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Down Under Classic - Discussion
Ulrich Ulriksen
Down Under Classic



A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....

The HC Down Under Classic kicks off the season for the PCT teams. They will be joined by a few teams from the CT including 5 debutantes – Colombini-Adler AP, Air New Zealand p/b Pirelli, Staffbase – BHP, Oktal Pharma – TotalTV and Caja Rural Cycling Team. A big welcome to those teams, one of them, Colombini, brings a top contender to the race.

A simple problem faces the teams today: 80km of flat terrain. A sprinter will probably win but the attackers will no doubt have a go. As a result the past winners mostly consist of top sprinters although Mark Dzamastagic won it back in 2015. He will be back along with last year’s winner Fabio Silvestre. They will try and join Jacopo Guarnieri, Allan Davis and Erik Mohs as the two-time winners of the race. Mohs won his second time in 2018 with Fablok, so Oktal Pharma should know what it takes to win.

Many of the top PTHC sprinters are represented on the start list which includes 29 sprinters within a narrow band in terms of skills.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/rbz.png Halvorsen76718180
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/hla.png Kennaugh76708180
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/min.png Vesely73688180
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/caa.png Saber75728179
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/kmm.png Zabel74708179
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/gct.png Enger73738178
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/cdb.png Kragh Andersen77748177
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ccc.png Carsi70698082
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/brs.png Silvestre78718081
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/lpu.png Bonifazio79758080
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/kmm.png Haller72718079
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/pfi.png Van Asbroeck75728078
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/afr.png Afewerki73707980
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/cct.png Guardini71677980
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/oph.png Perera71737980
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/anz.png Scully74707980
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/gla.png Bennett71687979
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/hla.png Vingerling71667979
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/min.png Hodeg72747978
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/xr0.png Houle78717978
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/gla.png Nelson70617978
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/stb.png Willwohl73677978
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/amc.png Bewley74707977
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/oph.png Wippert70707882
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/caa.png Itami73647879
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ccc.png Liepins73687879
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tlt.png Selig70667879
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ced.png Zariff68657878
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/afr.png Cisse74677877

Oktal Pharma believe in strength in numbers, with two on the leader board plus a third rider, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/oph.png Tivani, who just misses the leaderboard. Kraftwerk, Crabbe, Glanbia, Project Africa, Minions, Hello Fresh and Colombini all feature a strong duo as well.

4 of the top 5 on the leaderboard, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/hla.png Kennaugh, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/min.png Vesely, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/caa.png Saber, and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/kmm.png Zabel are among those with a second strong sprinter for a leadout. While the fifth, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/rbz.png Halvorsen will rely on a slightly slower rider to set him up. Defending champion pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/brs.png Silvestre has no traditional lead out and will hope to surf the wheels, something that has worked well for him in the past.

While this race is short and very flat, this kind of classics almost always feature some attacks. Candidates for an attack:

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ced.png Katrasnik8176637281
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/caa.png Quispe8060667384
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/amc.png Culey7976667074
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/gct.png Kurianov79747570
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/hla.png Dzamastagic7872767878
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/oph.png Quicibal7871626675
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tlt.png Vanbilsen7874727172

All these riders are on teams who also field a sprinter, so team tactics play into their approach. However it plays out, there is no doubt pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/caa.png Quispe will make a mark on the race.



Man Game: McCormick Pro Cycling
Great to finally get racing underway.
We are not in this race, but it will be nice to see of we can count on the favourites to win.
I never played PCM 20, so I don't know how it handles sprinters.
It's GO time Grin

Very deep sprinter field as was expected. Van Asbroeck got an unexpected 4th here last season, but basically hoping for a Top 10 as a good result. Think we have much better flat support now as well.

Thanks for the preview Ulrich!
Will Quispe win, or will he ride a unicycle to give the others a chance as well? The eternal question. Good luck to all!
Will he sprint or not? I'm really hoping for a consistent season for Bonifazio.

Let's go!
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
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Here we go! Silvestre won last year, we can't reasonably expect him to repeat, but the goal should be the Top 5 to get things going in the right direction. We need to make the most of races without Ahlstrand. Thanks for the preview UU, looking forward to the report!
Excited to see the start of the season. No Ahlstrand here really opens things up, with Kennaugh’s decline Halvorsen is the top dog but as last year showed that’s not always a good thing. My bet is on Enger to get Gjensidgie off to a good start Smile
Indosat - ANZ HQ

"This Schleck sandwich is going to cause serious indigestion for Evans" - Phil Liggett
ooh exciting, Thanks Ulrich

Hopefully the length and flatness will make allow Bennett and Nelson's flaws to be covered up. A Top 20 would be perfectly acceptable
Not a particularly exciting race to start the season with for my team. I'm mostly here for the XP gains.

Go go Saber!!


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogačar
Go Gasper! I hate Vingerling ahead of Dzamastagic as a leadout for Kennaugh here though, hoped Vingerling would've been kept on an alternive schedule.
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Let's go!

Hopefully the Vesely of two years ago is back
Let's get the season started!
Not participating this year, having not even a top CT sprinter (although both Aregger and Stepniak would've made the list), but it will still be interesting to see how PCM behaves with such a stacked field this year. Especially wondering whether Saber can live up to his stats, in which case Colombini could have a great season ahead!

Good luck to everyone, and thanks to UU for starting the PCT racing season Smile
Thanks for the preview! Looking forward to reading the report tomorrow and seeing Kennaugh finish 25th and set the tone for our season!
Obviously no expecations for a bunch sprint result, but hoping for a late attack from our roleurs. A nice start on home soil would be great, of course!
Last year AKA podiumed here and set the tone for his season. Can't expect the same, but want at least a top 10. For that purpose, I tend to like where he is on the startlist. There are better sprinters with leadout men present who will hopefully be in the first wave of those accelerating, and AKA can swoop in afterwards like he did so many times last season. As always, we've made certain not to pair him with anyone the ame could consider a leadout rider. If PCM 20 holds up, I'm hoping for something at least reasonably close to a continuation of last season.

That said, it's a sprint classic. Anything from 1st to 50th is possible depending on positioning. We'll just have to go with it.

Thanks for the preview Ulrich!
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy
Rare combination of Zabel and Haller, hope they play nicely together and Zabel can start us off well but you never can tell with sprints.

Thanks for the preview Ulrich.
Manager of Renault Classic [ICL]
Manager of Kraftwerk Man Machine [Man Game]
Time for some Dzamamagic once again Grin
A Big Thank You To All MG Reporters!

First race, first goal, lets see if we continue out reign of 0/5 terror
Croatia14 wrote:
Go Gasper! I hate Vingerling ahead of Dzamastagic as a leadout for Kennaugh here though, hoped Vingerling would've been kept on an alternive schedule.

Not sure how it will work but I ran out of spaces to put Vingerling in and had to do some remodelling of my planning sadly.
Good luck everybody Smile
So nice to be underway.
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