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Santos Tour Down Under 2016: Down Under Classic (Adelaide)

Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the Down Under Classic. The 51km evening criterium opens the 2016 Tour Down Under which starts on Tuesday with a 130.8km stage from Prospect to Lyndoch. Orica-GreenEdge sports director Matt White has written stage-by-stage guides for the Tour Down Under which you can read by clicking here.

Cyclingnews will have live coverage for all six stages of the Tour Down Under, along with race reports, results, news and daily video highlights so make sure to keep clicking back over the week for all the latest from Adelaide. 

 

SwiftCarbon's first aero road bike will make its racing debut tonight. Drapac's Graeme Brown will be riding a custom painted HyperVox, which we had a look at earlier today. Click here to read more and look through the gallery 

Caleb Ewan starts the Down Under Classic as one the riders to beat. The Australian criterium champion made his debut at the race two years ago, finishing third behind Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel, and the Orica-GreenEdge fast finisher is looking to continue his winning start to the season. Click here to read about Ewan's ambitions for the Tour Down Under

 

Don't forget to follow Cyclingnews on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for further content and photographs

 

For our 2016 race preview of the Tour Down Under, click here

 

Last night the Tour Down Under team presentation took place. To have a look through the gallery of new kits, click here

 

Tour Down Under: Down Under Classic preview

Orica-GreenEdge sports director Matt White says...

"Day 1 of the WorldTour and everyone, especially the sprint orientated teams, will be keen to start the season with a bang. A nice hit out in front of great crowds is the ideal way to get the WorldTour circus up and running.

 

"Being a criterium to start with I think our biggest threat will come from the likes of riders like Wouter Wippert from Cannondale who sprints well fresh."

Prediction - Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge)

 

The Down Under Classic gets underway in just over one hour. Current weather conditions are a warm 32 degrees celsius and 15% humidity with little change expected before the peloton takes to the start line

 

Former champion Cameron Meyer is eyeing off overall honours at the Tour Down Under, click here to read more

 

Jarlinson Pantano warns about Colombian ambitions at the Tour Down Under, click here to read more about the IAM Cycling climber

 

Here is the race map and profile for the Down Under Classic in case you haven't seen it yet

 

The Santos Women's Tour stage, held on the same course as the Down Under Classic, has been raced and won. Annette Edmondson and Chloe Hosking made it a one-two for Wiggle High5. You can read the full race report by clicking here

 

The winner of the last two pre-Tour Down Under criteriums, Marcel Kittel, is absent in 2016 which leaves Graeme Brown and Greg Henderson as the only riders on the start list to have previously won the race.

 

Andre Greipel, Robbie McEwen, Matt Goss, and Baden Cooke are all previous winners

 

Just over five minutes until racing gets underway here!

 

Australian criterium champion Calen Ewan is debuting his green and gold jersey tonight. Will he win wearing the national colours?

 

The riders are on the start list and we are almost ready to start the first of the 51km

 

51km remaining from 51km

And we are off! Astana take control of the race from the gun

 

It's Lars Boom doing the early damage to stretch the peloton into one long line. Welcome to season 2016 the Dutchman appears to be saying to his fellow riders

 

Orica-GreenEdge have placed a rider at the front of the peloton now, just slotting in behind Astana with Tinkoff and Lampre-Merida also showing themselves

 

Westra from Astana is trying to get a small group clear off the front of the peloton as the peloton approaches the start of lap 2

 

Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff) and Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) are trying to get clear of the peloton

 

Onto lap 5 so points will be on offer at the first sprint of the race

 

Lap 5: AG2R La Mondiale, Dimension Data and UniSA-Australia are on the front of the peloton in anticipation of this first sprint

 

Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg of Dimension Data takes the first sprint of the race

 

It's a fast and frenetic start to the race with the peloton all together again on lap 6 but expect more riders to quickly launch attacks 

 

Lap 7: The breakaway is still trying to form with Movistar, Tinkoff, Sky and Alexis Gougeard of AG2R ahead of the peloton at the moment

 

Orica-GreenEdge are all over the front of the peloton now with Cannondale also moving up in the distinctive green kit. The average speed by the way is 53km/h, they're flying!

 

The riders in the break are:  Jesse Sergent (AG2R), Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff), Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar), Lucas Hamilton (UniSA) and Sal Puccio (Sky)

 

Lap 10 means another sprint and we are one third through the race now

 

Jay McCarthy wins the sprint for lap 10

 

The breakaway now contains Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff), Johan Le Bon (FDJ) and Lars Bak (Lotto Soudal) with the race into the 12th lap

 

The peloton completed the first ten laps in an average speed of 51.5km/h

 

There are several moves at the front of the peloton on lap 13 with riders trying to join the leaders but it's far from easy considering this high pace on what is the first race day for the majority of riders

 

Caleb Ewan has had a very successful start to his season so far, winning three of the four Bay Cycling Classic races before claiming the national criterium title. Orica-GreenEdge are only riding for him today whereas from Tuesday the team have the dual ambition of GC and stage wins with Ewan and Simon Gerrans

 

There is just one rider out in front now and that is the Australian U23 national champion Chris Hamilton of UniSA

 

Meanwhile you can check out our bumper gallery of new bikes and equipment from the Tour Down Under: http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/tour-down-under-new-bikes-and-equipment-in-the-peloton-gallery/

 

Laurens De Vreese of Astana is trying to chase down Hamilton but it yet to bridge a nine second gap

 

Next time through the start/finish line is the lap 15 sprint which looks like going to Hamilton who is still out in front of the race

 

Aleksejs Saramotins of IAM Cycling and Orica-GreenEdge are leading the chase but it appears the peloton is content to let Hamilton enjoy his day in the sun as he wins the sprint point

 

We've ticked over the half way point of the race now with the peloton onto lap 16 of 30 and its Chris Hamilton (UniSA) leading over the IAM Cycling and Orica-GreenEdge led peloton who are riding for  Matteo Pelucchi and Caleb Ewan respectively

 

Chris Hamilton has been caught and now a three-man break is trying to get away with AG2R represented again along with a Etixx-Quick Step and Tinkoff rider

 

The AG2R rider in the breakaway is none other than  Christophe Riblon who is celebrating his birthday today. he is joined by Martin Velits of Etixx and Manuele Boaro of (Tinkoff)

 

A lot of the sprinter teams are sitting in at the moment, letting Orica-GreenEdge take control and do the work. For the likes of Wouter Wippert (Cannondale), Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) and JJ Lobato (Movistar) this is perfect for them

 

With 11 laps to go, the trio have have around 10 seconds on the chasing peloton which is still led by Orica-GreenEdge

 

With ten laps to race, this trio are starting to question each other and the sprinter teams are getting organised back in the bunch so expect it to be caught rather soon. First though, its the lap 20 sprint point up for grabs

 

Manuele Boaro and Martin Velits sprint for the points with the Tinkoff rider taking the minor cash prize

 

Michael Hepburn is leading the Orica-GreenEdge peloton as Manuele Boaro tries to stretch his small lead out with nine laps top race

 

You can also follow the UCI Track World Cup on Cyclingnews, with our new live video stream: http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/live-watch-the-uci-track-world-cup-on-cyclingnews/

 

With around 15 minutes to race, the sprinter teams are getting organised for the bunch sprint finish but there are a few rides trying to disrupt affairs

 

Johan Le Bon (FDJ) and Alexis Gougeard (AG2R) have joined Manuele Boaro at the front of the race

 

Team Sky are moving toward the front for ben Swift now with just over five laps to race

 

Caleb Ewan looking relaxed on Mat Hayman's wheel, just freewheeling in around 10th wheel

 

There are just five laps to race with Team Sky taking control of the peloton with Orica-GreenEdge sitting in just behind them as a few riders are falling off the back. Geraint Thomas and Peter Kennaugh are the riders doing the damage

 

Have you see our top five riders to watch at the Tour Down Under video yet? Check it out by clicking here

 

Graeme Brow is looking for Breton Jones to deliver his man to the win but there is still four laps to race

 

Graeme Brown is looking for Breton Jones to deliver his man to the win but there is still four laps to race

 

On lap 27, riders are making sure they know exactly where their teammates are as sprinters trying to stick on the wheels of their lead out men

Team Sky, Orica-GreenEdge, Trek-Segafredo, Lampre-Merida and Dimenson Data are heavily represented at the front of the race now with two laps to go

 

As Team Sky starts to lose men, Cannondale are timing their run up the right hand side of the road as Brown sits in around fifth wheel now

 

Cannondale are struggling to get out on in front with Sky down to one man for Swift while LottoJumbo also move up for Enrico Battaglin as we hear the bell lap

 

IAM Cycling are now looking to deliver  Matteo Pelucchi and Leigh Howard for the win

 

It's IAM Cycling and GreenEdge at the front now

 

Cannondale now move up with Wipeprt

 

it's the final kick!

 

Ewan wins!

 

It wasn't pretty to finish things off but Caleb Ewan finished off the job by Orica-GreenEdge to edge out Giacomo Nizzolo for the win

 

Adam Blythe and Ben Swift complete the top four but it was clearly Ewan's day today

 

To read the race report, click here. We'll be updating it with photos and results as soon as we have them.

Cannondale now move up with Wippert

 

Thanks for joining us for live coverage of the Down Under Classic. We will have live coverage of all six Tour Down Under stages from Tuesday. In the meantime, keep checking Cyclingnews.com for all the latest news 

We will also have daily video highlights all Tour Down Under along with race reports and news so keep clicking back to Cyclingnews for coverage of the first WorldTour race of 2016

 

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