Tour Down Under: Lobato wins in Stirling

Juan Jose Lobato became the latest in a long line of Movistar riders to excel at the Tour Down Under as he sprinted to victory in Stirling ahead of Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) and his Movistar teammate Gorka Izagirre Insausti. Jack Bobrdige (UniSA) finished on the same time as Lobato in 20th place to hold onto the overall lead.

"I am very content to start the season like this and I am grateful for my team. I've had two years of good results, and I couldn't started off 2015 any better," Lobato told reporters after becoming the third European rider to win on the circuit after Diego Ulissi (2014) and Tom-Jelte Slagter (2013).

"The GC? Well, that's more complicated, but we have riders here for the overall. I am not discounting anything. I came here to go well on this finale, and I've raced here the past two years. We did some training here last week."

After catching the day's three-rider breakaway just before the start of the final 21km finishing circuit, the major teams began to line up on the front to set up their sprinters or GC hopefuls. BMC, Orica-GreenEdge, Cannondale-Garmin, Tinkoff-Saxo, Giant-Alpecin, IAM and Team Sky were all present, but it was Movistar that placed two riders in the top three.

Cannondale dropped off Nathan Hass with about 300 meters to go, but the slightly uphill drag proved too much for the Australian, and the others swept past him before the line. Giant's GC hopeful Tom Dumoulin was fourth, followed by BMC's Cadel Evans and Astana's Luis León Sánchez. Sky's Richie Porte was seventh, while Haas ended up in ninth.

"Maybe my legs were not as good as I had hoped they would be there in the end," Haas said after the stage. "At the end of the day, I am a guy that likes to hit out. I never like to wait. If you feel the moment, you have to go, you have to trust it. It’s disappointing, but tomorrow is another day."

Fifth place for Evans was outside the time bonuses but the Australian, who lost the race by just once second last year, explained the race and his GC hopes are far from finished.

"I don't know if I'm quite as good as I was last year, I was a bit jumpier and that," Evans said. "But as I said it's the first race of the year we don't know who's good, we don't know how well others are going at this level and today's the first day I think we really see the contenders overall and I think maybe Lobato will be the guy to beat. Still a lot more racing yet. Of course I'd like to have more time bonuses but I'll take the situation as it is and look to tomorrow."

How it unfolded
The peloton decided the best way to start stage 2 was fast with a frantic early pace as riders tried to establish the breakaway. Jeremy Roy (FDJ) successfully rode off the front after numerous riders had given it a crack. Rob Power (UniSA) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) joined the French man and quickly dropped him.

That duo’s attempt wasn’t to be, but De Gendt, Peter Stetina (BMC), Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge), Alex Howes (Cannondale-Garmin), Oliver Zaugg (Tinkoff-Saxo), Jose Herrada Lopez (Movistar) and Yves Lampaert (Etixx-Quick Step) attacked the peloton again. That move was then also brought back because the peloton was apparently unhappy with the composition.

Meyer soloed off the front as he tried to break free once again and was joined by De Gendt, with Campbell Flakemore (BMC) time trialling his way over and forming the trio. As they passed through Piccadilly with 20km raced, their lead was 1:35 over a splintering main bunch led by Team Sky.

The rolling roads of the Adelaide hills had caught out a few riders expecting an easier start to the day, although once the break was established, it was gruppo compacto back in the peloton.

When Meyer won the race in 2011, it was in part due to the time he earned from a breakaway which included De Gendt. Despite the threat that the break posed, the trio were allowed a lead that maxxed out at 3:35 minutes. De Gendt took the only KOM of the day to move level at the top of the classification with Jack Bobridge. At the first intermediate sprint point it was the Dutchman again claiming the honours.

Back in the bunch it was Team Sky, IAM Cycling and UniSA controlling the chase. IAM Cycling was riding for Haussler, Sky for Porte and UniSA was riding as the team of the race leader with Jack Bobridge.

With 50km left to race, De Gendt cleaned up again as he sprinted to claim the second intermediate sprint point of the day by several bike lengths in Mylor. The trio then turned towards Stirling in anticipation of the two circuits around the town with their lead down to 1:57.

As the peloton crossed over the finish line in Stirling the gap was out to 2:20 with IAM Cycling and Sky ensconced at the front of the bunch and the average speed at 38.5km/h for the five kilometres preceding the finish line.

Once on the circuit, the speed upped to 42km/h in the peloton, and the break's advantage was cut down to 1:35 with 30km left to race and IAM Cycling’s Stef Clement doing all the work on the front.

The bright colours of Tinkoff-Saxo and LottoNL-Jumbo started appearing at the front of the bunch once the catch was made, but it remained IAM Cycling and Team Sky, with Neil van der Ploeg (UniSA) at the pointy end of the arrowhead.

Through the finish line for the penultimate time, it was IAM Cycling leading the bunch as Etixx-Quick Step made its first appearance of the day with Gianni Meersman their man. Once the peloton exited the town, Calvin Watson (Trek) and Danilo Wyss (BMC) attacked with 19km left in the day to get several hundred metres and 10 seconds clear.

With the peloton working hard to bring the two breakaway riders back, Power crashed and was forced to chase back on as IAM Cycling and Team Sky still controlled the race. UniSA continued to work hard and had Bobridge up in fourth wheel with seven kilometres to go once the two leaders were reeled in.

With the bunch spread across the road, the GC men were positioning themselves for the final sprint to the climb, and with 5km left, Team Sky owned the left-hand side of the race and Etixx-Quick Step the right. Behind them was Astana and Cannondale-Garmin.

With 3.8km to go, BMC moved forward with Evans as Orica-GreenEdge brought up Clarke and Impey. One kilometre later and it was all green and black with Cannondale-Garmin all over the front.

Haas was the first to go with 300 metres as Impey and Meersman then hit out, but it was the fast finishing Lobato doing the job and going one better than he did in the People’s Choice Classic.

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Results

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Stage 2 result
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team3:42:24
2Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdgeRow 1 - Cell 2
3Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 3 - Cell 2
5Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 4 - Cell 2
6Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Richie Porte (Aus) Team SkyRow 6 - Cell 2
8Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 7 - Cell 2
9Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 9 - Cell 2
11Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 11 - Cell 2
13Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 12 - Cell 2
14Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 13 - Cell 2
15Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team SkyRow 14 - Cell 2
16Tiago Machado (Por) Team KatushaRow 15 - Cell 2
17Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Team KatushaRow 16 - Cell 2
18Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 17 - Cell 2
19Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 18 - Cell 2
20Jack Bobridge (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 19 - Cell 2
21Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 20 - Cell 2
22Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.frRow 21 - Cell 2
23Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM CyclingRow 22 - Cell 2
24Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro TeamRow 23 - Cell 2
25George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 24 - Cell 2
26Travis Meyer (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 25 - Cell 2
27Maxime Bouet (Fra) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 26 - Cell 2
28Jack Haig (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 27 - Cell 2
29Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 28 - Cell 2
30Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 29 - Cell 2
31Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM CyclingRow 30 - Cell 2
32Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Lampre-MeridaRow 31 - Cell 2
33Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 32 - Cell 2
34José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35David Tanner (Aus) IAM CyclingRow 34 - Cell 2
36Timothy Roe (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 35 - Cell 2
37Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 36 - Cell 2
38Lars Bak (Den) Lotto SoudalRow 37 - Cell 2
39Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.frRow 38 - Cell 2
40Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar TeamRow 39 - Cell 2
41Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 40 - Cell 2
42Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-MeridaRow 41 - Cell 2
43Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 42 - Cell 2
44Daniel McConnell (Aus) Trek Factory RacingRow 43 - Cell 2
45Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Team KatushaRow 44 - Cell 2
46Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ.frRow 45 - Cell 2
47Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 46 - Cell 2
48Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 47 - Cell 2
49David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step0:00:25
50Robert Power (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 49 - Cell 2
51Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) IAM Cycling0:00:28
52Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:32
53Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Hayden Roulston (NZl) Trek Factory RacingRow 53 - Cell 2
55Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:00:34
56Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 56 - Cell 2
58Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 57 - Cell 2
59William Clarke (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 58 - Cell 2
60Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 59 - Cell 2
61Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica GreenEdge0:00:46
62Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling0:00:49
63Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 62 - Cell 2
64Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:00:52
65Martin Velits (Svk) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 64 - Cell 2
66Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha0:00:57
67Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:07
68Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory RacingRow 67 - Cell 2
69Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team SkyRow 68 - Cell 2
70Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.frRow 69 - Cell 2
71Koen de Kort (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 70 - Cell 2
72Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 71 - Cell 2
73Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 72 - Cell 2
74Lars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro TeamRow 73 - Cell 2
75Chad Haga (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin0:01:21
76Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky0:01:26
77Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team SkyRow 76 - Cell 2
78Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) FDJ.frRow 77 - Cell 2
79Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling0:01:33
80Davide Malacarne (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
81Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:01:36
82Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 81 - Cell 2
83Martijn Keizer (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 82 - Cell 2
84Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ.frRow 83 - Cell 2
85Jack Bauer (NZl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:01:57
86Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:02:09
87Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team0:03:00
88Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:03:16
89Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:03:32
90Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step0:03:52
91Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 90 - Cell 2
92Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo0:04:10
93Martin Kohler (Swi) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 92 - Cell 2
94Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 93 - Cell 2
95Lawson Craddock (USA) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 94 - Cell 2
96Luke Rowe (GBr) Team SkyRow 95 - Cell 2
97Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team KatushaRow 96 - Cell 2
98Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 97 - Cell 2
99Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:04:46
100Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdge0:05:48
101Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica GreenEdgeRow 100 - Cell 2
102Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 101 - Cell 2
103Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 102 - Cell 2
104Gregory Henderson (NZl) Lotto SoudalRow 103 - Cell 2
105Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 104 - Cell 2
106Graeme Brown (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 105 - Cell 2
107Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 106 - Cell 2
108Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek Factory RacingRow 107 - Cell 2
109Rick Flens (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 108 - Cell 2
110Alex Edmondson (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 109 - Cell 2
111Neil van der Ploeg (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 110 - Cell 2
112Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory RacingRow 111 - Cell 2
113Campbell Flakemore (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 112 - Cell 2
114Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM CyclingRow 113 - Cell 2
115Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:09:59
116Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ.fr0:10:12
117Marco Coledan (Ita) Trek Factory Racing0:11:39
118Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:13:43
119Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 118 - Cell 2
120Miles Scotson (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 119 - Cell 2
121Jordan Kerby (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 120 - Cell 2
122Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 121 - Cell 2
123Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 122 - Cell 2
124Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory RacingRow 123 - Cell 2
125Boris Vallée (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 124 - Cell 2