Tour Down Under preview

The 2012 UCI WorldTour kicks off on Tuesday with the  14th edition of the Tour Down Under, boasting a strong line-up as the professional peloton seeks to shake off the winter rust and prepare for a long season ahead.

What kind of race is it?

Traditionally the Tour Down Under has been a sprinter-friendly race, primarily comprising flat stages with some relatively benign climbs. Continue reading

Is the 2012 Vuelta a Espana route the hardest ever?

Many of the riders who rode the 2011 Vuelta a Espana said it was the hardest Grand Tour they had ever tackled. Our initial view of this year’s route, which was unveiled in Pamplona today, suggests that 2012 will be even tougher.

The highlights

The key features of the 2012 Vuelta route are:

  • This will be the 67th edition of the Vuelta.
  • Starts Saturday August 18th in Pamplona, ends Sunday September 9th in Madrid.
  • 21 stages covering 3,300km, with rest days after stages 9 & 16.
  • Ten uphill finishes, of which six are in the ‘alta montana’ high mountains (equivalent to ‘hors categorie’ at the Tour de France).
  • Two time trials: one team, one individual.

Continue reading