Brown names Davis, Greipel and McEwen as main rivals for Tour Down Under
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Brown names Davis, Greipel and McEwen as main rivals for Tour Down Under

by Conal Andrews at 6:25 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Rabobank sprinter Graeme Brown has identified 2008 victor André Greipel (HTC-Columbia) and last year’s champion Allan Davis (Astana) as riders he will be keeping a particularly close eye upon during the Tour Down Under.

"That's just two guys off the top of my head, really everyone in the race is capable of winning," he told AAP. "And you can never count out Robbie (McEwen). He's got a few years under his belt now, but he'll be knocking at the door."

Brown has won four stages of the Tour Down Under in the past, hitting the line first in 2001, 2003, 2008 and again last year. More recently, he won the opening stage of the Bay Classic Series, but went on to be fined for riding aggressively towards a race official.

The 30 year old has built up a reputation as a somewhat dangerous rider, and has said that the improving quality of the Tour Down Under field has made things tougher at the end of stages. He said that this means he has to take more risks.

"Just to be in the right position to start your sprint you've got to go bananas," he said. “You've got to flick the switch, flick the brain off and go for it."

Brown wants to perform well in the race, but has accepted that in previous years he left his best form in Australia rather than riding well throughout the European season. In 2009 he took two stages of the Vuelta a Murcia and the Nokere-Koerse race; this time round, he wants to be strong well into the summer and, with the world championships taking place in Australia next October, has an incentive to peak again in the Autumn.

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