Marcel Kittel wins People’s Choice Classic

German speedster Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) has sprinted home to claim the 2014 People’s Choice Classic crown ahead of countryman Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) and Australian young gun Caleb Ewan (UniSA-Australia) in the curtain-raiser for the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under.

TDU Peoples Choice Crit

The 25-year-old, who won four stages of last year’s Tour de France, demonstrated he has brought strong form with him from Europe as he edged out Greipel to cross the line in a time of 1 hour 4 minutes and 35 seconds at the end of the 50km race.

“I’m really impressed by the boys today they did a great job, a big thank you goes to the team,” said Kittel of his Giant-Shimano team mates.

In glorious summer evening conditions fans were thrilled as the peloton raced along a challenging 2km circuit along the banks of Adelaide’s River Torrens.

TDU Peoples Choice Crit

Two laps into the race four riders rode clear to vie for prizemoney in three of the four intermediate sprints contested at the end lap five, ten and 15. Australian Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp) claimed all three of the sprints ahead of his breakaway companions Italian Luca Wackermann (Lampre-Merida) and French pair Axel Domont (AG2R La Mondiale) and Anthony Roux (FDJ.fr).

A touch of wheels on the corner into the home straight at the end of lap six brought down about 25 riders including Italian Giovanni Viscontini (Movistar) who was taken to Adelaide Hospital with a compound fracture to his right tibia. The remainder of the crashed riders dusted themselves off and rejoined the race.

The chances of the breakaway quartet staying clear were always slim as the teams of the sprinters used the opportunity to test out their lead out trains ahead of this week’s Santos Tour Down Under, the first UCI WorldTour race of the season.

Click here to see a gallery of large photos from the People’s Choice Classic. Follow this link for results from the 2014 People’s Choice Classic. Text via Santos Tour Down Under press release.

Loes Gunnewijk wins stage 1 of the Santos Women’s Cup

The first stage of the three-stage Santos Women’s Cup was held last night as a curtain-raiser to the People’s Choice Classic and was held on the same Adelaide circuit over 35 minutes plus two laps.

Loes Gunnewijk powers to victory on stage 1 of the Santos Women's Cup.

Loes Gunnewijk powers to victory on stage 1 of the Santos Women’s Cup.

Orica-AIS were the team to beat with nine riders on the startlist and they showed their depth and talent by being in all the notable moves.

After being part of a four-rider break that was neutralised by the main field, Orica-AIS’s Loes Gunnewijk launched a solo breakaway a little over halfway through the race. Despite the best efforts of Bridie O’Donnell (Total Rush-Hyster), no-one was able to bridge to Gunnewijk and the Dutchwoman powered away to an impressive solo victory.

Back in the peloton Orica-AIS set up a lead-out for Mel Hoskins who took second while Nettie Edmondson rounded out an all-Orica-AIS podium.

“It’s a nice win and a good start of the season for me,” said Gunnewijk, who is registered as an independent rider at the Santos Women’s Cup. “I didn’t have any wins last year, and this year to win already in Adelaide at the start of the Tour Down Under is really special. To have Nettie and Mel on the podium with me makes the win even better.”

Today’s second stage of the Santos Women’s Cup is a 98km road race that starts and finishes in Angaston. There were suggestions that the race would be cancelled due to bushfires in the area but Cycling South Australia has announced this morning that the race will go ahead as planned.

Follow the link for full results from stage 1 of the 2014 Santos Women’s Cup.

Santos Tour Down Under stage 1 to go ahead as planned after bushfire threat

Tomorrow’s opening stage of the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under appears to be going ahead as planned following the threat of cancellation due to bushfires near the race route in South Australia’s Barossa Valley.


Although last week’s heatwave has now passed, bushfires in the area prompted concern from local authorities. Race organiser Mike Turtur said in a press conference over the weekend that the conditions would be monitored and a decision made and announced this evening.

With the fire in the Barossa now contained, the race looks to be continuing as planned, running 135km from Nuriootpa to Angaston. Official confirmation from the race organisers is expected soon.

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

Tour de San Luis starts today

The UCI 2.1 Tour de San Luis gets underway in Argentina today with a host of the world’s best cyclist in attendance: Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan, Nairo Quintana, Tom Boonen and Vincenzo Nibali to name just a few.

The seven-stage race features six road stages — three of them with a summit finish, and three with mostly flat parcours — and an individual time trial on stage 5.

We’ll be bringing you results and reports from the Tour de San Luis in the Rocacorba Daily over the coming week.

Click here for the 2014 Tour de San Luis startlist. Click here for a preview of the race over at VeloNews.

BMC undecided on whether to fill Ballan’s spot

Italy’s Olympic Committee (CONI) announced on Friday that former world road race champion Alessandro Ballan has been given a two year ban for “the use or attempted use of banned substances”. He was promptly sacked by Team BMC.

Allesandro Ballan

A few days on it’s unclear whether BMC will fill the vacancy left by Ballan.

“There has been no decision made on filling the available roster spot, nor is there a timetable right now for doing so,” a BMC Racing Team spokesperson told VeloNation.

Ballan himself has described his two-year ban as too harsh, saying to Gazzetta dello Sport that he was sanctioned due to having ozone therapy which, he claims, was to help his recovery from acute hepatitis. Ozone therapy is banned by WADA.

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

Frank Schleck still has “a lot to show”

Trek Factory Racing’s Frank Schleck returns to competition this week, making the 2014 Tour Down Under his first race since testing positive for Xipamide at the 2012 Tour de France.

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Schleck told reporters yesterday that he still has a lot to show in cycling and that he wants to leave the past behind.

“I don’t have to win this race, but I want to ride myself back into confidence,” Schleck said. “It doesn’t [matter] if I finish 25th or 50th or maybe even win. What’s important is that I will take my flight back home next week and have a smile on my face.”

Schleck admits that the lack of racing in the past 18 months will leave him short of leg speed but he’s hoping to be back on track to be competitive at the Ardennes Classics.

In the meantime we just hope that “still having a lot to show” is unrelated to this picture of Schleck.

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

Philippe Gilbert raises expectations ahead of 2014 season

Former world champion Philippe Gilbert is the first to admit that he’s been off his best in the past two years, but the Belgian is looking forward to a fresh start in 2014.

Gent - Wevelgem 2013

“[2013] was not my best season,” Philippe told Le Soir, “but a career consists of ups and downs. “I made some tactical mistakes, like wrong choices in my race programme. But I look forward – the future interests me more.”

Gilbert suggests that a great offseason has put him in great stead for the year ahead.

“I had a real holiday after the season and almost shut myself off from the outside world. I have no worries, could train and am now a lot sharper, as with my best winters.”

Gilbert won 18 races in 2011, including a stage at the Tour de France, the Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallone and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

Team UniSA: National Team or NRS team?

The make-up of the UniSA/Australian national team for this year’s Santos Tour Down Under has raised a few eyebrows with five of the seven riders on the team coming from Avanti (formerly Huon-Genesys).

Avanti has been one of the most dominant forces in the NRS in recent years but the make-up of the national team has led some to question whether the selection process was fair.

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In this piece on SBS’s Cycling Central Belinda Hoare writes:

“As a proud South Australian, I’ll declare that my initial surprise and disappointment was that it will be the first year in 14 editions of the TDU that Team UniSA-Australia won’t feature a local South Australian rider. No Queensland riders either, and none from the ACT.”

“I believe it’s time for those in charge of Team UniSA to either institute a clear and transparent selection policy that gives all riders equal opportunity, regardless of state and team affiliation.”

Click here to read more.

Songs about bikes and cycling

This is a fun little post from the team at Total Women’s Cycling that simply pulls together a bunch of cycling-related songs from around the world and across the years. All the usuals are there (Queen’s Bicycle Race, for example), but there are a few there you mightn’t have heard.

Check out the post here.

Sugoi Zap jacket

The video below is an ad for a handful of Sugio’s new cycling apparel products and the first of those featured, the Zap jacket, really caught our eye.

The jacket is reportedly embedded with thousands of tiny glass beads which make the jacket super-reflective under artificial light at night, but during the day the jacket just looks like any other rain jacket. Check it out.

Click here to read more at road.cc.

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed here at CyclingTips:

Today’s feature image was taken by Tim Bardsley-Smith and shows Marcel Kittel just squeezing past Andre Greipel to win last night’s People’s Choice Classic here in Adelaide.