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Santos Tour Down Under 2015: People's Choice Classic

The People's Choice Classic gets underway in just one hour and marks the start of the 2015 season. The 51km criterium around Adelaide's East End is suited for the sprinters but the question is, can any body stop Marcel Kittel from winning? 

Before the racing gets underway, have a look over the start list to see who is lining up for the 2015 Tour Down Under

 

 

Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) won the People's Choice Classic's last year ahead of Andre Greipel and Caleb Ewan. Neither of those riders are at the race this time around and Kittel is hungry to start his season with a win.

Read more about Kittel's expectations for the race by clicking here

 

The second youngest rider in the race is Lorrenzo Manzin and will be a rider to watch tonight

You can read more about him by clicking here

Here is the route the riders face tonight with the peloton racing in a clockwise direction

 

Have you watched our top five contenders for the TDU overall yet?

Why not do so now and then click here to subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel.

Have you watched our top five contenders video for the TDU overall yet?

Why not do so now and then click here to subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel.

 

Have you watched our top five contenders video for the TDU overall yet?

Why not do so now and then click here to subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel.

 

Have you watched our top five contenders video for the TDU overall yet?

Why not do so now and then click here to subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel.

 

Australian national criterium champion Steele von Hoff (UniSA) will be a rider to watch tonight. Read his interview with Cyclingnews by clicking here

This will be the final People's Choice Classic of Cadel Evans' career as the Australian retires from the sport on February 1. Read about Evans' approach to the race by clicking here

 

Ten minutes until the racing gets underway

 

Can Heinrich Haussler make it two wins out of two in the criterium tonight? Click here to see which stages the Australian national champion will target in the race

 

Racing is underway in Adelaide and the peloton is off for the first of 30 laps of the 1.7km circuit

 

Richie Porte leads the peloton through the first corner of the race

 

It is almost perfect racing conditions today in Adelaide with the temperature at 21 degrees Celsius and very little wind to speak of.

 

Luke Durbridge is giving it a go off the front of the peloton

 

BMC, UniSA and and Sky rider are now trying to get a lead on the peloton.

 

That was  Rohan Dennis trying his luck there. He'll be a key support rider for Cadel Evans this week but today is animating the race.

 

Astana and Trek are next up trying to force a move off the front as we start lap 4 of 30

 

Breakaway specialist Will Clarke (Drapac) is next to try his luck and get a gap on the bunch

 

With riders trying to get clear, there is no one team controlling the race just yet as the peloton starts lap 5

 

Durbridge is trying to attack again but its Miles Scotson from UniSA on his birthday who forces a small gap and is joined by Astana debutant Lars Boom

 

Scotson got the first sprint points but Boom is the rider to get clear before it all comes back together here

 

On lap six and it is still cagey at the front with riders constantly attacking the bunch

 

The peloton is completing the laps in just over two minutes which is quite a fast pace on this city circuit

Tsgabu Grmay tries his luck but is brought back by the bunch with Team Sky moving up to control the race as the riders will start to feel the effects of the race.

 

Matty Hayman gets a small gap on the bunch and it is Peter Kennaugh who tries to bridge across to him.

 

Dario Cataldo has joined  Kennaugh and Hayman and the trio are the first break to successfully get away from the peloton.

 

Lap nine and the leading three are joined by Trek's Calvin Watson and it looks like the peloton will let them go here.

What will Giant-Alpecin do here?

 

The average speed of the race with the peloton on lap 10 of 30 is 47km/h

 

Last year Richie Porte pulled out early in the race so to avoid any possible crashes. Will he and the overall GC riders do the same again this year? We will have to wait and see

 

Hayman and Watson tangle elbows and its Watson who takes the sprint points and 500 euros

 

Hayman and Watson tangle elbows and its Hayman who narrowly wins the points and 500 euros

 With 11 laps done, time for a quick recap of the race

Four leaders, Mat Hayman (Orica-GreenEdge), Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky), Calvin Watson (Team Sky) and Dario Cataldo (Astana) have built a 13 second lead over the peloton after numerous riders tried to force a break as Giant-Alpecin take over the pace setting duties

Don't forget you can find the complete start list for today's race and the Tour Down Under, right here.

 

While in Argentina the Tour de San Luis is set to start in a few days. Nairo Quintana returns to defend his 2014 win and you can find out what he's looking forward to in this interview.

 

On lap 13, the four leaders have built a lead of 20 seconds over the Giant-Alpecin led peloton who look very relaxed with the current state of affairs

 

For an indication of the pace back in the bunch, the peloton is spread across the road

 

As we reach the half-way point of the race, the four leaders are still out in the front with the average speed still at 47km/h

 

That was Hayman winning the sprint there ahead of Kennaugh so he has pocketed a cool thousand euros so far today

 

Giant-Alpecin are still setting the pace back in the peloton while Astana having moved up and are sitting in for now

 

Hayman is doing a lot of work in the breakaway at the moment

 

Kennaugh now comes to the front and puts his head down

 

Time gaps have been scare to come by but it appears the break have grown its lead to 35 seconds.

 

Will Giant-Alpecin ask for help to bring back this breakaway with 11 laps left to race?

 

Lampre-Merida are moving up in the bunch as their man for the sprint, Niccolò Bonifazio, could pull off a surprise win today

 

Cataldo takes his turn on the front of the bunch which is working well together here.

 

Cataldo attacked to contest the sprint point but it was Kennaugh's fast finish giving the British national champion the win while Watson was in third as Hayman didn't contest that one

 

The peloton has the breakaway in its sights for the majority of this circuit due to the long flat sections and the peloton looks like it getting organised for the last 8 laps of the race with 12 seconds the advantage

 

Lap 22 and its all over for the four leaders who gave it a real crack as Lotto-Soudal come to the front of the bunch 

 

Westra has burst out of the bunch and is going to try his luck with the catch being made

 

IAM Cycling and Drapac are also looking to move up and get their sprinters in position with eight laps to go

 

Sam Bewley, a Katusha rider and one from Etixx-Quick Step have now tried to get clear but Thomas De Ghent is closing it all down

 

Lap 24 of 30 and Cannondale-Garmin are moving up as the average speed hits 49km/h

 

Astana have been very active tonight as Davide Malacarne adds his name to the list of attackers

 

Etixx-Quick Step have moved up and will look to protect Mark Renshaw and Gianni Meersman before dropping them off to finish the job.

 

G Thomas has built a 30 meter lead over the break but isn't getting any further than that at the moment with 25 laps completed

 

Katusha and Lotto-Jumbo are now also moving up the bunch as Team Sky takes over the pace setting duty with the average now at 50km/h

 

Sky will be riding for Chris Sutton here. Remember last year that he finished fourth with a broken wrist!

 

Lotto-Soudal are moving up on the left but its Giant-Alpecin timing its effort and getting into position with three laps to go

 

There are a lot of riders going backwards now as the pace quickens thanks to the efforts of Tinkoff-Saxo and Mick Rogers

 

Two laps to go!

 

Drapac are the next team to move up as the look to position Wouter Wippert for the sprint on lap 28

 

Team Sky have lost their riders as IAM Cycling and Giant-Alpecin swell to the front as the come through for lap 29 with the speed at 52km/h 

 

FDJ with Lorrenzo Manzin are also moving up but is IAM Cycling controlling the pace with Haussler sitting in

 

The riders come through for the bell lap and that lap was at an average speed of 53km/h with riders and teams all over the road

 

Kittel is sitting in second wheel with one corner to go

 

Marcel Kittel wins the bunch sprint just as he did last year!

 

Looks like Lobato in second place and Wouter Wippert in third

 

Results Result#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult 1Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin1:02:41  2Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team   3Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac Professional Cycling   4Chris Sutton (Aus) Team Sky   5Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling   6Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step   7Rudiger Selig (Ger) Team Katusha   8Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale   9Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx - Quick-Step   10Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin  

Results Result#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult 1Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin1:02:41  2Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team   3Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac Professional Cycling   4Chris Sutton (Aus) Team Sky   5Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling   6Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step   7Rudiger Selig (Ger) Team Katusha   8Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale   9Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx - Quick-Step   10Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin  

So Kittel makes it two in a row with great work by his Giant-Alpecin team and despite fast finishes by Wouter Wippert and Juan Jose Lobato, the German finished a bike length in front 

Thanks for joining us for the live report of the People's Choice Classic.

 

Keep on clicking back to Cyclingnews for a full race report, full results and photos for the race. We will also have interviews with the riders for your reading pleasure

 

We will next be live on Tuesday for the first stage of the Tour Down Under so join us then!

 

Result
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin 1:02:41
2 Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team
3 Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac Professional Cycling
4 Chris Sutton (Aus) Team Sky
5 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
6 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
7 Rudiger Selig (Ger) Team Katusha
8 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx - Quick-Step
10 Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto-Soudal

 

Result

1 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin 1:02:41
2 Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team
3 Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac Professional Cycling
4 Chris Sutton (Aus) Team Sky
5 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
6 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
7 Rudiger Selig (Ger) Team Katusha
8 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx - Quick-Step
10 Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto-Soudal

 

Thanks again for joining us. You can find results, images and our report, right here.

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