Tour Down Under 2014: stage one - five observations

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Tour Down Under 2014: stage one – five observations

Early thoughts as the UCI WorldTour season gets underway in Adelaide

“If the right circumstances come about, Simon is very hard to beat.”

Orica-GreenEDGE directeur sportif Matt White delivered this assessment after the Australian team’s leader stormed to victory on the opening day of the season – and it is hard to disagree. Gerrans has been the stand-out rider for Orica-GreenEDGE since their inception in 2012, winning the Tour Down Under in the team’s first ever WorldTour race. He has followed it with Milan-San Remo victory, worn the Tour de France yellow jersey last year and on current form has plenty more to come this season.

Gerrans salutes the crowd after bagging the ochre jersey at the first time of asking (pic: Sirotti)

Gerrans proved with his Tour de France stage victory that he is more than capable of taking on the sprinters – Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was his victim on that occasion, and Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) was outdone on the slightly uphill finish into Angaston. His determination to win his home Tour was underlined when he snatched an early one-second time bonus, and the newly-recrowned Australian champion is in pole position to keep the ochre jersey all week. His victory, however, does not just have repercussions for this race. Capable over moderate climbs, boasting a mean sprint and in great form, 2014 could be a big year for Gerrans – if the right circumstances come about.

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