Go Wilco, go. Ladies & gentlemen, we have a race and that race is Willunga — and the best part is, we don’t know who is going to win.
Garmin-Barracuda director Allan Peiper says that any one of 45 riders could take out the stage and the overall. That means unheralded Julien Vermote (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) may be the surprise winner of the Tour Down Under.but
This early in the season, nobody has a clear idea who is up to the task, just a few guesses that are semi-educated. It’s easy to throw out Simon Gerrans of GreenEdge because he’s the new Australian Champion and option number two Cameron Meyer. One journalist predicts Edvard Boasson Hagen, another suddenly insists the man is Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM)
This is what makes bike racing a thrill to watch and the TDU has everything cued up: mystery, suspense, potential surprises and maybe even more more fines for public urination. (Who knew world popular Jens Voigt likes peeing in front of horrified parents?)
How crazy would this be — Romain Sicard, who spent his off-season explaining his drunken party night stealing road signs — comes back from injury to win down under for the Men of Orange?
How depressing would this be: Alejandro “Nothing Wrong” Valverde, back from a two year ban and still denying everything, takes the overall win? I can hear the crowd booing already.
What about cute little Linus Gerdemann stepping up and showing Johan Bruyneel what a tough guy he is? Or suppose Michael Matthews (Rabobank) turns on the turbo boosters and steals the victory?
The argyle genius Jonathan Vaughters tweeted a warning: “Today we found some absolutely shocking improvements to be made in one of our riders. Who? That will be apparent soon enough.” Is a diamond barracuda set to blast up Willunga and blow everybody’s mind?
Some people are even talking up the changes of Sandy Casar and Sergio Paulinho and Allan Peiper is freaking everyone out by mentioning Wilco Keldermann. Can’t you just feel the power of alliteration? — Wilco Wins Willunga!
The storyline for stage 5 up Willunga is that nobody knows and surprise is practically a guarantee. The Tour Down Under began as a tourist marketing strategy but finally it’s turning into a serious race.
We can’t wait to see how the action plays out.