10 photographs from the opening stage of the 2018 Tour Down Under

As the 2018 WorldTour season kicked off on Tuesday in Australia, top international cycling photographer Yuzuru Sunada captured the action

The 2018 pro cycling season kicked off properly this week with the Tour Down Under in Australia.

The opening stage of the first WorldTour race of the new season finished with a fast-paced bunch sprint, won by German André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal).

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As in previous seasons, the Tour Down Under is the first race where a number of riders make their debut for new teams – with some younger riders making their debut in the professional ranks.

>>> André Greipel beats Caleb Ewan to win opening stage of Tour Down Under

The 2018 Tour Down Under continues with stage two on Wednesday, and concludes on Sunday, January 21.

Australian Richie Porte is backed by a very strong BMC Racing team in his bid to become the first rider to take back-to-back wins in the race in its 20-year history.

21-year-old Colombian Egan Bernal signed on for his first race at WorldTour level for Team Sky. Bernal enjoyed a successful 2017 season, winning a host of races including the prestigious Tour de l’Avenir. (Yuzuru Sunada)

Mitchelton-Scott’s Mathew Hayman talks with spectators on the opening stage of the race. Hayman is part of the team backing sprinter Caleb Ewan. (Yuzuru Sunada)

World champion Peter Sagan already enjoyed success in Australia, taking the victory in Sunday’s Tour Down Under prelude, the People’s Choice Classic. However, he was bettered by André Greipel and Caleb Ewan at the end of stage one. (Yuzuru Sunada)

The peloton on its way from Port Adelaide to Lyndoch. (Yuzuru Sunada)

Will Clarke heads the three-man escape group also comprising Nicholas Dlamini and Scott Bowden. Thanks to time bonuses scooped up while in the break, Clarke is in third place overall while Dlamini picked up the mountains jersey. (Yuzuru Sunada)

Groupama-FDJ’s Anthony Roux casts a small shadow in the Adelaide sunshine. (Yuzuru Sunada)

You can’t have a gallery of images from the Tour Down Under without the obligatory kangaroo roadsign. (Yuzuru Sunada)

Pierre Latour of Ag2r-La Mondiale takes a swig in hot conditions during the stage. Ag2r’s kit has changed for 2018, with stripes replacing the old design. (Yuzuru Sunada)

Richie Porte made a quiet start to the Tour Down Under on a day that was all about the sprinters. The Tasmanian is hunting for a second consecutive victory in the race. (Yuzuru Sunada)

Davide Cimolai of Groupama-FDJ takes a moment to cool down after the stage. For many European-based riders, the summer weather in Australia is in stark contrast to the snow, ice and cold that they left behind. (Yuzuru Sunada)