It's the start of another long year for Australian pros who are fully aware of early season burnout and a form slump in Europe come April.
Simon Gerrans accepts his role on Orica-Scott is now different than "a couple of years ago" when he was still the Aussie team's best winning hope.
The Australian points to the increased infrastructure on European roads as a reason why there are so many crashes.
Mining services company Orica announced it will back the team through 2017 before ending its relationship with the Australian squad.
Simon Gerrans endured a 2015 season filled with crashes and injuries, but he hopes his Tour Down Under win is a sign of things to come.