The retirement of Richie Porte might imply the final victor on the WorldTour race can be lacking from the Santos Tour Down Below in 2023 however there can be loads of hope from native followers that one other Australian may step into the void, significantly with Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) now confirmed as a starter on the January 17 to 22 race.
The Giro d’Italia winner can be lining up on the Tour Down Below for a fourth time however given COVID-19 has meant the South Australian race hasn’t run since Porte claimed the crown in 2020, lots has modified for Hindley since he final pinned on a quantity for the occasion.
When Hindley first raced the Tour Down Below in 2017, coming twenty fifth, it was with the Australian nationwide group, and he was lining up at his first WorldTour occasion ever. In 2019 he was driving with Workforce Sunweb in assist of Chris Hamilton and got here 18th. He then equalled that inserting in 2020 earlier than happening to spherical out his Australian summer time of racing with victory on the Jayco Herald-Solar Tour.
That 2020 Australian summer time victory turned out to be the start of a breakthrough 12 months the place Hindley’s true potential turned clearly evident, with the rider from Perth taking second within the Giro d’Italia. This 12 months his shift as much as the highest step offered Australia with its first Grand Tour victor since Cadel Evans gained the Tour de France in 2011.
“We spend a lot of our season in Europe, so it’s good to return again and race in entrance of Australian followers,” Hindley mentioned in a media assertion from the Tour Down Below. “2022 was a large 12 months for me and I’m wanting ahead to organising my 2023 season with a powerful efficiency in Adelaide.”
The 2023 Tour Down Below will mark the 26 12 months previous’s return to worldwide racing after a break of greater than three months, though the Australian Street Nationwide Championships is also on the playing cards earlier within the month of January. Hindley’s off season began proper after the September Street World Championships in Wollongong, the place he was requested by reporters to look again on his season.
“With the Giro win and the stage win there, I nonetheless can’t consider it, it nonetheless hasn’t sunk in and doubtless by no means will,” Hindley informed reporters after driving the street race in assist of the third-placed Michael Matthews. “It was a pleasant 12 months personally, particularly after such a tricky 12 months final 12 months – to vary to a brand new group and win a Grand tour in my first 12 months with the group was actually cool.”
It will likely be Hindley’s first Tour Down Below with Bora-Hansgrohe, and whereas the remainder of the group round him is but to be introduced he’s certain to be intently watched for the general and climbing levels. There isn’t any Willunga climb on the course this 12 months – a stage synonymous with Porte after he gained it six years working – however that doesn’t imply the race is with out a good measure of difficult ascents.
“This course can be actually interesting to Jai, significantly the three tough climbs by means of the Adelaide Hills on stage three,” mentioned Tour Down Below Race Director Stuart O’Grady.
Stage three from Norwood to Campbelltown contains Norton Summit, Checkers Hill and Corkscrew Street, delivering greater than 2,400 metres of climbing. It’s a stage that’s anticipated to pivotal in shaping the competitors for the ochre jersey of the race chief after which there may be additionally the difficult closing stage which takes on Mount Lofty a number of occasions earlier than ending on the summit.