Van Poppel takes victory in Herald Sun Tour prologue

Froome in 26th place ahead of Falls Creek showdown

A blistering ride from Danny van Poppel saw the Team Sky rider open his win account for 2017 and claim the first leader’s jersey of the race. Chris Froome (Team Sky) was faster than his 2016 result but could only manage 26th position with Sebastian Henao the best of Sky's GC men. Brenton Jones (JLT Condor) was just nine hundredths of a second off the win in second place with his JLT teammate Alex Frame third.

Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott), regarded as the chief rival to the defending champion Froome, was four seconds of the Briton in 64th place to set up an intriguing battle on the climb up Falls Creek tomorrow where Sky and Orica-Scott are expected to shake up the race.

After four top-four placing's at the Tour Down Under, van Poppel ensured his Australian campaign could be judged a success with his first prologue win since the 2014 Tour of Luxembourg. As the Dutchman won't be wearing the yellow jersey after tomorrow's queen stage, he wanted to bask in the glory and enjoy his moment in the sunshine post-victory.

"I hope I can give it tomorrow to Chris," he said of the jersey he had just collected from the podium. "Tomorrow is a nice day for Chris and the team, so we go full for him and maybe for the sprint stages I go for it.

"I know that I am fast in the prologue so I was focused on winning it and nothing else. I am really happy because you are always searching for your first victory for the team and yourself and I am happy I did it."

Froome was quicker than last year, helped by repairs to smooth the road over, and heads into the mountains ready for the battle with Orica-Scott.

"It's a great start for the team, with Danny winning - that's giving us a lot of confidence going into the week ahead. He did a great ride," he said briefly after finishing. "It's definitely a bit of a lung buster - you just have two minutes to get everything out. It's not really my kind of course, but it's great to kick the week off."

For Jones, it was the second time he's raced the course and second time he's narrowly come up short following his close call in 2015. However, the JLT Condor rider was only taking away the positives from his performance.

"I rode a great race, Danny was really fast today. He is a WorldTour rider so no disappointment in coming second. Great to see my teammates Alex in third as well," Jones said of his ride which was also aided by the road repairs and is looking forward to taking it up to van Poppel on stages 2 and 3 which are expected to end in a bunch sprint.

Stage 1 of the race takes the peloton up the 29km climb to Falls Creek where the general classification is expected to take shape with Froome and Chaves the key protagonists.

How it unfolded

On Sunday, Melbourne's Federation Square was packed with fans to watch an epic Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal Australian Open final unfold on the big screen. Come Wednesday and the stage had transformed into the new setting for a brief team presentation before the riders rolled out at 45-second intervals with the fans cheering roadside along the 2.1km parcours.

Jason Christie led off the proceeding at the 64th running of the Herald Sun Tour and as is often the case, the first starter was the first occupant of the hot seat. The rider on the New Zealand National Team set an early time of 2:40.40 minutes with Tim Roe (IsoWhey Sports Swisswellness) quickly dislodging the former Kiwi road champion by half a second.

Alex Frame (JLT Condor) then set a new course record as he crossed the line in 2:33.56 minutes. The Zealander was quickly bettered by van Poppel, who in turn also set a new course record. The Team Sky rider used his sprinting skills par excellence to record a 2:32.56 minute time. Chaves came through to record a 2:43 minute ride, slightly slower than Froome's 2016 time on the same course.

Plenty of riders sprinted along the banks of the Yarra River with their eye on the double prize at the end of the long straight with Anthony Giacoppo the only man to get within three seconds before the designated team leader's for the day started their races.

JLT Condor's Brenton Jones missed the win by point nine of a second as the seventh last finisher with Leigh Howard (Aqua Blue Sports) also coming close to post fifth place. No one could get close to van Poppel though with the Dutchman claiming Sky's first win of the season and ensuring Sky's winning run at the Herald Sun Tour continues into 2017.

Ayden Toovey (NSW Institute of Sport) put in a solid ride as the best young rider and collect the other jersey on offer for the day with the KOM and points jerseys to be handed out after stage 1.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky0:02:32 
2Brenton Jones (Aus) JLT Condor0:00:01 
3Alex Frame (NZl) JLT Condor  
4Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica-Scott0:00:02 
5Leigh Howard (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport0:00:03 
6Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness  
7Jesse Kerrison (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness  
8Ian Bibby (GBr) JLT Condor0:00:04 
9Travis McCabe (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
10Cameron Bayly (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness  
11Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky  
12Joseph Cooper (NZl) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness  
13Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica-Scott0:00:05 
14Aaron Gate (NZl) Aqua Blue Sport  
15Ayden Toovey (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport0:00:06 
16Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team Sky  
17Robbie Hucker (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness  
18Cameron Meyer (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team  
19Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-Scott  
20Brad Evans (NZl) Drapac–Pat's Veg  
21Jacob Kauffmann (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport  
22Greg Henderson (NZl) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:00:07 
23Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij  
24Darcy Ellerm-Norton (NZl) St George Continental Cycling Team  
25Lachlan Norris (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
26Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky  
27James Fouche (NZl) New Zealand National Team0:00:08 
28Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-Scott  
29Timothy Roe (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness  
30Jason Christie (NZl) New Zealand National Team  
31Jeroen Meijers (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij  
32Benjamin Hill (Aus) Attaque Team Gusto  
33Angus Lyons (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team  
34Adrian Hegyvary (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
35Lucas Hamilton (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team  
36Edmund Bradbury (GBr) JLT Condor  
37Brodie Talbot (Aus) St George Continental Cycling Team  
38Tanner Putt (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
39Alistair Slater (GBr) JLT Condor  
40Rob Power (Aus) Orica-Scott  
41Tim Ariesen (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij0:00:09 
42Dylan Sunderland (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport  
43Peter Koning (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport  
44Daniel Fitter (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport  
45Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Gazprom–RusVelo  
46Cyrus Monk (Aus) Drapac–Pat's Veg  
47Alex Wohler (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport  
48James Oram (NZl) New Zealand National Team  
49Guy Kalma (NZl) Attaque Team Gusto  
50Mario Vogt (Ger) Attaque Team Gusto  
51Ivan Savitckii (Rus) Gazprom–RusVelo  
52Joshua Taylor (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport  
53Drew Morey (Aus) Drapac–Pat's Veg  
54Steve Lampier (GBr) JLT Condor0:00:10 
55Mitch Docker (Aus) Orica-Scott  
56Pavel Brutt (Rus) Gazprom–RusVelo  
56James Gullen (GBr) JLT Condor  
58Nathan Earle (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team  
59Hamish Schreurs (NZl) New Zealand National Team  
60Sam Dobbs (NZl) New Zealand National Team  
61Calvin Watson (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport  
62Artur Ershov (Rus) Gazprom–RusVelo  
63Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky0:00:11 
64Jhoan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott  
65Kaden Groves (Aus) St George Continental Cycling Team  
66Patrick Sharpe (Aus) St George Continental Cycling Team  
67Benjamin Dyball (Aus) St George Continental Cycling Team  
68Kirill Sveshnikov (Rus) Gazprom–RusVelo  
69Conor Dunne (Irl) Aqua Blue Sport  
70Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij0:00:12 
71Sjoerd van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij  
72Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport  
73Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij  
74Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team Sky  
75Jai Hindley (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team  
76Matthew Zenovich (NZl) New Zealand National Team  
77Michael Storer (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team0:00:13 
78Nicholas Katsonis (Aus) Drapac–Pat's Veg  
79Janier Alexis Acevedo Calle (Col) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
80Taylor Gunman (NZl) New Zealand National Team  
81Jesse Featonby (Aus) Drapac–Pat's Veg  
82Aleksei Tcatevich (Rus) Gazprom–RusVelo  
83Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
84Philip Martz (USA) Attaque Team Gusto0:00:14 
85Oliver Kent-Spark (Aus) Drapac–Pat's Veg  
86Scott Bowden (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness  
87Nick van der Lijke (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij  
88Thomas Hubbard (NZl) St George Continental Cycling Team  
89Timothy Guy (Aus) Attaque Team Gusto  
90Samuel Jenner (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team0:00:15 
91Tom Robinson (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport  
92Jay Dutton (Aus) St George Continental Cycling Team  
93Lawrence Warbasse (USA) Aqua Blue Sport  
94Alexandr Shushemoin (Kaz) Attaque Team Gusto  
95Sergey Nikolaev (Rus) Gazprom–RusVelo0:00:16 
96Marcelo Felipe (Phi) 7 Eleven Roadbike Philippines0:00:18 
97Alistair Donohoe (Aus) Attaque Team Gusto0:00:19 
98Josh Berry (Aus) 7 Eleven Roadbike Philippines0:00:20 
99Rustom Lim (Phi) 7 Eleven Roadbike Philippines  
100Mathew Ross (Aus) Drapac–Pat's Veg0:00:21 
101Edgar Nohales Neto (Spa) 7 Eleven Roadbike Philippines0:00:23 
102Mark John Lexer Galedo (Phi) 7 Eleven Roadbike Philippines  
103Jesse Ewart (Aus) 7 Eleven Roadbike Philippines0:00:24 
104Craig Evers (Aus) 7 Eleven Roadbike Philippines0:00:30 
General Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky0:02:32 
2Brenton Jones (Aus) JLT Condor0:00:01 
3Alex Frame (NZl) JLT Condor  
4Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica-Scott0:00:02 
5Leigh Howard (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport0:00:03 
6Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness  
7Jesse Kerrison (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness  
8Ian Bibby (GBr) JLT Condor0:00:04 
9Travis McCabe (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
10Cameron Bayly (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness  
11Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky  
12Joseph Cooper (NZl) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness  
13Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica-Scott0:00:05 
14Aaron Gate (NZl) Aqua Blue Sport  
15Ayden Toovey (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport0:00:06 
16Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team Sky  
17Robbie Hucker (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness  
18Cameron Meyer (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team  
19Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-Scott  
20Brad Evans (NZl) Drapac–Pat's Veg  
21Jacob Kauffmann (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport  
22Greg Henderson (NZl) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:00:07 
23Taco van der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij  
24Darcy Ellerm-Norton (NZl) St George Continental Cycling Team  
25Lachlan Norris (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
26Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky  
27James Fouche (NZl) New Zealand National Team0:00:08 
28Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-Scott  
29Timothy Roe (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness  
30Jason Christie (NZl) New Zealand National Team  
31Jeroen Meijers (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij  
32Benjamin Hill (Aus) Attaque Team Gusto  
33Angus Lyons (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team  
34Adrian Hegyvary (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
35Lucas Hamilton (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team  
36Edmund Bradbury (GBr) JLT Condor  
37Brodie Talbot (Aus) St George Continental Cycling Team  
38Tanner Putt (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
39Alistair Slater (GBr) JLT Condor  
40Rob Power (Aus) Orica-Scott  
41Tim Ariesen (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij0:00:09 
42Dylan Sunderland (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport  
43Peter Koning (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport  
44Daniel Fitter (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport  
45Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Gazprom–RusVelo  
46Cyrus Monk (Aus) Drapac–Pat's Veg  
47Alex Wohler (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport  
48James Oram (NZl) New Zealand National Team  
49Guy Kalma (NZl) Attaque Team Gusto  
50Mario Vogt (Ger) Attaque Team Gusto  
51Ivan Savitckii (Rus) Gazprom–RusVelo  
52Joshua Taylor (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport  
53Drew Morey (Aus) Drapac–Pat's Veg  
54Steve Lampier (GBr) JLT Condor0:00:10 
55Mitch Docker (Aus) Orica-Scott  
56Pavel Brutt (Rus) Gazprom–RusVelo  
56James Gullen (GBr) JLT Condor  
58Nathan Earle (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team  
59Hamish Schreurs (NZl) New Zealand National Team  
60Sam Dobbs (NZl) New Zealand National Team  
61Calvin Watson (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport  
62Artur Ershov (Rus) Gazprom–RusVelo  
63Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky0:00:11 
64Jhoan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott  
65Kaden Groves (Aus) St George Continental Cycling Team  
66Patrick Sharpe (Aus) St George Continental Cycling Team  
67Benjamin Dyball (Aus) St George Continental Cycling Team  
68Kirill Sveshnikov (Rus) Gazprom–RusVelo  
69Conor Dunne (Irl) Aqua Blue Sport  
70Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij0:00:12 
71Sjoerd van Ginneken (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij  
72Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport  
73Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij  
74Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team Sky  
75Jai Hindley (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team  
76Matthew Zenovich (NZl) New Zealand National Team  
77Michael Storer (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team0:00:13 
78Nicholas Katsonis (Aus) Drapac–Pat's Veg  
79Janier Alexis Acevedo Calle (Col) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
80Taylor Gunman (NZl) New Zealand National Team  
81Jesse Featonby (Aus) Drapac–Pat's Veg  
82Aleksei Tcatevich (Rus) Gazprom–RusVelo  
83Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
84Philip Martz (USA) Attaque Team Gusto0:00:14 
85Oliver Kent-Spark (Aus) Drapac–Pat's Veg  
86Scott Bowden (Aus) IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness  
87Nick van der Lijke (Ned) Roompot – Nederlandse Loterij  
88Thomas Hubbard (NZl) St George Continental Cycling Team  
89Timothy Guy (Aus) Attaque Team Gusto  
90Samuel Jenner (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team0:00:15 
91Tom Robinson (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport  
92Jay Dutton (Aus) St George Continental Cycling Team  
93Lawrence Warbasse (USA) Aqua Blue Sport  
94Alexandr Shushemoin (Kaz) Attaque Team Gusto  
95Sergey Nikolaev (Rus) Gazprom–RusVelo0:00:16 
96Marcelo Felipe (Phi) 7 Eleven Roadbike Philippines0:00:18 
97Alistair Donohoe (Aus) Attaque Team Gusto0:00:19 
98Josh Berry (Aus) 7 Eleven Roadbike Philippines0:00:20 
99Rustom Lim (Phi) 7 Eleven Roadbike Philippines  
100Mathew Ross (Aus) Drapac–Pat's Veg0:00:21 
101Edgar Nohales Neto (Spa) 7 Eleven Roadbike Philippines0:00:23 
102Mark John Lexer Galedo (Phi) 7 Eleven Roadbike Philippines  
103Jesse Ewart (Aus) 7 Eleven Roadbike Philippines0:00:24 
104Craig Evers (Aus) 7 Eleven Roadbike Philippines0:00:30 
Young Rider Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ayden Toovey (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport0:02:38 
2James Fouche (NZl) New Zealand National Team0:00:02 
3Angus Lyons (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team  
4Lucas Hamilton (Aus) KordaMentha Real Estate Australian National Team  
5Rob Power (Aus) Orica-Scott  
6Dylan Sunderland (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport0:00:03 
7Daniel Fitter (Aus) NSW Institute of Sport  
8Cyrus Monk (Aus) Drapac–Pat's Veg  
9Guy Kalma (NZl) Attaque Team Gusto  
10Drew Morey (Aus) Drapac–Pat's Veg  
Team Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1JLT Condor0:07:42 
2IsoWhey Sports SwissWellness0:00:04 
3Team Sky  
4Orica-Scott0:00:07 
5Aqua Blue Sport0:00:11 
6UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team0:00:12 
7NSW Institute of Sport0:00:15 
8Korda Mentha Real Estate Australian National Team0:00:16 
9Roompot- Nederlandse Loterij0:00:18 
10Drapac-Pat's Veg  
11New Zealand National Team0:00:19 
12ST George Continental Cycling Team0:00:20 
13Attaque Team Gusto  
14Gazprom-Rusvelo0:00:22 
157 Eleven Roadbike Philippines0:00:52 

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