On Tour, Down Under

As the curtain rose for another season of spills and thrills in the professional peloton at the Tour Down Under (TDU), Rapha photographers Beardy McBeard (Marcus Enno) and Kei Tsuji were on hand to capture the excitement. From pocket rocket Caleb Ewan’s explosive sprinting to Sergio Henao’s tussle with former team mate Richie Porte on Willunga Hill, the race set the bar high for the rest of the year. Rapha opened a Pop Up for the duration in Adelaide city centre, hosting a series of rides and events, and of course, made its now-traditional pilgrimage to Willunga Hill for the Queen Stage.

The great Fausto Coppi once said that “age and treachery will overcome youth and skill” – not if you are 21-year-old Caleb Ewan it won’t. The Orica-GreenEdge sprinter won the first and last stages of the TDU this year, as well as the pre-race People’s Choice Crit, with a dominance reminiscent of a young Mark Cavendish. [Photo: Beardy McBeard]
Nathan Haas has moved to the team formerly known as MTN–Qhubeka, Dimension Data, for this season. One of the African squad’s hopes for the general classification at the TDU, the Australian admitted that the heat had affected him on Stage 3 and finished 41st overall at the end of the week. [Photo: Kei Tsuji]
Breakaways are rarely allowed much freedom at the Tour Down Under these days, as the race has become more and more about teams securing some early-season WorldTour points. Nothing will ever stop the plucky baroudeurs from trying their luck however. [Photo: Kei Tsuji]
In a race dictated by Australian talent, it was young Jay McCarthy’s (above, in fluoro yellow) performances over the week – including this photo-finish win on Stage 2 – that impressed many. The Tinkoff rider’s career results get better every year. [Photo: Kei Tsuji]
Team Sky sought to make the race as much as possible throughout, providing lead outs for Ben Swift and protecting Sergio Henao’s general classification hopes. The Colombian (pictured above) ended up third overall and took home the climber’s jersey. [Photo: Beardy McBeard]
Team Sky Welshman Luke Rowe reflects on another tough day at the office. He was putting miles in the bank ahead of the spring Classics, when he’ll be looking to lead the team at races such as Paris-Roubaix. [Photo: Beardy McBeard]
As with every year, Willunga Hill provided a gunslinger’s showdown between the race’s best climbers. Here, Team Sky’s Sergio Henao and Cannondale’s Michael Woods chase after Richie Porte of BMC, who went on to conquer the climb for the third consecutive year. [Photo: Beardy McBeard]
Orica-GreenEdge’s Simon Gerrans combines leg strength with race-savvy, and after measuring his effort up Willunga Hill, and winning bonus seconds throughout the race, he took the ochre jersey and shield for overall winner by just nine seconds. [Photo: Beardy McBeard]
The Rapha Australia team put on an exciting schedule of events and rides throughout the week, notably the series of ‘passport rides’ which left the Pop Up Adelaide every day and headed out to key vantage points to watch the pros race by. [Photo: Beardy McBeard]
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Partnering with the Norwood Cycle Club, The Rapha pilgrimage to Willunga Hill again proved a successful day on the bike for the hundreds that turned up to ride out and worship their heroes on the hillside. [Photo: Beardy McBeard]
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Tiffany Cromwell of the CANYON//SRAM Racing team was the surprise guest-of-honour at the Pop Up Women’s Ride. Here, she takes a roll-out selfie with the hordes of ride participants. [Photo: Beardy McBeard]