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Santos Tour Down Under 2015: Stage 1

Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 1 of the 2015 Santos Tour Down Under

Stage one of the Tour Down Under gets under way in just under one hour. Join us for live coverage of the race right here

BMC presented its star rider Cadel Evans with a special gift ahead of his impending retirement: a specially developed and painted Teammachine SLR01, designed to tell the story of his cycling life.

Have a look at the bike by clicking here

 

The Tour Down Under isn't the only race on right now. The Tour de San Luis is also taking place.

 

Want to know who won stage one? Click here for the race report, results and photos

 

 

Marcel Kittel is the pick of the sprinters this week in Adelaide but with the steep Checkers Hill featuring in the final 30km of the race today, teams could decide to go full gas and drop the German on what is generally regarded as a day for the fast men.

Watch for the likes of IAM Cycling, Drapac and Etixx-Quick Step who all have riders that would benefit from this tactic

 

Wouter Wippert is only racing one WorldTour event in 2015 and the 24-year-old is looking to start it off with a stage win.

Read more about the Drapac rider's ambitions for the race by clicking here

 

We are 15 minutes away from the start of stage one in Tanunda. Find the race route here and read how Matt White expects the stage to play out

 

Make sure you book mark our start list page so you know who all the riders in the race are

 

 

 Want to see who we've tipped for overall Tour Down Under success? Watch this video to find out

The riders have signed on for the 133km stage from Tanunda to Campbelltown and we will be under way very shortly now

 

Here's what Marcel Kittel had to say at the start of Stage One

 

"I only saw the last 20km of the race at training. It's not easy! I'm not sure if it'll be a sprint with the whole bunch. It depends on how the other teams race. We actually have another big goal to focus on gc (with Tom Dumoulin)."

 

Australian national champion Heinrich Haussler is hoping to take out the win today. Here's what he ahd to say on the the start line.

 

 

"It all depends on how fast we'll climb but the race only 150km long and everyone is fresh at this time of the year. So I believe everyone will be up there for sprinting.

 

Even if Kittel is I'm confident I can beat him. I know it from the crit on Sunday. I got blocked and I had to brake hard, otherwise... I'm not the only one who can beat Kittel though. Impey, Lobato...

 

And we are go! The 2015 Tour Down Under is under way and the riders are off and racing

 

With no  neutral section to start the stage, it is racing from the gun today

 

FDJ's Jeremy Roy gave his predictions for the stage day.

 

"Haussler is the favourite for beating Kittel. The finish is a false flat uphill. We expect some head wind there but it's not windy this morning. We'll try to position our young sprinter Lorrenzo Manzin well before the start."

 

There are two sprint points today, coming at 28.4km and 60.4km

The one king of the mountain point is at Checker Hill Road after 104.1km

The day's feed station is 81.8km into the stage

 

The first riders to attack are Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), Lieuwe Westra (Astana) and Maxim Belkov (Katusha)

 

Jack Bobridge (UniSA) has now joined the three leaders on the road

 

Cadel Evans (BMC) gave his thoughts on the race as he signed on

Here's what he had to say;

"It's another race, and like always, we are going to try to do our best. Today is not a day for me. I want to stay in front, and take advantage of any opportunity that might come today. For myself, I want to stay out of trouble, as the contenders for the overall are doing, for my last WorldTour race.

 

"This is my 10th Tour Down Under, I was here for first five, so it's been a long history, and a very nice one. I've rested well, and we've had some good training this week. We've got some good weather here as well."

 

The four leaders on the road have a gap of 34 seconds to the peloton

 

Cadel Evans (BMC) gave his thoughts on the race as he signed on

 

Here's what he had to say;

 

"It's another race, and like always, we are going to try to do our best. Today is not a day for me. I want to stay in front, and take advantage of any opportunity that might come today. For myself, I want to stay out of trouble, as the contenders for the overall are doing, for my last WorldTour race.

 

"This is my 10th Tour Down Under, I was here for first five, so it's been a long history, and a very nice one. I've rested well, and we've had some good training this week. We've got some good weather here as well."

 

124km remaining from 133km

The leaders now have over one minute between themselves and the peloton 

122km remaining from 133km

The gap is up to two minutes and ten seconds

The peloton is passing through the town of Angaston at the moment with the break looking like it is well established now

 

119km remaining from 133km

The four leaders are maintaining its 2:10 minute lead over the peloton

 

118km remaining from 133km

Back in the bunch, Team Sky are controlling the pace

 

118km remaining from 133km

The breakaway has built its lead to 2:30 minutes with the peloton happy with the four riders who got away

 

Maxim Belkov from Katusha raced the Tour Down Under last year, finishing 106th and also rode the race in 2012 when he placed 45th.

 

The biggest win of his career was in 2013 when he took out a stage at the Giro d'Italia

 

Lieuwe Westra is back at the Tour Down Under for a second straight year with Astana. The 32-year-old was 83rd overall in 2014 and went on to win stages at the  Volta Ciclista a Catalunya and Critérium du Dauphiné as well.

 

109km remaining from 133km

The four leaders now have 2:45 minutes on the peloton which is being led by Team Sky and now Giant-Alpecin are lending a hand to ensure the gap doesn't blow out too much

 

107km remaining from 133km

We are approaching the first sprint point of the day. Will the breakaway contest this or focus on building its advantage over the peloton?

 

107km remaining from 133km

Sébastien Chavanel calls for assistance back in the peloton after G Thomas (Team Sky) just done the same

 

105km remaining from 133km

The winner of that first sprint is Jack Bobridge with Westra in second place 

Bobridge will make an attempt at the Hour Record next Saturday in Melbourne and is using the Tour Down Under as training.

 

A former national Australian road champion. Bobridge is riding for the Continental Budget Forklifts team in 2015, having spent the last few years in the WorldTour, as he eyes off an Olympic gold medal on the track in 2016 

 

102km remaining from 133km

Martijn Keizer(Team LottoNL-Jumbo) is the next rider to call for assistence from his team car

 

102km remaining from 133km

The gap is at 2:35 minutes now

So the full results of that first sprint are;

Jack Bobridge, Lieuwe Westra, Maxim Belkov and Luke Durbridge

 

The third member of our four rider breakaway is Luke Durbridge from Orica-GreenEdge.

 

Durbridge is a two-time Australian national time trial champion and one time road race champion. His palmares also includes the prologue of the 2012 Critérium du Dauphiné and overall victory at the Tour du Poitou Charentes and Circuit cycliste Sarthe.

 

Both Bobridge and Luke Durbridge were part of the four-man team pursuit squad that won gold in 2011 at the Track World Championships

 

100km remaining from 133km

We have an even 100km left to race today as the four leaders have completed the first lap of the Barossa circuit

 

99km remaining from 133km

The gap is holding at 2:20 minutes

 

98km remaining from 133km

Team Sky and Giant-Alpecin are controlling things back in the bunch and have brought back the breakaway ever so slightly with the lead now at 2:10 minutes

 

Boris Vallée from Lotto-Soudal has a puncture

 

97km remaining from 133km

BMC have now come to the front now to lend a hand

 

The organisers of the Giro d'Italia announced the wild cards teams for the 2015 edition of the race. 

 

One of those was CCC Sprandi. Read about their reaction to the news by clicking here

 

 

Some other news you have missed out on was Peter Sagan revealing his race program for the season.

Click here to see where Sagan will be lining up throughout 2015

 

In the USA there was more good news regarding the growth of women's cycling 2015

Read about the new BMW team by clicking here

 

89km remaining from 133km

Back to the race for an update

 

The four riders in the breakaway have a lead of 2:20 minutes over the peloton which is being controlled by Team Sky, Giant-Alpecin and BMC

 

This time last year, Diego Ulissi was winning stage 2 of the Tour Down and finishing third overall. 2015 hasn't started that well for the Italian though with Ulissi being handed a nine-month ban for a positive test at the 2014 Giro d'Italia.

 

Read more about the suspension by clicking here

 

86km remaining from 133km

The breakway's lead has edged closer to 2:15 minutes now as they pass through Angaston for the final time today

 

Here's Westra before stage one of last year's Tour Down Under when he made his racing debut in Australia.

 

83km remaining from 133km

With 50km raced, the gap to the four leaders has been brought down to 2:05 minutes with Team Sky and Giant-Alpecin still sitting on the front of the main bunch

 

Quick recap from today for our readers

Three riders in Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge), Lieuwe Westra (Astana) and Maxim Belkov (Katusha) successfully attacked in the opening kilometres of the race to open up a gap on the peloton. They were joined by UniSA's Jack Bobridge and quickly built a lead of over two minutes.

 

The four-leaders have enjoyed a lead that has hovered between two and two and half minutes as Team Sky and Giant-Alpecin control the chase back in the bunch

 

76km remaining from 133km

Three kilometres until the second sprint of the day for the riders

 

74km remaining from 133km

The gap to the leaders is now just 1:45 minutes

 

73km remaining from 133km

The winner of the second sprint of the day is Belkov

 

73km remaining from 133km

The winner of the second sprint of the day is Durbridge ahead of Belkov

Westra in third and Bobridge in fourth 

67km remaining from 133km

We've reached the half way point of the race and the four-leaders have a gap of 1:40 minutes back to the peloton 

Tim Roe (Drapac) has a puncture

 

64km remaining from 133km

The break is holding a 1:40 minute advantage over the peloton

 

59km remaining from 133km

The gap is down to 1:04 minutes with the king of the mountains point fast approaching

 

Gap sits at just 50 seconds now

54km remaining from 133km

The gap is holding, now at 55 seconds

 

53km remaining from 133km

Winds are pushing the riders to the left-hand side of the road with the feed zone coming up

 

52km remaining from 133km

The riders are taking on food now with Giant-Alpecin still at the front of the peloton with the gap sitting at 1:05 minutes

 

The intermediate sprints offer bonus seconds at the race so it is Bobridge and Durbridge who took the maximum amount of time on offer.

 

49km remaining from 133km

Things will start  to heat up now as it is just 20km until we hit Checker Hill

 

One rider in the bunch is enjoying his birthday today and that is  Pablo Lastras Garcia from Movistar. He turns 39 today

 

47km remaining from 133km

Giant-Alpecin, Team Sky and BMC are leading the chase of the break with the gap hovering around one minute

 

Once the riders crest Checker Hill, it will be a very fast descent into Campbelltown with just a small 'pinch' of a climb after Cudlee Creek

 

The peloton will take the Gorge Road into Campbelltown with speeds expected of 85-90km/h

 

42km remaining from 133km

With 91km raced, the lead is down to 35 seconds now with Checker Hill approaching

 

41km remaining from 133km

The gap has gone out to 47 seconds now as the team's get ready to position their protected riders into position before the climb up Checker Hill

 

The peloton has spread across the road having got the break within its sights. Expect the catch to be made on the climb now with everyone covering their bases back in the bunch as the gap hovers at 31 seconds

 

39km remaining from 133km

It is Ag2r, BMC, Orica-GreenEdge, Team Sky spread across the front of the bunch at the moment

 

39km remaining from 133km

It is Ag2r, BMC, Orica-GreenEdge, Team Sky and Tinkoff-Saxo spread across the front of the bunch at the moment

 

36km remaining from 133km

There is also some Trek representation at the front of the bunch now as they race along at 56km/h 

35km remaining from 133km

The break of four are working together and taking turns but with Checker Hill just a few kilometres away, the peloton is happy with proceedings and will be confident the catch will be made successfully

 

34km remaining from 133km

The four riders have 1:05 minutes over the peloton at the moment

 

32km remaining from 133km

The bunch is busy getting ready for the climb while in front, the break is trying to build its lead to maximum effect before the climb in hope of staying away

 

31km remaining from 133km

Tinkoff-Saxo has come to the front of the bunch with the leaders sitting on a 1:13 minutes lead

 

Just a few weeks ago, this area of South Australia was engulfed in flame and that is evident from the blackened roadsides the riders are passing through now

 

29km remaining from 133km

Bobridge and Durbrdige are looking to claim this KOM point

 

29km remaining from 133km

Bobridge really went for that and wins the KOM ensuring that he will make a visit to the podium to collect the jersey after the stage.

 

The gap back to the peloton is now 46 seconds

 

28km remaining from 133km

Bobridge and Durbridge have gone clear of Westra and Belkov and will look to take this to the line

 

27km remaining from 133km

Race radio is stating the speed of the two leader just reached 97km/h on the descent as Westra and Belkov make contact

 

24km remaining from 133km

No big gaps back in the peloton but with the break holding 56 second advantage, can they stay away?

 

23km remaining from 133km

With two team pursuit world champions in this breakaway, that's plenty of power to make this a success and upset the peloton on day one

 

IAM Cycling are chasing now as they look to get Haussler over the line in first place

 

22km remaining from 133km

Race radio has the gap at 21 seconds now

 

20km remaining from 133km

BMC, Team Sky and IAM Cycling have all gone to the front to bring this break back

 

19km remaining from 133km

The breakaway is using every inch of the road to try and stay away with 25 seconds the difference

 

18km remaining from 133km

Peter Kennaugh is working hard for Team Sky who will be looking to CJ Sutton to finish off the job today

 

17km remaining from 133km

This break is still working hard to stay away with the four riders taking turns on the front

 

16km remaining from 133km

The gap is 25 seconds

 

16km remaining from 133km

The bunch is strung out now with about 200 metres separating them from the four leaders

 

14km remaining from 133km

It is just 16 seconds betwen the break and peloton as G Thomas rejoins the bunch after a bike change

 

13km remaining from 133km

The fast pace means that the race will finish well inside the scheduled time of 1:50pm. Let's hope there isn't a GreenEdge bus anywhere near by

 

10km remaining from 133km

10km left to race. Can the break hold on? They have 25 seconds over the chasing bunch

 

9km remaining from 133km

In the peloton, Etixx-Quick Step are taking up the chase. Is Gianni Meersman their man for today?

 

Luke Durbridge is the most aggressive rider from today's stage

 

4km remaining from 133km

It is 28 seconds advantage for the leaders with just 4km left to race

 

5km remaining from 133km

Tinkoff-Saxo are now also helping on the front of the bunch

 

5km remaining from 133km

It is 28 seconds advantage for the leaders with just 5km left to race

 

6km remaining from 133km

With 5km left to race, the breakaway has 40 seconds over the bunch

5km remaining from 133km

With 5km left to race, the breakaway has 40 seconds over the bunch

4km remaining from 133km

The break has three kilometres to go and has 40 seconds over the bunch, they might just hold on here 

131km remaining from 133km

 There is a one kilometre gap on the gap between the break and the peloton

131km remaining from 133km

The gap is at 33 seconds now

 

132km remaining from 133km

Final kilometre for the breakaway and they look to be home. Who will have the legs for the sprint with 20 seconds back to the peloton?

 

132km remaining from 133km

The peloton has them in their sites

 

What a ride by Jack Bobridge to win the opening stage of the Tour Down Under

 

Bobridge had enough time to look back and see who was closing but there was no one. An upset win by UniSA but well deserved ahead of the WorldTour riders

 

The top ten from the stage was

Result

1 Jack Bobridge (Aus) UniSA-Australia 2:59:44
2 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team
3 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
4 Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team Katusha
5 Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida
6 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
7 Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team
8 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
9 Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-Australia
10 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge

 

And the top ten on GC

General classification after stage 1

1 Jack Bobridge (Aus) UniSA-Australia 2:59:31
2 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team 0:00:04
3 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 0:00:06
4 Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team Katusha 0:00:10
5 Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:00:13
6 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
7 Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team
8 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
9 Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-Australia
10 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge

 

We will have a full report with results and pictures from stage one up shortly.

 

Thanks for joining us today as Jack Bobridge won his first TDU stage of his career and will wear the ochre leader's jersey for stage two.

 

We'll be live again tomorrow for the 150km stage from Unley to Stirling.

 

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