The Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team is preparing for Stage 1 of Tour Down Under on Tuesday, Jan. 17. The race, from Prospect to Clare, is 149 km and has an estimated race time of 3 hours and 54 minutes according to the race website. The race begins at 11 a.m. CDT. There is a 5 km neutral start. There are two sprint point locations: Jayco Sprint #1, at 74.7 km, and Jayco Sprint #2, at 104.5 km.

"We’re lining up for the start with a young group, ideally captained by Steegmans and Ciolek", explains Sport Director Rik Van Slycke. “Our goal is to try and clinch a stage success so that we begin 2012 in the best way there is. We’ve got a good train set up with Brammeier and Fenn, who are fast men. Steegmans and Ciolek will have to capitalize on their team mates’ work and try to win a stage."