enger817869pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/yor.png Bar777670
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Zabel817969pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/sct.png Kreder767771
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/min.png Vantomme817663pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/cfe.png Bercz767770
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/esc.png Thorsen818353pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mck.png Sweeting767570
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/mck.png Holloway808269pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/des.png Yates758079
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/vvg.png Manninen808066pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/lpu.png Cerny757976
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kul.png Lavoine807860pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/kmm.png Park757672
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/min.png Drapac807953pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/yor.png Bellis747578

So as you can see. The potential winner list is huge and the race is very open and hard to rate. Though seeing the depth, several will go disappointed surely.

22 teams in total divided in 17 PCT, 3 CT and 2 Amateur teams.
From the lower divisions BNZ did send a decent puncheur with Edmondson and McCormick a strong sprinter in Holloway while Eddie Stobart can only hope for Thorsen to have a great form.
The Amateurs from Repsol - Honda might hope to see Castaneda having a solid race while home team Jayco - Mitchelton has a puncheur in Othman and a sprinter in Docker, who is one of 5 decent Aussie sprinters here, who all should be super motivated but likely not good enough in comparison.


Let's see if the AI favours us better in the second Australian race. As you correctly say, it will be interesting to see how Gaviria and Cerny work together.
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Seriously, where are all the good puncheurs in the division? I think the race win will be between Yates, Houle and Degenkolb, maybe even Guarnieri with this startlist.
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Wow, a big opportunity for Delvaux to be #1 by the end of the month with Schreurs top of the GC list and Guarnieri here too. A very deep sprint and puncheur field, hopefully Houle on his Xero debut finds his way in the middle of the two or it'll be a long race for us! Our other leading debutant, Dyrnes, finding his way into the top 10 if it is a hard GC race would be nice!
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It´s time for Volvo to start our season, most likely the worst startlist from us in a race all year so dont expect us to score much, if anything at all...

Degenkolb already up to 8 RD, thats about 1/5 of his total RD and Ahlstrand have not competed in those races so we will not see him against Ahlstrand in every race atleast Smile
One of my favorite races on the calendar, and this year I have brought a much, much stronger team then ever before. Schreurs, Guarnieri and perhaps also Kreder could all do well here, though I guess they could also get in each others way a bit. Hopefully that won't be a problem.

The sprint field is much stronger than I expected. Normally I would expect a rider like Houle to be one of the big favorites here, but he might struggle to get enough bonus seconds in this field.

Looking forward to the reports! Smile
TDU hilly stages and the overall battle that usually goes with them tend to be unpredictable. Will be very interesting to see how Yates does in his first attempt after being trained. His sprint and backup stats should make him a very dangerous man for such hilly stages with an easy finish.

Also seeing Degenkolb, Guarnieri and Lo Cicero all here after the DUC opener will be interesting. Guess racking up the wins won't be easy for any of them, as the competition is tough.
Bellis with a serious outside shot at this... I like Pfft

Enger must put whatever happened at the Classic behind him and lets hope that he can do a lot better than before

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Red Bull Driver in RFactor
First race of the season for us. Going to be an exciting one with Simon Yates making his debut in the new blacked out Desigual jersey. Plus, we got Rick Zabel for the sprints. Can't wait to get started!
It was a last minute decision to bring Bilbao here and although the puncheur field is still strong I'm hoping for a nice GC result to validate that decision.
First race for a trained Borges. Team is built around him, with sprinters having been left at home and Trofimov as a luxury domestique to make things hard in Willunga. Yates as no.1 favourite for me. Let's see what we're worth then.

Thanks for the preview roturn!
Manager of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/duo.png Duolingo pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2019/Micros/duo.png
Drapac team leader? I hope the game favors Vantomme and this is just because it's his home race.

No Claeys, might have had a nice shot but last year Willunga had almost no impact so thought he'd be better elsewhere.
Manager of Minions
Damn, sprinter field is much more stacked than I (and believe not only me) was hoping for! Still, on paper, Degenkolb must be considered as a favourite in all flat stages.

Regarding to GC, some puncheur should take it as it´s almost impossible for any sprinter to gain enough bonus seconds.
Manager of Iberia - Team Degenkolb in Man-Game
I’m hoping for a good result here with Joshua and Steele! Fingers crossed they can deliver early on in the season!
Hope the mechanics have oiled up the Zimmer frames of Kraftwerk’s leaders for this race. And why did I leave Kreder behind?
Manager of Suntory [ICL]
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Big opportunity for Vakoc in his first race with us, as well as Barbin taking a lieutenant role this season. Both have acceleration that should come in handy, but I'm really curious to see how the AI performs overall!

Thanks for the preview roturn Smile
Hoping Kuboki can handle the hills here, but if not Froome will be our guy. Hayakawa might take some sprints, but Kuboki could be a good be our best rider too. Hooefully the game can figure out our leaders how I planned. If Kuboki gets some +3 or better on the hill stages he could definitely challenge for wins I think.
Maybe should've brought the team here with Kelderman Pfft But didn't want to risk it with just one hilly stage!
Still waiting to start my season, but hopefully my team benefits from not having to travel Down Under so early in the year. Pfft
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Very happy to see Holloway's racedays being used without contesting our sprinters. TDU is one of my favourite races to watch and is quite interesting on PCM18 from my own experience!
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