Tour Down Under: Ewan wins stage 1

Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) delivered on his favourite status in front of home crowds to win the first WorldTour stage of the season ahead of Mark Renshaw (Dimension Data) and Wouter Wippert (Cannondale). Ewan will now wear the ochre jersey for stage 2, his first stint in the leader’s jersey at WorldTour level.

With victory in Sunday’s Down Under Classic criterium, Ewan’s odds as the sprinter to beat at the Tour Down Under shortened but when the 21-year-old hit out with around 200 metres to go, there were several bike lengths back to Renshaw when he crossed the line.

"I felt really good all day and the team obviously backed me all day because they rode from the start and I’m just super happy that I could finish it off for them," Ewan said in a post-race television interview. "In the road race you have to be super conservative during the day… because the sprinters are so fast these days it’s usually down to the freshest legs and the strongest team in the end.

"I need to thank Gerro for sharing the team with me. If he says to the team that he wants them to do the drive for him, they would have to do that. So for a guy like that who can really win the overall, to say ‘yeah you can have your go on the day there’s so many sprints’ it means a lot. It’s a really proud moment for me, I’ve never led a WorldTour race before and to lead my first one in my home country is a real honour for me."

Orica-GreenEdge missed out on winning a stage at the 2015 edition of the race and as Australia's sole WorldTour team are expected to perform in Adelaide each January. Ewan's stage win is an early pressure release before the team looks to two important stages for Simon Gerrans and his quest for a fourth win.

The early stages

It was grupo compacto for the first two kilometres of the stage before a trio of Sean Lake (UniSA-Australia), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Martijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo) jumped away from the peloton to quickly build an advantage of two minutes. The Tea Three Gully Hill offered up the only KOM points of the day and it was Lake winning the sprint ahead of Keizer to secure the jersey on his first day of WorldTour racing.

Back in the peloton, Orica-GreenEdge was controlling the pace with Lampre-Merida offering some early assistance. With the riders approaching the Barossa circuit that passed through the towns of Williamstown, Lyndoch and Cockatoo Valley, the three leaders saw their advantage yo-yo from 1:30 to just over two minutes with temperatures still on the hot side of 35 degrees Celsius.

On the first pass through Lyndoch, winds had whipped up the dry lands to see plenty of dust particles floating through the air. Lake led the trio through the finishing arch with their lead hovering around two minutes. At the first intermediate sprint point, Gougeard lead out and held off Keizer for the maximum points.

At the 65km kilometre mark to go, the trio saw their lead drop to less than one minute due to Orica-GreenEdge’s work in the peloton but then went out to 1:20 within a handful of kilometres. AG2R and Tinkoff were sitting in next behind the local WorldTour team with Lampre-Merida continuing to stay near the front.

A second sprint win for Gougeard secured him six bonus seconds as the efforts of the day got to Keizer, who bid farewell to his breakaway companions with 42km to race. As Gougeard and Lake forged on, it was Hepburn continuing on the front of the peloton as AG2R riders sat in behind.

With 22km to go, Lake upped the pace to drop Gougeard, who did enough to earn the combativity award, and go solo as the sprinters teams were getting into position ready for the bunch gallop. Lake continued to turn the pedals over to hold a 55 second lead at 16km to race with Hepburn and Tsgabu Grmay (Lampre-Merida) controlling the tempo.

With 11km to race, Hayman punctured and chased back on as Lake continued to hold onto his lead of 35 seconds. The 24-year-old was eventually captured with 5.8km to go as Team Sky stormed to the front for Ben Swift. Orica-GreenEdge kept cool as Jack Bobridge came to the front for a spell, joined by IAM Cycling and Movistar, but as the peloton entered the final straight, the aero tuck sprint position of Ewan saw him power past his rivals up through the middle of the road for win number six in season 2016.

With a 15 second time bonus on the line for the winner, Ewan's win catapulted him into the ochre jersey while Gougeard's intermediate wins see the Frenchman occupy third place on GC and will wear the best young rider jersey tomorrow with second placed Renshaw to wear the points jersey.

With all the GC favourites arriving on the same time, stage 2 into Stirling will see the first significant time gaps open up on the general classification.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica–GreenEdge3:24:13
2Mark Renshaw (Aus) Team Dimension DataRow 1 - Cell 2
3Wouter Wippert (Ned) CannondaleRow 2 - Cell 2
4Marko Kump (Slo) Lampre–MeridaRow 3 - Cell 2
5Adam Blythe (GBr) TinkoffRow 4 - Cell 2
6Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek–SegafredoRow 5 - Cell 2
7Ben Swift (GBr) Team SkyRow 6 - Cell 2
8Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 7 - Cell 2
9José Joaquin Rojas (Esp) Team MovistarRow 8 - Cell 2
10Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto SoudalRow 9 - Cell 2
11Brenton Jones (Aus) Drapac Pro CyclingRow 10 - Cell 2
12Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL–JumboRow 11 - Cell 2
13Patrick Bevin (NZl) CannondaleRow 12 - Cell 2
14Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM CyclingRow 13 - Cell 2
15Arman Kamyshev (Kaz) AstanaRow 14 - Cell 2
16Davide Martinelli (Ita) Etixx–Quick-StepRow 15 - Cell 2
17Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM CyclingRow 16 - Cell 2
18Koen De Kort (Ned) Giant–AlpecinRow 17 - Cell 2
19Alexey Tsatevitch (Rus) Team KatushaRow 18 - Cell 2
20Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 19 - Cell 2
21Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJRow 20 - Cell 2
22Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La MondialeRow 21 - Cell 2
23Juan José Lobato Del Valle (Esp) Team MovistarRow 22 - Cell 2
24Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJRow 23 - Cell 2
25Michael Albasini (Sui) Orica–GreenEdgeRow 24 - Cell 2
26Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica–GreenEdgeRow 25 - Cell 2
27Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Giant–AlpecinRow 26 - Cell 2
28Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (Rsa)Row 27 - Cell 2
29Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) AstanaRow 28 - Cell 2
30Patrick Shaw (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 29 - Cell 2
31Federico Zurlo (Ita) Lampre–MeridaRow 30 - Cell 2
32Alberto Bettiol (Ita) CannondaleRow 31 - Cell 2
33Luka Pibernik (Slo) Lampre–MeridaRow 32 - Cell 2
34Adam Phelan (Aus) Drapac Pro CyclingRow 33 - Cell 2
35Lieuwe Westra (Ned) AstanaRow 34 - Cell 2
36Nathan Haas (Aus) Team Dimension DataRow 35 - Cell 2
37Julian Arredondo (Col) Trek–SegafredoRow 36 - Cell 2
38Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek–SegafredoRow 37 - Cell 2
39Rafael Valls Ferri (Esp) Lotto SoudalRow 38 - Cell 2
40Laurens De Vreese (Bel) AstanaRow 39 - Cell 2
41Simon Clarke (Aus) CannondaleRow 40 - Cell 2
42Cameron Meyer (Aus) Team Dimension DataRow 41 - Cell 2
43Luke Rowe (GBr) Team SkyRow 42 - Cell 2
44Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM CyclingRow 43 - Cell 2
45Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Esp) AstanaRow 44 - Cell 2
46Davide Malacarne (Ita) AstanaRow 45 - Cell 2
47Egor Silin (Rus) Team KatushaRow 46 - Cell 2
48Martin Velits (Svk) Etixx–Quick-StepRow 47 - Cell 2
49Jascha Sütterlin (Ger) Team MovistarRow 48 - Cell 2
50Carlos Verona (Esp) Etixx–Quick-StepRow 49 - Cell 2
51Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team SkyRow 50 - Cell 2
52Oscar Gatto (Ita) TinkoffRow 51 - Cell 2
53Steve Morabito (Sui) FDJRow 52 - Cell 2
54Jay McCarthy (Aus) TinkoffRow 53 - Cell 2
55Sergio Henao (Col) Team SkyRow 54 - Cell 2
56Manuele Boaro (Ita) TinkoffRow 55 - Cell 2
57Ruben Fernandez Andujar (Esp) Team MovistarRow 56 - Cell 2
58Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC Racing TeamRow 57 - Cell 2
59Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre–MeridaRow 58 - Cell 2
60Nelson Oliveira (Por) Team MovistarRow 59 - Cell 2
61Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto SoudalRow 60 - Cell 2
62Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 61 - Cell 2
63Murilo Fischer (Bra) FDJRow 62 - Cell 2
64Samuel Spokes (Aus) Drapac Pro CyclingRow 63 - Cell 2
65Michael Gogl (Aut) TinkoffRow 64 - Cell 2
66Daryl Impey (Rsa) Orica–GreenEdgeRow 65 - Cell 2
67Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team SkyRow 66 - Cell 2
68David Tanner (Aus) IAM CyclingRow 67 - Cell 2
69Louis Meintjes (Rsa) Lampre–MeridaRow 68 - Cell 2
70Bram Tankink (Ned) LottoNL–JumboRow 69 - Cell 2
71Tiago Machado (Por) Team KatushaRow 70 - Cell 2
72Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) TinkoffRow 71 - Cell 2
73Lucas Hamilton (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 72 - Cell 2
74Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 73 - Cell 2
75Nathan Earle (Aus) Drapac Pro CyclingRow 74 - Cell 2
76Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto SoudalRow 75 - Cell 2
77David De La Cruz (Esp) Etixx–Quick-StepRow 76 - Cell 2
78Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing TeamRow 77 - Cell 2
79Peter Velits (Svk) BMC Racing TeamRow 78 - Cell 2
80Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
81Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 80 - Cell 2
82Ruben Zepuntke (Ger) CannondaleRow 81 - Cell 2
83George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL–JumboRow 82 - Cell 2
84Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) LottoNL–JumboRow 83 - Cell 2
85Rory Sutherland (Aus) Team MovistarRow 84 - Cell 2
86Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL–JumboRow 85 - Cell 2
87Peter Stetina (USA) Trek–SegafredoRow 86 - Cell 2
88Jesús Herrada (Esp) Team MovistarRow 87 - Cell 2
89Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) LottoNL–JumboRow 88 - Cell 2
90Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 89 - Cell 2
91Lars Boom (Ned) AstanaRow 90 - Cell 2
92Georg Preidler (Aut) Giant–AlpecinRow 91 - Cell 2
93Michael Woods (Can) CannondaleRow 92 - Cell 2
94Ivan Rovny (Rus) TinkoffRow 93 - Cell 2
95Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 94 - Cell 2
96Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 95 - Cell 2
97Leigh Howard (Aus) IAM CyclingRow 96 - Cell 2
98Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Eth) Lampre–MeridaRow 97 - Cell 2
99Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Etixx–Quick-StepRow 98 - Cell 2
100Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx–Quick-StepRow 99 - Cell 2
101Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team SkyRow 100 - Cell 2
102Gavin Mannion (USA) Drapac Pro CyclingRow 101 - Cell 2
103Songezo Jim (Rsa) Team Dimension DataRow 102 - Cell 2
104Danilo Wyss (Sui) BMC Racing TeamRow 103 - Cell 2
105Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 104 - Cell 2
106Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 105 - Cell 2
107Patrick Lane (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 106 - Cell 2
108Sean Lake (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 107 - Cell 2
109Moreno Moser (Ita) CannondaleRow 108 - Cell 2
110Carter Jones (USA) Giant–AlpecinRow 109 - Cell 2
111Chris Hamilton (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 110 - Cell 2
112Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac Pro CyclingRow 111 - Cell 2
113Vladimir Isaychev (Rus) Team KatushaRow 112 - Cell 2
114Rein Taaramäe (Est) Team KatushaRow 113 - Cell 2
115Johan Le Bon (Fra) FDJRow 114 - Cell 2
116Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Trek–SegafredoRow 115 - Cell 2
117Laurent Pichon (Fra) FDJRow 116 - Cell 2
118Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 117 - Cell 2
119Jack Bobridge (Aus) Trek–SegafredoRow 118 - Cell 2
120Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx–Quick-StepRow 119 - Cell 2
121Jesse Sergent (NZl) AG2R La MondialeRow 120 - Cell 2
122Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre–MeridaRow 121 - Cell 2
123Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 122 - Cell 2
124Jaco Venter (Rsa) Team Dimension DataRow 123 - Cell 2
125Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJRow 124 - Cell 2
126Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team KatushaRow 125 - Cell 2
127Graeme Brown (Aus) Drapac Pro CyclingRow 126 - Cell 2
128Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek–Segafredo0:00:19
129Bert De Backer (Bel) Giant–Alpecin0:00:22
130Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica–GreenEdge0:00:40
131Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 130 - Cell 2
132Simon Geschke (Ger) Giant–Alpecin0:00:48
133Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Dimension Data0:01:01
134Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica–GreenEdge0:01:05
135Ian Stannard (GBr) Team SkyRow 134 - Cell 2
136Cheng Ji (Chn) Giant–Alpecin0:02:46
137Marcel Aregger (Sui) IAM Cycling0:05:29
138Matteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM CyclingRow 137 - Cell 2
139Martijn Keizer (Ned) LottoNL–Jumbo0:05:32
140Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica–GreenEdge0:07:56
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Intermediate sprint 1 - Cockatoo Valley
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale5pts
2Martijn Keizer (Ned) LottoNL–Jumbo3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Sean Lake (Aus) UniSA-Australia2Row 2 - Cell 3
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Intermediate sprint 2 - Cockatoo Valley
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale5pts
2Sean Lake (Aus) UniSA-Australia3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Martijn Keizer (Ned) LottoNL–Jumbo2Row 2 - Cell 3
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Finish
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica–GreenEdge15pts
2Mark Renshaw (Aus) Team Dimension Data14Row 1 - Cell 3
3Wouter Wippert (Ned) Cannondale13Row 2 - Cell 3
4Marko Kump (Slo) Lampre–Merida12Row 3 - Cell 3
5Adam Blythe (GBr) Tinkoff11Row 4 - Cell 3
6Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek–Segafredo10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-Australia8Row 7 - Cell 3
9José Joaquin Rojas (Esp) Team Movistar7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Soudal6Row 9 - Cell 3
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