Tour Down Under news shorts: Tinkoff-Saxo to support Rogers at WorldTour kickoff

Edmondson leads Santos Women's Tour sprints, IAM's Haussler 5th at People’s Choice Classic and Trek's Watson enjoys the break

Tinkoff-Saxo to support Rogers at WorldTour kickoff

Tinkoff-Saxo will support their all-rounder Michael Rogers at the Santos Tour Down Under set to start on Tuesday in Tanunda. The Australian will lead the team that also includes Pavel Brutt, Manuele Baoro, Christpher Juul Jensen, Michal Kolár, Oliver Zaugg and Jesper Hansen.

Brutt was 15th and the highest placed rider from the team at the People’s Choice Classic, a 51km race held as an opener to the Tour Down Under in Adelaide on Sunday.

“We’re all very excited to kickstart the new season,” said Tinkoff-Saxo director Lars Michaelsen. “It’s three months since we last raced, so our seven riders, were all thrilled to be back on their bikes doing some real racing. They were thrown directly into it - with just 51 kilometers on a city circuit the peloton held a very high pace during the entire race.”

Michaelsen said the team’s fastest rider, Kolár, had been feeling sick for the last few days but that Tinkoff-Saxo would be ready to support Rogers at the Tour Down Under.

“I saw some great signs from our riders. For us the real battle begins Tuesday, where our ambition is to keep Michael in the top part of the general classification.”

Tinkoff Saxo leader Michael Rogers at the Tour Down Under

Edmondson in pole for Green jersey in Santos Women’s Tour

Annette Edmondson continued her fine start to the year with third place on the second stage of the Santos Women's Tour in Australia. The Wiggle Down Under rider finished behind Melissa Hoskins (Orica-AIS) and Australian criterium champion Kimberley Wells (High5 Dream Team)

Edmondson picked up five points at the intermediate sprint during the stage, enough to give her 12 points in total.

“The plan had been for Chloe [Hosking] to go for the jersey yesterday, but then she wasn’t feeling so flash and she asked me to do the sprint,” Edmondson explained. “We knew that we were in second place today, so I just had to follow Lauren Kitchen [Roxsolt], who was in the lead, and I managed to win the win the intermediate thanks to some help from the girls,” she said at the finish.

“It was nice to get Wiggle Down Under on the podium, especially at the People’s Choice Classic, because there’s a lot of people out there - a lot of support - and to be able to represent on the podium in front of everyone just before the men’s presentation was pretty special."

Haussler praises teammates after People’s Choice Classic

Heinrich Haussler was keen to praise his teammates after finishing fifth in the People’s Choice Classic on Sunday. The race was won by Germany’s Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) but Haussler’s IAM Cycling pushed the German team to their limits in downtown Adelaide.

Haussler came into the race in high spirits after claiming the Australian national road title last week and he looked on course to compete for the win in Adelaide .

“I was coming from behind very, very fast (then) the door closed a little bit, I had to brake, stop pedaling, but that's sprinting,” said Haussler. “It's a good sign for the rest of the week (because) the boys did great work today.”

New Australian road race champion Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling)
 

Watson kicks off season in the break at People’s Choice Classic

Trek Factory Racing’s Calvin Watson was pleased with his breakaway performance at the People’s Choice Classic. Giant-Alpecin’s Kittel won the race but not without an effort to bring back the day’s main break.

Watson joined a four-man move that got a gap on the field during opening laps of the 30-lap race. The other breakaway riders were Mathew Hayman (Orica-GreenEdge), Peter Kennaugh (Sky) and Dario Cataldo (Astana). They were brought back into the field with eight laps to go.

"When the three guys got away and I saw the break forming I just seized the moment and rode across to them," Watson said. “That was hard. But it was nice to be out there in the first race of the season.”

The riders will have a rest day on Monday before the start of the Santos Tour Down Under on Tuesday.

Tour Down Under top 5 riders to watch

The Tour Down Under kicks off the WorldTour calendar this week and Cyclingnews has compiled a list of the riders we think you should look out for in Australia. See who we've picked in the below video and click here to subscribe and get the latest cycling videos.

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