Gold rush at Tour Down Under

Stuart O'Grady will be far from the only Olympic champion starting their season in the heat of South

Stuart O’Grady will be far from the only Olympic champion starting their season in the heat of South

PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE A host of Olympic and world champions are set to line up in the Tour Down Under in Adelaide in January. Hometown hero Stuart O’Grady, who claimed gold in the Madison in Athens, will lead the charge for Cofidis, while Britain’s triple Olympic medallist Bradley Wiggins is confirmed as leader of the Crdit Agricole team. Wiggins won gold in the individual pursuit and went on to claim silver in the team pursuit and bronze in the Madison. Graeme Brown and Brett Lancaster, both members of the triumphant Australian pursuit team that set a world record in Athens and fellow team pursuit gold medallist Peter Dawson will also be racing in and around Adelaide. Brown was a dual gold medallist in Athens, adding Madison gold to his team pursuit victory. “It’s fantastic for the race that we have attracted the stars of the Olympic Games and of World Championship competition,” said race director Mike Turtur. “What is even more satisfying for me is that many of them are Australian cyclists. The Tour provides an ideal opportunity for sports fans to see their home-grown heroes who are now amongst the very best cyclists in the world.” Two-time world time trial champion Michael Rogers will return to the Tour in 2005 with his Quick Step team, and the Liberty Seguros team has confirmed the Portuguese silver medallist in the road race at the Athens Olympics, Sergio Paulinho, will make his race debut for them in Australia. “It’s going to be a hot field and I predict we’ll see some of the most exciting racing in the Tour’s six-year history,” said Turtur. For further event information visit