Update…. Link to 2010 Tour Down Under race schedule and TV coverage
Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong is making his comeback to pro cycling in the South Australia race, suddenly making the week-long stage race more noteworthy than usual.
The times for the Tour Down Under listed on the Versus TV schedule (all times are Eastern time zone):
4-4:30 p.m. – Sunday, Jan. 18
4-4:30 p.m. – Tuesday, Jan. 20 (schedule change)
4-4:30 p.m. – Wednesday, Jan. 21 (schedule change)
4-4:30 p.m. – Thursday, Jan. 22 (schedule change)
4-4:30 p.m. – Friday, Jan. 23 (schedule change)
3:30-4 p.m. – Saturday, Jan. 24
5-6 p.m. – Sunday, Jan. 25
(updated Jan. 11, 2009)
In addition, Versus will webcast a live feed of the last stage at its website. That will start about 10:15 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24 EST.
As best as I can figure, what Versus is broadcasting will not be live. It will be a recap of the previous day's action. That's because Adelaide, South Australia, is 15 and 1/2 hours ahead of New York. So when Versus broadcasts at 4 p.m. Jan. 18, in Adelaide it's actually 7:30 a.m. on Monday.
Real time conversion
Here is the relative schedule for the Tour down Under with Adelaide times at left and New York (EST) times at right:
Classic – 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18 (Aus) / 3:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 18 (NY)
Stage 1 – 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20 (Aus) / 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19 (NY)
Stage 2 – 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21 (Aus) / 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20 (NY)
Stage 3 – 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 22 (Aus) / 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21 (NY)
Stage 4 – 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 23 (Aus) / 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22 (NY)
Stage 5 – 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 24 (Aus) / 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23 (NY)
Stage 6 – 1:45 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25 (Aus) / 10:15 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24 (NY)
Note: all computations at www.timezoneconverter.com.
James Raia at Cycling Examiner reported Sunday that Versus has negotiated a tentative contract with Eurocam, which holds the rights to the event.
Also, Versus is negotiating to interview Armstrong during the race, his first pro cycling race since retiring after the Tour de France in 2005.
Armstrong has joined the Astana team as a non-paid member in 2009 to call attention to the fight against cancer.
Update: Jan. 4, 2009 — Phil Liggett told Fox Sports in Austalia that he'll interview Armstrong at the close of every stage.