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Santos Tour Down Under 2014: People's Choice Classic

 Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews coverage of the People's Choice Classic criterium in Adelaide.

 With Australian national criterium champion Steele von Hoff set to ride his first race in the green and gold, have a read of how he is approaching the race tonight.

While Adelaide reached the high 40's in celsius last week, the weather has cooled to a balmy 25c for tonight's racing which the riders and crowds will very much appreciate 

 

Each year the UniSA team have raced in Adelaide they have let the peloton know they mean business. With five Avanti riders in the team this year, this cohesion could cause a few upsets.

It is still uncertain is bushfires in the Barossa and Edan Valley, to the city's North, will cause the cancellation of Stage 1. A decision is to be made tomorrow morning regarding the Santos Women's Cup race which takes place in Angaston. At 5pm tomorrow, we will know if Tuesday's race will take place.

 

One WorldTour team who is making their home in Australia for several weeks are Cannondale. The lime green American outfit are racing tonight, the Tour Down Under and then the Jayco Herald Sun Tour. Sprinter Elia Viviana is leading the team for TDU and is chasing wins.

 

If you haven't yet read up on Ballan and BMC, Cyclingnews has a few article on the matter. Ballan told the Italian sports paper, La Gazzetta dello sport that he thinks his ban is too long.

There is also Ballan being handed a two-year ban if you haven't yet read it.

 

If you haven't yet seen the kits of the WorldTour peloton, plus Australian team Drapac, have a look through the team presentation from last night to acquaint yourself with the new styles of 2014.

 

It's getting close to starting time and the riders are warming up. Will Jens Voigt try for the first attack of 2014?

 

In the Women's Santos Cup, Orica-AIS have taken out round one courtesy of Loes Gunnewijk "It was a pretty long time trial but it's really nice, my first win of the year of course and it's a good place here in Adelaide," said Gunnewijk after showcasing women's cycling in front of a big crowd at the River Torrens criterium circuit.

 

"It was our goal to make the race really hard from the gun and we were here with the numbers," Loes Gunnewijk continued.
"I felt my legs and they were really good, after some attacking the speed went down and I attacked just before the corner and it was the perfect moment.

 

Orica-AIS came into the race with a strong squad and will be favourites to claim the overall in the three race series. Gunnewijk came into the race in good condition as she explained after the win."I had a really good training camp in Australia and have been here for six or eight weeks. I want to be good in the spring classics in Europe so I think I'm fit and am looking forward to the next races."

 

Can the Men's Orica team make it two from two tonight? Matt Goss and Michael Matthews will be the men for the team

 

The riders are on the startline and ready to go

 

The new course shouldn't cause too many upsets for the riders with the race to head around the River Torrens on a 2km circuit and 50km in total.

 

Look out! Its Jens is in the front row, is he about to speed off?

 

Also on the front row is Andre Greipel in his skinsuit while just behind him is Steele von Hoff in the green and gold jersey

 

Its a Drapac rider who tries his luck first and brings the peloton with him

 

Soupe is off the front and starting to build a nice little lead of 20 meters or so

 

Soupe has been caught and now there is a red blur of a Katusha and Drapac duo are trying to get away

 

In another early move, its UniSA sends a rider up the road but its not going anywhere

 

Robert Gesink is showing off his new bike to the crowd with no one controlling the race quite yet.

 

Nathan Haas, Travis Meyer, Maxime Belkov, Robert Gesink and Jack Haig have formed a small group but its brought back before it gets too dangerous

 

Haas has now been joined by Axel Domont and a Lmapre rider and its Haas who takes the intermediate sprint points on Lap 5

 

Haas has now been joined by Axel Domont and Luca Wackermann and its Haas who takes the intermediate sprint points on Lap 5

 

Haas has now been joined by Axel Domont and Luca Wackermann and its Haas who takes the intermediate sprint points on Lap 5

 

Haas has now been joined by Axel Domont and Luca Wackermann and its Haas who takes the intermediate sprint points on Lap 5

 

Haas has now been joined by Axel Domont and Luca Wackermann and its Haas who takes the intermediate sprint points on Lap 5

 

Haas has now been joined by Axel Domont and Luca Wackermann and its Haas who takes the intermediate sprint points on Lap 5

 

There has been a touch of wheels and a little crash with Jonathan Cantwell going down

 

There has been a touch of wheels and a little crash with Jonathan Cantwell going down

 

 Anthony Roux has joined the leaders who are gaining a nice little lead

Some riders have taken a lap out after that accident and are now rejoining the peloton

 

It looked like Tinkoff-Saxo were the protagionists in hitting the ground but Graeme Brown doesn't look too happy about that crash

 

We are hearing that a rider has been taken into an Ambulance but we'll update you when we know more

 

The leading four have around 30 seconds over the main field now

 

Lotto are on the front of the peloton while Sky, Cannondale and Giant-Shimano are also up there

 

Next time the leading four come around to the finish, they will be sprinting for points 

 

Sitting in around fourth wheel in Greipel and sitting on his right shoulder is Voigt

 

The lead groups is holding its gap steady with the sprint coming up while Lotto are moving to the front

 

Domont went out early for the cash prize but Haas makes it two wins and comes around the Ag2r rider to claim the prize

 

CJ Sutton was one of the riders who went down in that crash, cutting his elbow and needing a new bike

 

Giant-Shimano are now taking over from Lotto as they try to reel in the four-man break

 

The next cash prize intermediate sprint comes after 15 laps

 

The gap is slowly being cut down with just 20 seconds to the four riders out in front

 

Giovanni Visconti is being reported as the rider who was being treated in the Ambulance for a suspected broken leg

 

17 seconds is the official lead with Giant-Shimano and Lotto leading the chase

 

Haas has gone early for the sprint and get his third win by several lengths

 

The big sprinters team are all coming to the fore but letting the four men out ahead maintain their lead and bring it down slowly

 

Wackermann has tried to get away as the peloton has got the escapees in their sights

 

The break is now trying to get away on solo attacks with Domont trying to get away while his breakaway companions are caught

 

With 7 laps left, Domont is out all alone while the peloton reels him in getting ready for the final sprint. there is one last intermediate sprint at lap 20

 

Domont is continuing to lead the race while Lotto are still controlling the chase with their distinctive red jerseys

 

Now coming through on the left is Sky who are hoping to get CJ Sutton over the line

 

Matt Hayman has caught Domont and is now out in front

 

Sky are now leading the chase and Hayman and Domont are caught with the next lap the cash prize sprint

 

Its Geraint Thomas on the front now with the Sky train following him and Lotto behind them

 

First over the sprint point was Philip Deignan with five laps to go

 

On the left of Lotto are Giant-Shimano while Lampre, UniSA and Astana have riders towards the front

 

Team Sky are all over this and are driving the peloton at around 50km/h hoping that Sutton can finish the job

 

Ian Stannard is now second wheel with Bernie Eisel in third place with two laps left

 

Lotto and Giant-Shimano are getting ready to make their move now with one hour raced

 

Watch for von Hoff and Caleb Ewan to chase wheels and try their luck in the sprint

 

One lap left now and Lotto are in charge in the front

Adam Hansen in on the front and leads the peloton over for the bell and its 2km to race

 

Team Sky have fallen of the pave so its up to Sutton now

 

 Watch out as Lotto are running out of riders and Ewan is making his move

Kittel takes the win ahead of Greipel with Ewan in third place

 

Results results#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult 1Marcel Kittel (Ger) Giant-Shimano1:04:34  2Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol   3Caleb Ewan (Aus) UniSA  

The top ten for the stage were,

 

 

Results results#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult 1Marcel Kittel (Ger) Giant-Shimano1:04:34  2Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol   3Caleb Ewan (Aus) UniSA   4Christopher Sutton (Aus) Team Sky   5Jose Joaquin Rojas (Esp) FDJ   6Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step   7Mark Renshaw (Aus) Omega Pharma-Quick Step   8Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale   9Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto-Belisol   10Steele von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp  

There you have it, Marcel Kittel takes the win ahead of Greipel after the Lotto rider started the sprint but came around on his left to take the win by half a wheel with Caleb Ewan recording an impressive third place.

 

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