By Greg Johnson in Adelaide, Australia
Jack Bobridge of Team UniSA made the most of his local knowledge on today's Tour Down Under stage. The rider attacked the peloton heading out of Gawler, his home town, to pass the breakaway leader and gain a 1:30 margin over the group.
"If you don't give it a crack, you never know," said Bobridge. "That's sort of the way I ride, I'm pretty aggressive all the time so it was pretty hard to control early today. I got a bit excited a few times and got on the front but a few of the boys said 'nah, nothing's going', so I relaxed.
"Then coming back through the scenic route there I'm pretty familiar with it – I train through there nearly every day, so I knew the hill was coming and that it was pretty undulating until main road. I hit off and had a bit of a go, but unfortunately I was the only one to go, nobody else went. You're never going to hold off a peloton like that into a head wind on 15 kilometres of flat. But once I was committed, I was committed so I had to keep going."
Bobridge is contesting the Tour Down Under as a member of the UniSA/Australian National Team at just 19 years of age. The rider had a successful campaign at this month's Australian Open Road Championships where he claimed first in both the Under 23 time trial and road races.
He had also put in a strong showing at Sunday evening's Cancer Council Criterium, where he was one of the first to break away and played an important part in keeping the break away for the early sprints. The South Australian rider expects his squad will be looking to keep Baden Cooke's tour hopes alive, after the Vacansoleil rider finished second in today's sprint finish.
"We will see if we can get him over Willunga and a few other stages," said Bobridge. "He looks fit and he's pretty motivated at the moment, so I'm pretty sure he can go quite well.
"I definitely think we've got the people in the team to do it," said Bobridge when asked if the team could provide an upset race win. "Baden is no slouch, he's pretty keen and the rest of the team are – UniSA always comes out of here with a good result."