The Tour Down Under is back for 2014, hitting the streets of Adelaide for the People’s Choice Classic, a fast 50km criterium that traditionally opens the Tour Down Under carnival, though the race does not count towards TDU standings.
People flocked to the city to catch of glimpse of the riders as they kicked off the UCI Pro season.
There were barbeques and marquees everywhere, thousands of fans – many decked out in lycra with a bike in tow – and even a food truck festival inside the circuit, as Adelaide put on a show worthy of such a wonderful event.
It was fantastic to see so many families lining the course, many children adorned with sponsors apparel handed out by the cars in the Tour Parade before the race. There aren’t many elite sports where you can get so close to the action for free, and it’s little wonder this event continues to grow in stature every year.
The racing was fast and action packed, with a fantastic sprint finish by the two gun German sprinters, three time Classic winner Andre Greipel of Lotto Belisol and youngster Marcel Kittel of Giant Shimano, with rising star Kittel riding past Greipel in the last few metres to win his first People’s Choice Classic.
The Tour Down Under kicks off with the San Remo Pasta Stage 1 on Tuesday, a 135km journey from Nuriootpa to Angaston. Keep following us here on Rolling in the Heat for the most comprehensive coverage of Australia’s premier cycling event. Stories, photographs and more, this is your place for the Tour Down Under in 2014.