2003 Tour Down Under

The 5th Tour Down Under ( officially: Jacob 's Creek Tour Down Under) was held from 21 to 26 January 2003 at and so a week later than usual. The cycling consisted of six stages, began in the South Australian capital of Adelaide and ended ibid. The total distance of the stage race was 735 km and thus 2 km more than last year. The Tour Down Under was classified in the UCI category 2.3.

  • 4.1 ratings in the itinerary

The participants

The South Australian Tourism Commission invited organizing this year two Australian teams, and although United Water and the University of South Australia, which brought an Australian national team at the start. Overall, were as in the previous twelve cycling teams at the start, with, for example, with the team German Telekom, AG2R Prévoyance, Crédit Agricole, Quickstep - Davitamon and Saeco or even ONCE - Eroski some of the most famous teams in the world were invited. A total of nine teams took part, who had also participated in the previous year. Each team consisted of eight drivers, the Quickstep and ONCE nominated only seven professionals.

As favors for the overall victory were ahead once again the Australian riders who were in the middle of their season, while European professionals took the tour, especially in preparation for the season starting in March. On the start list were, among others, last year's winner Michael Rogers ( Quick Step - Davitamon ), Stuart O'Grady ( Credit Agricole ), two-time winner of the race, or Cadel Evans, winner of the mountains classification in 2002. As a favorite in the expected mass sprints Robbie McEwen of Lotto Domo, Graeme Brown of Ceramiche Panaria - Fiordo or Baden Cooke ( FDJeux.com ) were considered. But foreign riders like Steffen Wesemann (Team Telekom ), who had been found in previous years always in the top ten in the overall standings, and his teammate Bobby Julich were given good chances for a placement before the start of the match. ( Quickstep - Davitamon ) Other candidates for a sprint victory of the Este Jaan Kirsipuu of AG2R Prévoyance, the Italian Luca Paolini or were the New Zealanders to consider Julian Dean (Team CSC).

The stages

The highlight of the week-long cycling festival Festival of Cycling in Adelaide Tour Down Under through the province of South Australia has been extended for the fifth time after 1999. The six stages long tour started again after two years in the provincial capital of Adelaide and ended as with their previous editions in the same. The course was at times inspired by the output of last year, with the launch in Adelaide or laying the stage around Willunga on the fifth day but also some changes to the route had been made.

Stage 1, East End Adelaide Street Race

The Tour Down Under 2003 started with a circuit race over 50 kilometers to be completed consisting of a two-kilometer round 25 times in Adelaider " East End ". Shortly after the start, a seven -man breakaway group formed by the Italian Fabio Sacchi Saeco, who had worn the previous year for three stages of the yellow jersey, but could never work out more than 40 seconds ahead and was finally caught up again. The expected mass sprint of Australians Graeme Brown sat ( Ceramiche Panaria - Fiordo ) in front of 55,000 spectators through, but by a jury decision Brown was relegated little later because of leaving his driving line and set to the last place. Instead, the victory was the runner- Baden Cooke awarded.

Stage 2, Jacob 's Creek - Kapunda

The second part of the day led the peloton north towards the winegrowing region of the Barossa Valley. 35 kilometers from the finish of the 140 -kilometer stage was with the Mengler 's Hill the first notable increase in the itinerary on the program. 45 kilometers after the start Russell Van Hout sat down by the UniSA alone from the field and built his lead to almost seven minutes. Later an attack by three riders who were soon followed by eight other professionals followed. 25 km from the finish united Van Hout and the two pursuers groups that were now of 20 other riders, including Stuart O'Grady and Michael Rogers, hunted. Off the top group fell back gradually half of the members, including the German Steffen Wesemann. 1000 meters from the finish line then sat Fabio Sacchi the decisive attack and celebrated a solo victory ahead of Robbie McEwen, who was able to win the sprint of the persecutors, among whom Mikel Astarloza was represented as day - sixth. The group led by Rogers and O'Grady came with 23 seconds down on the winner.

Stage 3, Glenelg - Hahndorf

The third stage was 164 kilometers, the longest section of the Tour Down Under in 2003 and began in Glenelg, the starting location of the previous years. From the coast led the way on the only climb of the day, the Checker Hill, and two intermediate sprints on a circular course to be completed twice ( each round 10 km) Hahndorf. The breakaway of the day consisted of eight riders, but it was already beginning again caught the round course in Hahndorf from the field. An attack of mountain Value Leader Russell Van Hout could also be thwarted, so it came to a bunch sprint, Robbie McEwen was able to win in the photo finish against Graeme Brown.

Stage 4, Unley - Goolwa

On the fourth day, the distance over 144 km across largely flat terrain resulted from Unley to Goolwa. Ten kilometers to go was with the McFarlane Hill to have a short rise. With up to 43 ° C air temperature settled out shortly after the start of the Australian U-23 time trial champion Adrian Laidler ( UniSA ) and worked up to eleven minutes ahead. On the second intermediate sprint of the day, Robbie McEwen secured two bonus seconds and moved in the overall standings to eight seconds to the leader Fabio Sacchi zoom. As twelve kilometers were still to go, outliers Laidler was again obtained from the field. After the single climb of the day, ten drivers were able to sell, including Sacchi. But 5000 meters from the finish and this attack was thwarted, so there was a bunch sprint, in which Baden Cooke prevailed, while Graeme Brown finished for the second time in a row, two square in front of Stuart O'Grady.

Stage 5, Willunga - Willunga

The penultimate stage of the race traditionally led around the place Willunga in the south of Adelaide, but has not played this year on the third day of the tour. First were three each forty kilometers long rounds, then a 20 kilometer long round was to travel on the. Halfway through the most difficult climb of the entire tour, the Willunga Hill led Ten thousand meters then followed the finish line. Directly after the start made ​​some attacks, but only Andrea Tafi CSC and Nicolas Portal ( AG2R Prévoyance ) were able to finally settle. After forty kilometers were completed, was the runner- up to that point in the standings Robbie McEwen because of knee complaints to the race. With up to 44 ° C air temperature, the Ausreißerduo subsequently was able to pull almost five minutes ahead. Tafi decided the two intermediate sprints of the day for themselves and thus climbed to the top of the points standings. At the beginning of Willunga Hill Tafi and portal but were caught while Cadel Evans passed the top of the hill first and thus conquered the jersey of the mountain top. After that, a ten- man breakaway group from the 3000 meters to go, the Italians attacked Giampaolo Caruso and could save a scarce bike length ahead of the approaching pursuers sprinting to Steffen Wesemann the finish line was formed. Since the yellow jersey Fabio Sacchi had not been represented in the top group, the Spaniard Mikel Astarloza captured the overall lead.

Stage 6, Adelaide City Council circuit

At the end of the Tour Down Under 2003 was as in the previous years, a 90 km long circuit on the program (20 laps of 4.5 km ). 60,000 spectators at the closed field reached the first intermediate sprint, the two AG2R rider Jaan Kirsipuu and Erki Pütsep the Australian Stuart O'Grady referred to the third place, the so was able to make only a bonus seconds to the overall leader Mikel Astarloza. After that was a short twelve -strong group led by former overall leader Fabio Sacchi detach from the field, but was caught shortly afterwards. On the second intermediate sprint, it was again Kirsipuu and team-mate Mark Scanlon, who conquered the bonus seconds, while O'Grady empty-handed. In the final bunch sprint Graeme Brown secured after two second places and one first place but knew his first stage victory in the Tour Down Under 2003, while Mikel Astarloza took the yellow jersey before the simultaneous Danes Lennie Kristensen finish.

List of stages


For points ratings there were the following point distribution:

Ratings in the itinerary

The table shows the leaders in their respective standings after each stage.

Full Time

Were once again at the Tour Down Under, the Australians, the main actors. Especially in the sprints dominated the locals and made the respective stage victories among themselves. Unlike in the previous year, as Robbie McEwen itself had four days sections may decide, but not a single driver this time was able to retract constant victories. Instead, Graeme Brown, Baden Cooke and McEwen took turns at the top, where Brown was stripped of his victory on day one for unfair sprints. But the blue jersey for the best point could not secure the three, with McEwen missed this item also due to its task during the fifth stage. The Italian Andrea Tafi benefited here from a breakaway attempt on this same stage, in which he could conquer the points at the intermediate sprint. But an Australian was in the mountains classification front, namely Cadel Evans, who defended this item. The U-23 rating decided by Gene Bates a local for themselves.

Very scarce, however fell out of the fight for the overall victory. At the end lay with the Spaniard Mikel Astarloza and Lennie Kristensen even two drivers at the same time at the top, due to better stage placings finally secured Astarloza the yellow jersey. The two-time winner of the Tour Down Under, Stuart O'Grady, on the other hand missed the last day of crucial bonus seconds to pull over yet. Thanks to his teammates of AG2R Prévoyance, which kept O'Grady at the intermediate sprint of the first rank, the Spaniard celebrated his first tour victory as a professional, while the Italians Fabio Sacchi, although it could defend three days as in 2002 the yellow jersey again empty-handed.