Race report

Crash-marred finale on stage 2 in Stirling

Santos Tour Down Under

Stage two at the Tour Down Under saw the return of the traditional Stirling finish circuit with its tricky and testing drag to the line. Once the riders were out of the neutralised zone, a group of four managed to jump clear and establish itself at the head of the race, quickly building up an advantage of one minute and 30 seconds.

However, the peloton didn’t allow the gap to extend any further and the race status stayed the same until 50 kilometres to go when the peloton began to reel the breakaway in. One rider, De Vreese, attacked in the break and set off on his own at the front of the race and as a result the speed in the bunch once again calmed down.

As the race entered the last lap De Vreese was caught and the pace increased, which resulted in a nervous fight for position within the peloton. The team worked well to move Jai Hindley and sprinter Max Kanter towards the head of the race in the closing kilometres but they were unfortunately involved in a crash within the last two kilometres that decimated the peloton. However, both Hindley and Kanter were able to get back on their bikes ok, finish the stage and will be able to continue the race tomorrow.

Ahead, Robert Power and Florian Stork made it into the front group that fought it out for the win, with Power first home for the team in 15th place.

“It was a pretty hectic finale; everybody was trying to get to the front,” expressed Kanter after the finish. “On the last lap it was a really fast descent and then full gas on the climb. The guys did a good job to help position me but on the climbs I couldn’t follow those at the front of the peloton. We also focused on helping Jai for the finish. Unfortunately both of us were involved in the crash, but I feel ok after it.”

Team Sunweb coach Luke Roberts added: “Today the race was back on traditional lap in Stirling. The question at the start of the stage was if it would be too tough for sprinters or would we still get a bunch sprint finish. It was full gas in the bunch at the bottom of the climb on the last lap and we got a select bunch, with some sprinters still there. Unfortunately there was a crash at one and a half kilometres to go that took out both of our guys who we hoped to get a result with. Jai and Max are ok though and are able to continue tomorrow.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 EWAN Caleb Lotto Soudal 3:27:31 60
2 IMPEY Daryl Mitchelton-Scott ,, 25
3 HAAS Nathan Cofidis, Solutions Crédits ,, 10
15 POWER Robert Team Sunweb ,, -
29 STORK Florian Team Sunweb ,, -
82 HINDLEY Jai Team Sunweb ,, -
83 STORER Michael Team Sunweb ,, -
89 KRAGH ANDERSEN Asbjørn Team Sunweb 4:29 -
91 KANTER Max Team Sunweb 0:00 -
102 DAINESE Alberto Team Sunweb 5:06 -