Simon Gerrans will return to the scene of his worst day at the Tour Down Under with history beckoning.
The Australian cycling star finished second on Wednesday's stage two behind Italian Diego Ulissi to retain his overall lead.
Gerrans, the 2006 and '12 winner, remains on track to become the first rider to secure three Tour titles.
Wednesday's 150km stage through the Adelaide Hills to Stirling was the first of two big days, expected to decide the Tour title.
Thursday's third stage starts and finishes in Adelaide's east and features Corkscrew Rd, a steep 2.4km climb that is legendary in local cycling.
Gerrans was ready to stake his claim at Corkscrew last year, but allergy-related breathing problems on the climb dropped him out of contention.
That was a rare off day for Gerrans, who has been super-consistent whenever he races at the Tour.
If he can maintain his strong start to the year on Corkscrew, his Orica-GreenEDGE team are confident they can protect Gerrans through Saturday's big stage at Willunga.
After that, Sunday's last stage through the Adelaide CBD would be a procession.
"My position on GC is just as good as I could have hoped for," Gerrans said.
"Tomorrow is going to be the most decisive stage with the Corkscrew climb so close to the finish."
Ulissi, a two-time world junior road champion and 2011 Giro d'Italia stage winner, announced himself as a genuine threat to Gerrans by winning stage two.
As Gerrans and Cadel Evans (BMC) marked each other on the left-hand side of the uphill finish at Stirling, Ulissi sprung a surprise, decisive attack on the right.
Ulissi is seven seconds behind Gerrans in second place overall, while Evans finished third and improved to fourth at 13 seconds.
"Yesterday I went too late and got closed in - today I went too early and got swamped at the finish," Evans said.
"I'm going okay - I'm just missing a bit of timing it seems."
German sprint ace Andre Greipel is third, but the Corkscrew and Willunga climbs mean the two-time Tour champion is an overall title outsider.
The other pre-race favourite, Australian Richie Porte (Sky), finished sixth at Stirling and is 21 seconds behind in 16th place.
Sky rode well again on stage two and will try to shake up the race on Corkscrew.
Porte also suggested with a chuckle that perhaps Sky would try to form an alliance with BMC and gang up on Orica-GreenEDGE.
"You never know - if we can just drop him at the start, maybe there is alliance to ride to the finish," he said.
"(With) Cadel maybe. You just never know.
"We probably have the strongest climbing team here."
Porte's half-serious talk of alliances drew a sharp response from Orica-GreenEDGE director Matt White.
"Good luck - it will be every man for himself from the top of that Corkscrew to the bottom ... and no one is dropping Simon Gerrans."