By Greg Johnson in Adelaide, Australia
Karl Menzies (UniSA-Australian National Team) was confident at the start of today's opening Tour Down Under stage, but the day didn't end on a positive note for last year's runner-up. Menzies shattered his front wheel 20 kilometres from the end of the 129 kilometre stage after hitting a flexible white reflector post on the side of the course.
"We were just going up that hill around the back and everyone was fanned out, there was one guide post and everyone moved at the last second and I went straight into it," recalled the Tasmanian. "There was only one on that whole hill."
The accident required a mechanic to rebuild the bike, costing Menzies valuable minutes on general classification. It was a disappointing blow to the rider's goals, with Menzies hoping for a repeat of last year's general classification battle that saw him finish second by a narrow margin to Swiss rider Martin Elmiger.
"It's just disappointing more than anything, you know you like to help out and try to have a go at the finish," he said. "It's just disappointing."
Despite sporting heavy grazes and bruising at the finish line, Menzies is expected to continue the race tomorrow after receiving a medical check following today's stage.
On a higher note for the UniSA-Australian National Team, star sprinter Allan Davis claimed fourth in the bunch sprint for the outfit, following on from Richie Porte's 70 kilometre break away appearance.