Teams and riders start to arrive in Adelaide, Australia, for the opening WorldTour event of the 2016 season
With under two weeks to go until the start of the six-stage race on January 19, riders have arrived to get themselves settled in and kitted out for the first major event of the year.
Riders from Etixx-QuickStep, BMC Racing, Tinkoff and Sky have all been spotted getting in some miles on the sun-kissed Australian roads.
Many of the riders have posted up photos of themselves in Australia – several undeniably posted to taunt team-mates and friends left behind in the cold and miserable European winter (see Geraint Thomas). Clear blue skies and idyllic sandy beaches are the order of the day… at least until the real work starts.
For several riders it’s the first time that they will race in the colours of their new teams, and get used to a new bike in the setting of a serious race. And the in case of Tinkoff’s Manuele Boaro, tucking up your new bike into bed. Just don’t tell the hotel staff.
For Australian riders, it’s a chance to get an early-2016 win in the bag on home soil. Many local riders will be going into the race with good form after a summer of events as their European counterparts are still finding their legs.
The 2016 Tour Down Under runs from January 19-24 and is preceded by the single day People’s Choice Classic criterium on January 16. Last year’s TdU was won by Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing).
Watch: Tour Down Under – essential guide