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Santos Tour Down Under 2013

Date range:
January 20-27, 2013

January 23, Stage 2: Mount Barker - Rostrevor 116.5km

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Jane Aubrey

Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the second stage of the 2013 Tour Down Under. I'm Jane Aubrey and I'll be taking you through the 116.5km stage from Mount Barker to Rostrevor, where we will see the first true GC selection emerge.

  1. 10:52:07 CST

    The peloton is making their final preparations in Mount Barker before the second stage gets underway in around 10 minutes.

  2. 10:57:03 CST

    Let's take a look at the General Classification after Stage 1.

    Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) wears the ochre leader's jersey. Next best is fast Frenchman Arnaud Demare (FDJ) at 4sec, then Mark Renshaw (Blacno) at 6sec.

    Expect a very different look just after 2pm local time when the stage has reached its conclusion!

  3. 11:00:25 CST

    There is just one kilometre of neutral this morning... expect action from the drop of the flag.

  4. 11:01:37 CST

    The peloton is just leaving the start area now.

    You can join the conversation by using #cntdu on twitter or shoot me a tweet via @janeaubrey

  5. 11:03:36 CST

    While it is a short stage at just 116.5km, it's a tough one.

    We have two sprints and one KOM with a loop from the beautiful Hahndorf and out to Littlehampton in between.

    Neutral is over, race is go!

  6. 11:07:08 CST

    Cyclingnews reporters Alex Malone and Jean-François Quénet are out on the road today and we're expecting some rider reactions from the startline from them shortly.

  7. 11:11:45 CST

    The focus of today's stage is the rather awesome Corkscrew climb. A local favourite.

    We have a group of four riders out the front of the peloton at present, led by UniSA's Calvin Watson, recent winner of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
    Also with him are Will Clarke (Argos - Shimano), Guillaume Bonnafond (AG2R) and Christopher Juul Jensen (Saxo - Tinkoff). They have a few hundred metres on the bunch.

  8. 11:13:09 CST

    Speaking of Calvin Watson, here's what he had to say before the race got under way.

    "I’m gonna try to be the UniSA rider up the road today. It’s a good finish for me but racing into the climb is the hardest, so I want to be ahead of the field before the climb to save some energy."

  9. 11:23:16 CST

    Gap opening up quickly now... After 17km of racing the quartet have 2:10 on the peloton

  10. 11:28:00 CST

    Back to Corkscrew, which kicks in just 7km out from the finish line today. It's relatively short at a little under 3km but the long drag to the proper start and hairpin corners that kick up to 17%, it's definitely going to split the field.

    You can read more about what some of the riders think, by clicking here.

  11. 11:30:18 CST

    World Champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) was keeping a very close eye on Simon Gerrans (Orica GreenEdge) during Stage 1. Here's what he had to say before the start.

    "Simon Gerrans and I being fighting and equal on times like now is a long story. Our first match was the 2004 Paris-Correze when I was a neo pro with FDJ and Simon was a trainee with Ag2r. We have similar qualities, but right now, he’s fitter than I am and it’s more important for him than for me to win here. It would be the opposite if it was a race in Belgium. The match between started yesterday but he started it, I only responded!"

  12. 96.5km remaining from 116.5km

    11:39:36 CST

    • Break

    Got to feel for some of the Brits here in Adelaide. Ian Stannard (Sky) told us at the start that the heat was going to be a factor today.

    "It's January so you don't really know how guys are going to go up the climb. This heat will also make it really difficult. G [Gerraint Thomas] is looking really good and Eddy [Boasson Hagen] obviously so we are going to look after them. If the sprinter's teams try and shut it down we just have to try and attack and keep the pace high."

  13. 11:40:20 CST

    Blanco driving the front of the peloton now...

  14. 11:41:15 CST

    The race has split into three distinct groups and the breakaway's advatange is being worn down...

  15. 11:42:42 CST

    The breakaway is inside 5km to go before the first sprint of the day at 32.1km.

  16. 11:43:42 CST

    Peloton back together now.

  17. 88.5km remaining from 116.5km

    11:45:00 CST

    Gap down to 45 seconds now.

  18. 86.5km remaining from 116.5km

    11:48:32 CST

    Under 1km to go before the sprint.

  19. 11:52:08 CST

    One of the teams to watch today is definitely RadioShack Leopard. We spoke to Kiwi George Bennett before the stage got underway...

    "We've got a few options with [Ben] Hermans and Tiago [Machado] who was here last year and got third. The left-hander is really important but it's still 800m to the bottom of the climb and you can lose a lot of positions. Movistar and a few other teams are probably going to light it up really early up the climb. We are just going to try and get three of us through the hard part of the climb."

     

  20. 11:54:13 CST

    Results from the first intermediate sprint and it was Clarke first across the line from, Watson and Bonnaford.

  21. 11:57:00 CST

    BMC's Danilo Wyss is having some mechanical difficulty. He's a key man for Philippe Gilbert so hopefully he won't be too disadvantaged for too long.

  22. 78.5km remaining from 116.5km

    11:59:21 CST

    Front group now on River Road.

  23. 12:01:42 CST

    Oh lucky us. The 'Feel the Rush' song is currently playing...

  24. 12:05:22 CST

    Brett Dutschke from weatherzone has just informed me that the southeasterly will pick up a bit during the day and will be a head wind to Meadows then a tail wind to about Hahndorf and most of the rest of Stage 2 (apart from the Hahndorf/Littlehampton loop and the final stretch from Cudlee Creek to Rostrevor). It will warm up a bit quicker than yesterday, reaching 25 degrees for most of the Stage and reaching about 29 degrees for the last few kilometres to Rostrevor.

  25. 74.5km remaining from 116.5km

    12:06:42 CST

    • Feed

    The peloton is just heading through the feed zone now. The gap out to the break is stable at just under 2mins.

  26. 12:08:45 CST

    Huge crowds lining the roads around Hahndorf. Great to see.

  27. 68.5km remaining from 116.5km

    12:15:50 CST

    It's not often you get agreement in the Australian Cyclingnews office with plenty of debate but today, Alex Malone and I agree. Visconti for the win!

    Here's what Alex has to say: "Yesterday the team had Jose Herrada and Jose Ivan Gutierrez who nearly split the group by riding hard tempo. I think they will be looking after Jose Joaquin Rojas to get him over the climb but I think Giovanni Visconti will be the man to watch today. Visconti is a solid sprinter from a small group."

  28. 12:17:48 CST

    We're just under an hour away from Corkscrew anf the bunch isn't looking too bad, and not overly strung out. The question is, when will the break be brought back.

  29. 66.5km remaining from 116.5km

    12:19:57 CST

    Adelaide local there, Orica AIS rider Tiffany Cromwell... Obviously not a fan of Corkscrew!

  30. 12:21:48 CST

    Andy Schleck (RadioShack Leopard) met a namesake this morning, a wallaby by all accounts. He's currently driving the peloton with new Australian champion Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge) on his wheel.

  31. 12:25:04 CST

    No surprises to see a UniSA rider in the break today. The Australian National team are here to animate the race. At the helm once again is the great Dave Sanders. He spoke with Alex Malone back in Mt Barker and I've got a feeling he'll be pretty pleased with  the way the race is panning out.

    "Ideally we want a small group. They will let a small group go, they won't let a big group go. They won't get six minutes because they will ride it back so maybe two minutes and then gas it down the hill. You can go as fast as the chase group. Maybe we can get to the bottom of the hill a minute in front.

    "We've got two or three guys who can get up the hill maybe in top-10. Zak or Anthony or even Calvin Watson but don't underestimate Damien Howson – he's going. He's not far from the level Rohan Dennis was last year. We believe that. Anything is possible. Our guys are race fit, a lot of the others are fit but not really race fit. It's a little bit of a different appraisal to other times of the year."

  32. 58.5km remaining from 116.5km

    12:31:14 CST

    The four riders in the breakaway aren't content just to sit out front today. The youngest man in the break, Calvin Watson (UniSA - Australia) is doing a great job!

  33. 12:32:27 CST

    There's another sprint, and more valuable seconds up for grabs coming up shortly at Oakbank. 

  34. 53.5km remaining from 116.5km

    12:39:08 CST

    The entire race is now out of the Hahndorf loop and on the way to Balhannah.

  35. 12:44:49 CST

    Inside 50km to the finish now...

  36. 12:46:31 CST

    Calvin Watson leading out for the sprint... He sits up.

  37. 44.6km remaining from 116.5km

    12:47:26 CST

    It's the other Australian who takes maximum points though, Will Clarke ahead of Bonnafond.

  38. 12:49:55 CST

    Juul Jensen was third across the line for the sprint. So sprint standings for the stage so far:

    Clarke 10pts
    Bonnaford 4
    Watson 3
    Juul Jensen 1

  39. 12:54:36 CST

    Martin Kohler (BMC) on the front of the peloton while Will Clarke (UniSA) gets instructions from the team car.

    Clarke time-trialled to victory on the Stirling stage last year in a brilliant solo performance. Will we see him disappear up the road again?

  40. 40km remaining from 116.5km

    12:55:52 CST

    Bunch has the breakaway in sight... just.

  41. 12:58:48 CST

    The amount of work Luke Durbridge has done for the Orica GreenEdge team so far this week has been phenomenal... He's on the front of the bunch again.

  42. 13:03:41 CST

    Hearing there is a small diesel spill on the road about 3km up the road... Will keep you updated as information filters through.

  43. 34.5km remaining from 116.5km

    13:07:42 CST

    Break is heading out again, just under 2minutes.

  44. 13:10:07 CST

    Bernard Eisel (Sky) and Durbridge taking turns on the front of the peloton. Not far behind is the Lotto Belisol team who are protecting the interested of Ochre Jersey Andre Greipel. Obviously, they know how to get the most out of positioning but can they keep the German in the right spot heading down Gorge Road?

  45. 30.5km remaining from 116.5km

    13:12:42 CST

    Gap on the way down now... 1:20

  46. 13:17:10 CST

    Andy Schleck now at the back of the bunch after a fair bit of work on the front earlier...

  47. 23km remaining from 116.5km

    13:18:19 CST

    Lampre, GreenEdge and Astana all at the front of the bunch on Cudlee Creek Road.

  48. 13:19:29 CST

    The peloton can see the four leaders on the bends ahead.

  49. 20km remaining from 116.5km

    13:21:38 CST

    Support vehicles are out of the gap. The race will be back together before the climb. Game on!

  50. 19.5km remaining from 116.5km

    13:24:31 CST

    Race together according to race radio.

  51. 13:27:46 CST

    Calvin Watson having an unfortunate crash. He should be okay.

  52. 13:29:17 CST

    It's also just been confirmed that Christopher Juul Jensen has been awarded the most aggressive rider of Stage 2 after his stint the breakaway.

    Can also confirm that was Watson's teammate Damien Howson who crashed a short time ago. He's back on his bike.

  53. 13:30:26 CST

    The peloton is flying down the Gorge!

  54. 14.5km remaining from 116.5km

    13:32:20 CST

    It's Greipel on the front of the bunch... Position! Position! Position!

  55. 13:35:16 CST

    • Attack

    Yann Huguet (Argos Shimano), Simon Clarke (Orica GreenEdge) leading the charge but it's short-lived. It won't be the last.

  56. 12.5km remaining from 116.5km

    13:36:39 CST

    • Attack

    Andrey Amador (Movistar) and Matthew Lloyd (Lampre) now...

  57. 13:37:24 CST

    And George Bennett (Radioshack Leopard) has just ridden right past the lead pair... A very dangerous guy on a climb like this.

  58. 12.3km remaining from 116.5km

    13:38:21 CST

    Geraint Thomas (Sky) joins Bennett.

  59. 13:38:50 CST

    And it's Thomas who looks more comfortable... Bye, bye Bennett!

  60. 13:40:12 CST

    Thoms is motoring.

  61. 13:40:51 CST

    He takes the points at the top of the KOM. He's being pursued by two riders from RadioShack and another from Movistar.

  62. 13:41:29 CST

    Gilbert, Lloyd amond those in a crash!

  63. 13:42:12 CST

    15 riders down in that crash. Ambulances have been called.

  64. 5km remaining from 116.5km

    13:43:16 CST

    Lead riders are: Thomas (Sky), Didier, Hermans (Raadioshack Leopard) and Javier Moreno (Movistar).

  65. 13:44:52 CST

    Tom Jelte Slagter (Blanco) among those in a 11-rider chase group closing in on the lead four.

  66. 13:46:25 CST

    Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol), Tiago Machado (RadioShack) also in the chase.

  67. 13:47:24 CST

    Thomas skirts around the lead grup with just over 300m to go to cross the finish line as the winner of Stage 2.

  68. 13:48:45 CST

    Moreno was second...

  69. 13:51:35 CST

    Hermans was third across the line.

    We'll get you injury updates as they come in.