The Tour Down Under marks the start of the 2018 UCI WorldTour calendar, with defending champion Richie Porte (BMC Racing) once again among the contenders for the ochre jersey when the race starts on Tuesday January 16.
The season’s traditional curtain-raiser in Adelaide provides a first glimpse at how the WorldTour’s leading teams are shaping up, while from a British perspective this year’s race will see Chris Lawless (Team Sky) and Scott Davies (Dimension Data) make their debuts in cycling’s top tier.
World champion Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe), fresh from his People’s Choice Classic victory (the traditional criterium race which serves as a prelude to the Tour Down Under) is also among the draws for the six-day race.
As ever, the race presents opportunities for the peloton’s sprinters to test their early-season form, with Sagan likely to face stiff competition from Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) and Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal).
But the ochre jersey will more than likely be decided on Willunga Hill – the queen stage, stage five, on Saturday – where Richie Porte has been victorious in the last four years.
So who’s in contention, where else could the race be won, and how can you watch the action unfold?