The cyclist Cadel Evans is cautiously optimistic over his chances of defending the Tour of France yellow jersey in 2012 after the race route was unveiled yesterday.
With only three mountaintop finishes and almost double the number of kilometres in time trialling compared to last year, race chiefs have kept up with recent tradition by trying to shake up the course.
It is the predominance of time trialling which could be decisive in 2012's 99th edition.
Evans made history when he became the first Australian to win the epic race last July, limiting his losses against better climbers before beating Luxembourg's Andy Schleck with a stunning penultimate stage time trial display.
Evans isn't too concerned about the lack of stages in the high mountains, or the 96 kilometres of racing against the clock and believes the second half is favourable towards him.