The Santos Tour Down Under is for the hilly specialists. Just take a look at the most recent winners: Simon Gerrans (2016, 2014, 2012, 2006), Rohan Dennis (2015), and Tom-Jelte Slagter (2013).
Gerrans is a perfect rider for the Touw Down Under. Same goes for Peter Sagan. They both can rely in a strong sprint that will no doubt bring them time bonuses – and don’t expect them to be dropped all too easily on the uphill sections.
Could be the 2017 winner is from the BMC camp. Richie Porte turned out to be the runner-up in last two editions. On both occasions he took the Queen Stage to Willunga Hill, but with a lead that turned out to be a little too small. Last year Gerrans did win the Tour Down Under 9 seconds ahead of Porte, in 2015 Rohan Dennis was 2 seconds ahead of him.
Esteban Chaves is a new face in the Tour Down Under. The Colombian climber is eyeing up a Giro-win later this season, yet a win in Australia would not hurt his morale. As for Porte, Willunga Hill would be the place to strike.
Favourites Tour Down Under 2017
*** Richie Porte, Simon Gerrans, Rohan Dennis
** Esteban Chaves, Peter Sagan, Geraint Thomas, Robert Gesink, Diego Ulissi
* Tom-Jelte Slagter, Gianluca Brambilla, Wilco Kelderman, Sergio Henao, Jarlinson Pantano
Tour Down Under 2017: Route maps, height profiles, and more
Click on the images to zoom
Profile 1st stage Unley – Lyndoch
Profile 2nd stage Stirling – Paracombe
Profile 3rd stage Glenelg – Victor Harbor
Profile 4th stage Norwood – Campbelltown
Profile 5th stage McLaren Vale – Willunga Hill
Profile 6th stage Criterium in Adelaide
Start and finish at Google maps