Gallery: 50 days until Tour Down Under

A look back at the first 16 editions of the opening race on the WorldTour calendar

The Tour Down Under, the first race of the 2015 WorldTour calendar starts in just 50 days time. Next year marks the 17th edition of the race which takes place in and around the South Australian city of Adelaide.

Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) won the 2014 edition of the race to become the first rider to do so three times and returns in 2015 looking to make it four. Past winners of the race also include Luis León Sánchez, Martin Elmiger, André Greipel, Cameron Meyer and Tom-Jelte Slagter.

The race has become less of a sprinter's paradise than when it started out but that hasn't stopped the fastest men in the world consistently pinning on a race number down under. Robbie McEwan was the first sprinter to rule the roads but it is Greipel who now holds the record of the most wins at the race with 16. The German road race champion won't be attending the race in 2015, giving his rivals the chance to try and make a dent in his record.

In recent editions of the Tour Down Under, the climb up Willunga Hill has been decisive in deciding the general classification with just a handful of seconds between the top three. Gerrans has been a regular animator on the crowd friendly climb which is sure to witness another decisive stage in 2015.

Nest year's race will be a special occasion for Cadel Evans (BMC) as he waves farewell to the WorldTour and he will surely be out to add the race to his lengthy palmarès as the Tour de France champion retires from professional cycling a week later at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.

To look through a gallery of past editions of the race, click here

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