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Tour Down Under draw cards ready to race

The Tour Down Under world cycling draw cards have spoken. Marcel Kittel, Henrich Haussler, Cadel Evans and Riche Porte are all raring to go for the 2015 South Australian race. Marcel Kittel who has been in Adelaide for a week, has targeted the criterium and first and last stages as his best chances. "It's not always predictable, Heinrich is obviously in very good shape, I hope I am too," Kittel said. "Heinrich has had some very nice wins during his career, he is back now and I think he showed his qualities in the National Championships and he is someone to watch out for. Haussler won the Australian men's elite road Championship at Buninyong last Sunday which has him in great form coming into the Tour Down Under. "I've been training hard doing a lot of big miles but not really that top end stuff," Haussler said "I should have been doing a bit more sprinting. "I see my chances more on stage two and stage four but stage one and six I'm still going to for a stage win. "I wasn't really focusing on stage one and stage six, but two and four they are very hard stages but that's the kind of stages I want to go for. Cadel Evans played down his chances of success in his last race of a 20 year full time cycling career. "It's not really a race that's designed for me, I'm more for the longer climbs and time trials," Evans explains. "I'm here to enjoy but at the same time to get the best results I'm capable of and racing hopefully for the win if not for a good result. "I've always been motivated to race here, I've always tried to focus on those stages where it is more suited to the type of rider that I am. "It's mainly racing in the heat and racing in Australia that's probably been my main motivation. "But it still remains for me, one of the most enjoyable races to race in because of just Adelaide and the surrounds, the size of Adelaide and the enthusiasm of the crowds. Australian cycling star Riche Porte will kick off 2015 after a strong two months of training. "My confidence last year took a fair old beating I thought it was going to be a little easier than it was," Porte said. "I came back to Tasmania in November and I've done two good months. "You can count the nights I've had out on the drinks on one hand, I'm very motivated this year. "This year I'm ready to step it up it's a big honour to ride with Cadel in his last race. "He has been the best we have ever had in Australia and he's going to be the best we have ever had, I know how hard it is to go and win the Tour De France I've been there. Another positive for the Tour Down Under is that they will continue their stages in the Bushfire affected areas and Race organiser Mike Turtor knows what that means for the people affected by the disaster. "We were in the hands of the emergency services, organisations were advising us about the progress of the cleanup," Turtor said. "But all the riders had a major concern for the communities and people affected by the disaster. "They know now the benefits of what the race brings to those regions and It's really important that the race continued as planned and it is and that will support those communities that really need the help, "At this time, maybe take their mind off it for a few hours as the race passes through town and they can get together and enjoy the spectacle and we can bring a people into town and spend a few bucks. "I think it's a great event for the community. The Santos Tour Down Under will see a 51km race around the city streets of Adelaide tomorrow night from 6:30pm.