Posted by Editoress on 01/19/16
Caleb Ewan racks up his 6th victory in 2016 on Stage 1 of the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, South Australia.
Legendary sprinter Robbie McEwan summed up the first stage of the Tour Down Under in South Australia with poetic simplicity.
“Too much fitness, too much form, too much speed,” McEwan said of Caleb Ewan’s win, his sixth of the year.
Stage 1 of the Tour Down Under set off just 3km from the Adelaide CBD in the inner-northern suburb of Prospect. It was steamy, windy, dusty and 130km to the finish line after three laps around the famous Barossa Valley wine region in to the town of Lyndoch.
Sean Lake (UniSA), Martijn Keizer (Team Lotto NL Jumbo) and Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale) jumped ahead of the field as soon as the flag had waved.
Lake took the only categorised climb of the day at the 12.8km mark, edging Keizer in a photo finish. The UniSA rider donned the polka dot jersey at the end of the day, continuing a strong start to 2016 for Lake after a bronze medal at the Australian national time trial.
The three-rider break was kept on a short leash. Their advantage rapidly declined from 80km out as Orica GreenEdge set the tempo behind to keep Caleb Ewan “the guy with the freshest legs that wins the sprint in the end”.
The break jostled for the first Cockatoo Valley sprint point. Frenchman Gougeard opened hostilities from third wheel and crossed the line ahead of Keizer and an indifferent Lake. The second sprint points on the following lap were then taken in a bizarre fashion by Gougeard ahead of Lake and Keizer. The police motos were caught unaware of the acceleration behind them and accidentally blocked the riders from a proper sprint. Oops. Keizer would drop back to the peloton soon after.
With 47km to go, the field started to spread across the road and the Orica GreenEdge presence reduced to just Michael Hepburn. Hepburn wouldn’t leave the front until 15km to go.
Sean Lake gapped Gougeard with 22km to go, the Frenchman showing no interest in fighting for the diminishing 25-second gap in the scorching 40∞C heat.
Lake’s move impressed Robbie McEwan as he commentated on the race.
“This sport is about having a big engine, and knowing how to suffer,” McEwan said about strongman Sean Lake.
Lake bravely stretched his gap to 55 seconds with 16km to go, but was swallowed by the group at the 6km mark.
Sprint trains began forming with 10km remaining. Lampre, Lotto-Soudal, Sky, and Dimension Data appeared to have the best organisation in the punishing wind.
Peter Kennaugh (Sky) took control at the 1km mark, leading a well-organised Sky train. Daryl Impey (Orica GreenEdge) dragged Ewan up the side of the Sky line, dropping him into the perfect position behind fellow Aussie Mark Renshaw (Dimension Data). Adam Blythe (Tinkoff) opened the hostilities from a long way out, but faded as the other sprinters wound it up.
Renshaw was sprinting for himself, but inadvertently gave Ewan the perfect lead-out. The 21-year old Australian jumped out from behind Renshaw and powered for the line, winning by two bike lengths. Renshaw would cross second, with Wouter Wippert (Cannondale Pro Cycling) third.
The impeccable timing, mind-blowing power-to-weight, and impossibly low position begs the question whether Ewan is beatable for the Tour Down Under.
“I need to thank Gerro (Simon Gerrans) for sharing the team with me” said Ewan, still panting from his sprint effort. “For a guy like that who can win overall to say I can have the team to chase a sprint, it means a lot.”
Ewan will lead the GC, sprint, and young rider classification for 132km Stage 2 on Wednesday (20 Jan) from the suburb of Unley to Stirling in the hills east of Adelaide.
What were they thinking?
It’s surprising that a 20-team race allowed a three-man break to fight for the first polka dot jersey, decided only 12.8km in. In the end it was only two men contesting the KOM. This is a short race, every point matters. Also, polka dots look awesome, it has been scientifically proven. Good luck pulling the jersey off Sean Lake, the ex-rower is burly.
|Stage 1: Prospect to Lyndoch, 130.8 km|
|1 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica–GreenEDGE||3:24:13|
|2 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data|
|3 Wouter Wippert (Ned) Cannondale Pro Cycling Team|
|4 Marko Kump (Slo) Lampre–Merida|
|5 Adam Blythe (GBr) Tinkoff|
|6 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek–Segafredo|
|7 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky|
|8 Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-Australia|
|9 José Joaquin Rojas (Esp) Movistar Team|
|10 Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Soudal|
|11 Brenton Jones (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling|
|12 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL–Jumbo|
|13 Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale Pro Cycling Team|
|14 Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling|
|15 Arman Kamyshev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team|
|16 Davide Martinelli (Ita) Etixx–Quick-Step|
|17 Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling|
|18 Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant–Alpecin|
|19 Alexey Tsatevitch (Rus) Team Katusha|
|20 Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) UniSA-Australia|
|21 Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ|
|22 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale|
|23 Juan José Lobato Del Valle (Esp) Movistar Team|
|24 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ|
|25 Michael Albasini (Sui) Orica–GreenEDGE|
|26 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica–GreenEDGE|
|27 Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant–Alpecin|
|28 Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Rsa)|
|29 Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team|
|30 Patrick Shaw (Aus) UniSA-Australia|
|31 Federico Zurlo (Ita) Lampre–Merida|
|32 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling Team|
|33 Luka Pibernik (Slo) Lampre–Merida|
|34 Adam Phelan (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling|
|35 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team|
|36 Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data|
|37 Julian Arredondo (Col) Trek–Segafredo|
|38 Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek–Segafredo|
|39 Rafael Valls Ferri (Esp) Lotto Soudal|
|40 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team|
|41 Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale Pro Cycling Team|
|42 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Dimension Data|
|43 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky|
|44 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling|
|45 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Esp) Astana Pro Team|
|46 Davide Malacarne (Ita) Astana Pro Team|
|47 Egor Silin (Rus) Team Katusha|
|48 Martin Velits (Svk) Etixx–Quick-Step|
|49 Jascha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team|
|50 Carlos Verona (Esp) Etixx–Quick-Step|
|51 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky|
|52 Oscar Gatto (Ita) Tinkoff|
|53 Steve Morabito (Sui) FDJ|
|54 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff|
|55 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky|
|56 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff|
|57 Ruben Fernandez Andujar (Esp) Movistar Team|
|58 Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC Racing Team|
|59 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre–Merida|
|60 Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team|
|61 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal|
|62 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale|
|63 Murilo Fischer (Bra) FDJ|
|64 Samuel Spokes (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling|
|65 Michael Gogl (Aut) Tinkoff|
|66 Daryl Impey (Rsa) Orica–GreenEDGE|
|67 Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky|
|68 David Tanner (Aus) IAM Cycling|
|69 Louis Meintjes (Rsa) Lampre–Merida|
|70 Bram Tankink (Ned) LottoNL–Jumbo|
|71 Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha|
|72 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff|
|73 Lucas Hamilton (Aus) UniSA-Australia|
|74 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team|
|75 Nathan Earle (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling|
|76 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal|
|77 David De La Cruz (Esp) Etixx–Quick-Step|
|78 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team|
|79 Peter Velits (Svk) BMC Racing Team|
|80 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team|
|81 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal|
|82 Ruben Zepuntke (Ger) Cannondale Pro Cycling Team|
|83 George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL–Jumbo|
|84 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) LottoNL–Jumbo|
|85 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Movistar Team|
|86 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL–Jumbo|
|87 Peter Stetina (USA) Trek–Segafredo|
|88 Jesús Herrada (Esp) Movistar Team|
|89 Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) LottoNL–Jumbo|
|90 Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|91 Lars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro Team|
|92 Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant–Alpecin|
|93 Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale Pro Cycling Team|
|94 Ivan Rovny (Rus) Tinkoff|
|95 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale|
|96 Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|97 Leigh Howard (Aus) IAM Cycling|
|98 Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Eth) Lampre–Merida|
|99 Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Etixx–Quick-Step|
|100 Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx–Quick-Step|
|101 Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky|
|102 Gavin Mannion (USA) Drapac Professional Cycling|
|103 Songezo Jim (Rsa) Dimension Data|
|104 Danilo Wyss (Sui) BMC Racing Team|
|105 Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|106 Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team Katusha|
|107 Patrick Lane (Aus) UniSA-Australia|
|108 Sean Lake (Aus) UniSA-Australia|
|109 Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling Team|
|110 Carter Jones (USA) Team Giant–Alpecin|
|111 Chris Hamilton (Aus) UniSA-Australia|
|112 Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling|
|113 Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team Katusha|
|114 Rein Taaramäe (Est) Team Katusha|
|115 Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJ|
|116 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Trek–Segafredo|
|117 Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJ|
|118 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|119 Jack Bobridge (Aus) Trek–Segafredo|
|120 Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx–Quick-Step|
|121 Jesse Sergent (NZl) AG2R La Mondiale|
|122 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre–Merida|
|123 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|124 Jaco Venter (Rsa) Dimension Data|
|125 Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ|
|126 Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha|
|127 Graeme Brown (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling||all s.t.|
|128 Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek–Segafredo||0:19|
|129 Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Giant–Alpecin||0:22|
|130 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica–GreenEDGE||0:40|
|131 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team||s.t.|
|132 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant–Alpecin||0:48|
|133 Tyler Farrar (USA) Dimension Data||1:01|
|134 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica–GreenEDGE||1:05|
|135 Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky||s.t.|
|136 Cheng Ji (Chn) Team Giant–Alpecin||2:46|
|137 Marcel Aregger (Sui) IAM Cycling||5:29|
|138 Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling||s.t.|
|139 Martijn Keizer (Ned) LottoNL–Jumbo||5:32|
|140 Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica–GreenEDGE||7:56|
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