ORICA-GreenEDGE delivers on promise at People's Choice ClassicSun 18 Jan 2015
The promise was to light up the Santos Tour Down Under and that is exactly what ORICA-GreenEDGE delivered at the People’s Choice Classic opening criterium this evening.
In front of healthy Adelaide crowds the team was ready to pounce, 2013 national champion Luke Durbridge the first to show his colours off the front of the peloton in the first of thirty laps of racing.
But it was a solo attack by Commonwealth Games champion Mathew Hayman on the ninth lap that cause the day’s major breakaway.
Hayman was shortly joined by Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky), Calvin Watson (Trek Factory Racing) and Dario Cataldo (Astana Pro Team) and the quartet worked well together to extend a maximum advantage of around 30seconds.
Each of the intermediate sprints were hotly contested within the group, Hayman collecting the honours on two of the three occasions before the break was eventually caught by a chasing peloton led by Team Giant-Alpecin with eight laps to race.
For the second year running, Marcel Kittel (Team Giant-Alpecin) took out the Classic victory in a bunch sprint.
ORICA-GreenEDGE sport director Matt White said whilst they put on a show, the team’s major focus was the official race start on Tuesday.
“The boys were under no pressure this evening,” White said.
“It was a good opportunity to test the legs but traditionally this race ends in a sprint, as it did today, so the boys were just having a bit of fun out there.
“It’s all about getting ready for Tuesday.”