After 3 years of absence, the Tour Down Under is back and it opens the Velogames season for 2023 as well. Part of the newly formed Velogames Warm-up Championship, it is the opening leg of the competition.
For new-comers, The Velogames Fantasy Tour Down Under 2023 can be played as a competition on its own as well as part part the above- mentioned championship. And if you are new and alone, you are most welcome to join a newly created Velogames league where you can get acquainted to newbies: League code : 463523923
Tour Down Under 2020
The last time, the race was held was 3 years ago and A LOT happened since. You can have a look at the highest scoring riders here as well as the top scoring team from 2020. The inclusion of Matthew Holmes rated as 4 points proved to be the deciding choice with a solid stage win.
Tour Down Under 2023 preview
Starting on the 17th January, ( deadline for Velogames entry is 08:15 CET (Central European Time) on Tuesday 17th January 2023), the 2023 edition will consist of a prologue and 5 stages.
This urban short time-trial will mostly test the skills and agility of the best time-trial. Has Jay Vine made a complete conversion?
⚝⚝⚝⚝⚝ : Rohan Dennis
⚝⚝⚝⚝: Ethan Hayter
⚝⚝⚝ Geraint Thomas
⚝⚝ Simon Yates
⚝ Jay Vine
The day represents the perfect opportunity for a nice breakaway to form and leaves the chase to the strongest teams who believe to have the best sprinters who can also take on climbs. Ineos Grenadiers and Team AlUla will be working for Ethan Hayter and Michael Matthews.
⚝⚝⚝⚝⚝ Kaden Groves
⚝⚝⚝⚝ Michael Matthews
⚝⚝⚝ Ethan Hayter
⚝⚝ Caleb Ewan
⚝ Emils Liepins
This represents a better chance for the sprinters who were taken out the previous day.
⚝⚝⚝⚝⚝ Michael Matthews
⚝⚝⚝⚝ Ethan Hayter
⚝⚝⚝ Caleb Ewan
⚝⚝ Jordi Meeus
⚝ Phil Bauhaus
This will be a different affair with the strongest guys throwing punches at each other on the last climb. With no Richie Porte and no Willunga hill, Corkscrew 2.4km climb at 9% might prove to be the decisive moment. A short descent of around 5km ensues though.
⚝⚝⚝⚝⚝ Pello Bilbao
⚝⚝⚝⚝ Luke Plapp
⚝⚝⚝ Geraint Thomas
⚝⚝ Ben O’Connor
⚝ Michael Matthews
This is not the usual Willunga hill finish but a 1km climb at 3% gradient can give idea to certain very powerful puncheurs or Caleb Ewan.
⚝⚝⚝⚝⚝: Caleb Ewan
⚝⚝⚝⚝ Bryan Coquard
⚝⚝⚝ Cobin Strong
⚝⚝ Michael Matthews
⚝ Hugo Page
A proper climb. Mount Lofty might just be 1.5km long but it has an average gradient of 6.5% and at around 13% at the finish.
⚝⚝⚝⚝⚝ Luke Plapp
⚝⚝⚝⚝ Simon Yates
⚝⚝⚝ Pello Bilbao
⚝⚝ Ben O’Connor
⚝ Jay Vine
The Velogames guide
A very important point when choosing the riders to make up for the team of 9 is to consider the scoring system. As such, a stage victory brings 150 points, that is half of what the ultimate winner will be back,
A Leadout advice is to try to include the maximum number of stage winners and to keep a maximum of one or two for the general classifications guys.
Ethan Hayter: INEOS Grenadiers -24: The ultimate firm favorite and loved one by many, He does not describe himself as sprinter. He definitely can time trial. A stage victoryis beyond possible but his love for riding at the back and the multiple bullets that his team possess might give a second thought about investing 24 credits on him. Surely the money can be well split elsewhere.
Michael Matthews :Team Jayco AlUla- 18 :The man is on a mission back in Australia. He has a very strong team to support him. Even at his worst, there has never been a doubt about his abilities to get over short climbs. Finally, he might not win the prologue but Bling can ride to keep him in contention over a 5km course. My favourite!
Geraint Thomas INEOS Grenadiers- 16: What is his upto? He is just building his form towards the Giro. He will do well in the prologue while the climbs might prove to be too short and too drastic for him.
Rohan Dennis Jumbo-Visma – 16 He will be aiming for the leaders jersey from the first day and try to keep it to the end.
Caleb Ewan UniSA-Australia – 16 He will particularly enjoy the short stages. He will be more than satisfied with a stage win. His win at the criterium shows that form and determination is here!
Ben O’Connor AG2R Citroën Team- 14: His performance in the national championship shows that he prefers longer climbs and colder days. He will be in the mix for the podium
Jai Hindley BORA – hansgrohe -14: How has the 2022 Giro been? We have not seen him back to the same form yet. He might be a grand tour winner but this race suits his team-mates more.
Luke Plapp INEOS Grenadiers- 14: After his national title, he will have other ideas. It is very unlikely that his team will ask him to sacrifice himself on his home ground after winning the home title for a second year in a row. At 14, he is a bargain.
Simon Yates Team Jayco AlUla- 14 He is building his form, but remember that he has made an incredible improvement in time -trials. A good prologue and we might be looking at a different picture here.
Jay Vine UAE Team Emirates – 14: He captured the imagination a little bit more following his time trial title title. Many see him as a potential leader and the path starts now. The 5km prologue will be in the city and will involve a lot of skills . Also, plenty of descent is involved over the week. Has the Australian mastered other skills that Zwift did not need?
Kaden Groves Alpecin-Deceuninck- 12 The man who will explode under the radar. He will have a very strong team who will lead him to sprints. He is fast and can finish quite well on slopes.
Pello Bilbao Bahrain – Victorious- 12: He can time trial. He is fast on punchy finish and he descends like a demon. Can he deny the local guys and take it for himself?
Mauro Schmid Soudal – Quick Step- 12 He will be leading the line for his team. He possesses the quality to win a stage but not the experience yet to win the whole race.
Phil Bauhaus Bahrain – Victorious- 10 The fast sprinter will have a strong team to back him up for a stage victory, He will be involved in the sprints but he might be one the first out from the back once we reach steeper terrains.
Jordi Meeus BORA – hansgrohe – 10 : Who wil sprint? Will it be him? It seems very likely and his second place behind Caleb Ewan proves his sharpne
Maximilian Schachmann BORA – hansgrohe- 10 Little is known about his form right now, but he is within a very solid team.
Bryan Coquard Cofidis 10- Le Coq loves short punchy finishes Stage 4 suits him to the skin!
Magnus Sheffield INEOS Grenadiers – 10 :The star has been discovered. All his moves will be watched. He will be charged in leading Hayter in the final kms.
Corbin Strong Israel – Premier Tech-10 :He caught the eye with his performance in the autumn races last season. Stage 4 ultimate climb might prove too short for him and stage 5’s too long
Patrick Bevin Team DSM- 10 He is a good fast finisher. He can time trial well and can also climb. We have seen what he can do before. At 10, he remains a bargain and will want to impress under his new colour. A very good option.
Marc Hirschi UAE Team Emirates 10 He has shown a glimpse of that we were expecting from him at the end of last season. Has he carried that over the new year?
Hugo Page Intermarché – Circus – Wanty -8 : A good sprinter who had a decent run in the Dauphine 2022.
Chris Froome Israel – Premier Tech- 8: This might prove to be the one that shows he is finally on the right track back.
Hugo Hofstetter Team Arkéa Samsic – 8: More of classic man, he will be one of the many involved in the sprints from Arkea.
Natnael Tesfatsion Trek – Segafredo- 8:Following Girmay’s break-through last season, a lot is expected from the young Erithrean. He is fast but he is not the team’s designated sprinter. He will try his chances from breakaways instead.
Sjoerd Bax UAE Team Emirates- 8: He caught the year with good performances in the one day races towards the end of the season. So well, that he got himself a heavy upgrade. But that come with huge responsibilities and will working for Jay Vine and Covi.
Victor Lafay Cofidis – 6 The climber is usually one of the first to spring from the peloton.
Sean Quinn EF Education-EasyPost- 6 : Just like Hugo Page, he enjoyed himself last season at the Dauphine and wil particularly enjoy the course
Paul Penhoët Groupama – FDJ – 6 :He has had some interesting results in the U23, can he made the jump? An 8th place at the opening criterium shows that he will be there and about
Taco Van Der Hoorn Intermarché – Circus – Wanty- 6: Always count on the man for a good break away.
Élie Gesbert Team Arkéa Samsic -6: A pure climber who never fails to entertain,
Emīls Liepiņš Trek – Segafredo- 6 :He is team Trek-Segafredo’s designated sprinter.
Antonio Tiberi Trek – Segafredo- 6 After coming back from a bad crash, he is now expected to take the same path as Skjelmose. He has already won before on punchy finish in Hungary. Can he take the leap?
Kim Heiduk INEOS Grenadiers- 4: Some serious assist points and maybe more as he seems the be the main sprinter of the team at the opening criterium
Marius Mayrhofer Team Dsm 4: His fifth ine the Schwalbe classics. The opening criterium is an indication that he will be his team’s main sprinter.
Jarrad Drizners UniSA-Australia- 4 He is the 4 credit rider to put your money on. He loves break away and will be given all freedom!