At a pre-season training camp in Nagambie in November, the Orica-GreenEDGE and Orica-AIS riders looked into the crystal ball and predicted who is going to win the 2016 Tour Down Under and Santos Women's Tour.
The Tour Down Under
It's unanimous! Gerro is the man to beat at the 2016 Tour Down Under. At least that is the hot tip from every Orica-GreenEDGE rider. And why not? He's won before, he's on good form, and no doubt he is extremely keen to make amends for a disappointing 2015.
No other male rider even rated a mention, highlighting Simon Gerrans' status a one of Australia's best riders and his ability to consistently be on good form early in the season. Gerro was the last Orica-GreenEDGE rider standing at the Australian Road Nationals, crossing the line in sixth, and being one of only 15 riders to finish the race. The Tour Down Under course suits a rider like Gerro, and you can almost guarantee he will make his presence felt at some stage.
Santos Women's Tour
The Santos Women's Tour appears to be much more open with Lizzie Williams, Gracie Elvin and Amanda Spratt all getting a mention.
Gracie thinks Lizzie Williams will take the win, describing her as a 'bit of a weapon' and points to her improved sprint as the deciding factor. Lizzie showed great form at the Bay Crit's which culminated with a solo victory on the final stage at Williamstown.
Amanda Spratt is another Orica-AIS rider on great form, showing off her climbing ability and tactical nous to claim her second Australian Road Race title.
The Orica-AIS team is stacked with talent with almost every rider capable of a stage win or possible overall victory. Lizzie spoke about the depth of the team and who she thought would win the 2016 Santos Women's Tour. "I think anyone of our riders. There's not one rider that is the weakest link, we've got a really strong team." Going on to confidently predict, "It'll be one of our Orica-AIS riders... Let's say me"
Who do you think will win the 2016 Tour Down Under?
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