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

His doping ban looked to have brought a premature end to Frank Schleck’s career, after RadioShack-Leopard announced they would not be renewing the 33-year-old Luxembourg rider’s contract last year. However, with Trek Factory Racing purchasing the team’s license, and brother Andy among their chief GC hopefuls, Frank was handed a reprieve and restarted his professional career with his first day back in the WorldTour peloton in Adelaide.

Frank Schleck is back in the professional peloton and did his Tour Down Under GC hopes no harm on the first day (pic: Sirotti)

Schleck told reporters prior to the race he felt he had a chance to make a mark in Australia, and he certainly came back with a bang – although a temporary unclipping after an ill-timed mechanical was probably not the sort he was after. Nevertheless, despite a fierce pace set in the bunch, Schleck rejoined the leading group and crossed in 18th place, one of the riders given a time four seconds behind Simon Gerrans. It means the Luxembourg rider is sat 15 seconds off the Australian champion overall, and is certainly not out of GC contention yet.

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