Tour Down Under: Porte wins stage 2 on Paracombe climb

Richie Porte (BMC Racing) stomped away from the rest of the Tour Down Under contenders Wednesday on the Paracombe climb, taking the stage 2 win and claiming the overall race lead. The BMC team leader made it look easy as he rode away from the mostly intact peloton that hit the lowers slopes of the final climb for a fourth career Tour Down Under stage win.

Porte finished 16 seconds ahead of Gorka Izagirre (Movistar) and Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) during the 145.5km stage from Stirling to Paracombe. He now leads Izagirre in the overall by 20 seconds and Chaves by 22.

"It's incredible to wear the jersey in the biggest race in Australia. I would love to win it. There are a few hard days to come but I know today and the work the BMC guys did for me today was absolutely incredible," Porte said after collecting the ochre, points, and KOM jerseys. "I did a lot of training in the off-season for this climb, we made a mess of it two years ago so to come back and make amends like this is just a dream."

Having twice finished runner-up in the race, Porte wouldn't be drawn into stating the race was already won with the likes of Simon Gerrans (Orica-Scott) still a dangerous rival despite being 58 seconds in arrears.

"I think for me, it is just to get through the next two days in as good a condition as I can. I am not sure what the time gaps are back to guys like Simon Gerrans but she's not over until it's over," added Porte.

With 2015 Paracombe winner Rohan Dennis crossing the line in fourth place, BMC is well positioned for its second overall win in three years. Izagirre, and Chaves are likely Porte's most dangerous rivals. However, Australian puncheurs Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Nathan Haas (Dimension Data) will be riders to watch with the numerous intermediate sprint bonus seconds on offer.

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How it unfolded

After the 46 degrees of stage 1, far cooler temperatures of 19 degrees awaited the peloton in Stirling with the hills town hosting the start, rather than finish of stage 2 as it has in previous years. Bahrain-Merida's Ondrej Cink, in his first race as a road rider, and UniSA-Australia's Cam Meyer chanced their luck in an early break on the five circuits of Stirling.

Their attempt came to naught so that when the first intermediate sprint came around, Ben Swift (UAE Abu Dhabi) got the points and bonus seconds ahead of Jay McCarthy. Movistar's Jasha Sütterlin decided to jump off the front shortly after, quickly building a five-minute lead over a peloton that was more than content to let him enjoy some TV time.

There was no contest for the second intermediate sprint point at just under half way into the stage as Sütterlin, the Bora-Hansgrohe duo Michael Kolar and Rudiger Selig mopped up for second and third. World Champion Peter Sagan was happy to show himself at the front of the peloton as riders took a relaxed approach to the circuits, smiling and laughing at regular intervals.

Regular workhorse Damien Howson resumed his place at the head of the peloton towards the end of the fourth lap with Sütterlin's lead dropping to three and a half minutes. Race leader Caleb Ewan was another rider to move forward and assist with the pace making as Sütterlin extended his lead back to four minutes on the fifth and final circuit and in doing so, secured the combativity prize.

The red jerseys of BMC and Lotto Soudal were next to swell towards the front, followed by the lime green of Cannondale-Drapac, with Sütterlin's advantage on the road equal to three kilometres. In the final kilometres of the fifth circuit, Sky joined in at the front of the race, ready to up the power when called upon.

Exciting the circuit, Ian Stannard dropped the hammer for Sky with Sütterlin's advantage halved to just under two minutes.

Having set a new Strava record on Monday up Paracombe, Sütterlin wasn't in position to repeat his 3:13 minute effort as he sat up with 40km to race. Birthday boy and Australian national champion Miles Scotson (BMC) was the first man to blast past as the pace in the peloton saw several riders start to struggle at the rear.

Down Norton Summit, UniSA-Australia's Cam Meyer did a turn of pace with Team Sky and Orica-Scott keeping the former winner in check. BMC's Rohan Dennis suffered a flat on the fast run down Maryvale Road. A double puncture felled Sebastián forcing Sky to send his cousin Sebastián, and Kenny Elissonde to help pace him back through the convoy before the Gorge with Cannondale-Drapac's Paddy Bevin for company.

With the knowledge that one of the pre-race favourites in Henao was struggling to regain contact, Orica-Scott and Movistar drove the pace through the gorge with 10km to race. Ewan and Daryl Impey were the last two men left for Gerrans and Chaves as riders started to pull up stumps as they approached the 5km to go signs.

When the race made the right turn onto the final climb, Sagan briefly lead before pulling off to side. Porte wasted little time launching an attack that only Izagirre could follow. Eventually, the Spaniard lost Porte's pace as well, dropping back to Chaves, who had pulled away from the rest. Porte made it look easy as he crossed the line for the stage win and overall lead, while Izagirre had no trouble beating Chaves to the line 16 seconds later. Dennis led a large group across the line another three seconds back.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team3:46:06
2Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:16
3Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-ScottRow 2 - Cell 2
4Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:00:19
5Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension DataRow 4 - Cell 2
6Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Abu DhabiRow 5 - Cell 2
7Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-SegafredoRow 6 - Cell 2
8Michael Storer (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 7 - Cell 2
9Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-DrapacRow 8 - Cell 2
10Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 9 - Cell 2
11Nathan Earle (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 10 - Cell 2
12Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Team SkyRow 11 - Cell 2
13Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-HansgroheRow 13 - Cell 2
15Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 14 - Cell 2
16Rafael Valls (Spa) Lotto SoudalRow 15 - Cell 2
17Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step FloorsRow 16 - Cell 2
18Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team SunwebRow 17 - Cell 2
19Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 18 - Cell 2
20Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-AlpecinRow 19 - Cell 2
21Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJ0:00:29
22Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo0:00:30
23Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo0:00:35
24Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 23 - Cell 2
25Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-DrapacRow 24 - Cell 2
26Lachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension DataRow 25 - Cell 2
27Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step FloorsRow 26 - Cell 2
28Jai Hindley (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 27 - Cell 2
29Lucas Hamilton (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 28 - Cell 2
30Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-MeridaRow 29 - Cell 2
31Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 30 - Cell 2
32Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team SunwebRow 31 - Cell 2
33Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 32 - Cell 2
34Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-DrapacRow 33 - Cell 2
35Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin0:00:47
36Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:50
37Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJRow 36 - Cell 2
38Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 37 - Cell 2
39Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data0:00:55
40Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:00:57
41Jack Bauer (NZl) Quick-Step FloorsRow 40 - Cell 2
42Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-ScottRow 41 - Cell 2
43Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 42 - Cell 2
44Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team SkyRow 43 - Cell 2
45José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 44 - Cell 2
46Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 45 - Cell 2
47Louis Meintjes (RSA) Team UAE Abu DhabiRow 46 - Cell 2
48Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 47 - Cell 2
49José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin0:01:06
50Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto SoudalRow 49 - Cell 2
51Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team0:01:21
52Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-AlpecinRow 51 - Cell 2
53Clement Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:01
54James Shaw (GBr) Lotto SoudalRow 53 - Cell 2
55Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek-Segafredo0:01:26
56Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 55 - Cell 2
57Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:34
58Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 57 - Cell 2
59Samuel Jenner (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 58 - Cell 2
60Ben Swift (GBr) Team UAE Abu DhabiRow 59 - Cell 2
61Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-Merida0:01:48
62Artyom Zakharov (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
63Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:02:06
64Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Team UAE Abu DhabiRow 63 - Cell 2
65Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:18
66Jeremy Maison (Fra) FDJ0:02:24
67Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:02:25
68Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb0:02:52
69Cameron Meyer (Aus) UniSA-Australia0:02:59
70Víctor de la Parte (Spa) Movistar Team0:03:16
71Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:03:21
72Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 71 - Cell 2
73Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:03:28
74Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data0:03:31
75Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La MondialeRow 74 - Cell 2
76Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe0:03:42
77Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:03:57
78Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing TeamRow 77 - Cell 2
79Manuele Mori (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi0:03:59
80Marco Marcato (Ita) Team UAE Abu DhabiRow 79 - Cell 2
81Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ0:04:16
82Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha-Alpecin0:04:50
83Martin Velits (Svk) Quick-Step Floors0:05:33
84Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:06:01
85Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar TeamRow 84 - Cell 2
86Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 85 - Cell 2
87Miles Scotson (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:06:03
88Jacobus Venter (RSA) Dimension Data0:06:57
89Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo0:07:08
90Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin0:07:17
91Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ0:07:33
92Francois Bidard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 91 - Cell 2
93Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb0:08:27
94Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team SunwebRow 93 - Cell 2
95Carlos Barbero Cuesta (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 94 - Cell 2
96Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Bahrain-MeridaRow 95 - Cell 2
97Callum Scotson (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 96 - Cell 2
98Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 97 - Cell 2
99Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Drapac0:09:23
100Matti Breschel (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 99 - Cell 2
101Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott0:09:28
102Chun Kai Feng (Tpe) Bahrain-MeridaRow 101 - Cell 2
103Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-Scott0:10:17
104Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 103 - Cell 2
105William Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-DrapacRow 104 - Cell 2
106Thomas Scully (NZl) Cannondale-DrapacRow 105 - Cell 2
107Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb0:10:56
108Michal Kolár (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe0:10:59
109Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe0:11:01
110Rudiger Selig (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 109 - Cell 2
111Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data0:11:23
112Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro TeamRow 111 - Cell 2
113Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 112 - Cell 2
114Roger Kluge (Ger) Orica-ScottRow 113 - Cell 2
115Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing TeamRow 114 - Cell 2
116Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 115 - Cell 2
117Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 116 - Cell 2
118Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team SkyRow 117 - Cell 2
119Tyler Farrar (USA) Dimension DataRow 118 - Cell 2
120Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Cannondale-DrapacRow 119 - Cell 2
121Marko Kump (Slo) Team UAE Abu DhabiRow 120 - Cell 2
122Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 121 - Cell 2
123Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJRow 122 - Cell 2
124Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team SkyRow 123 - Cell 2
125Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:11:51
126Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky0:13:13
127Luke Rowe (GBr) Team SkyRow 126 - Cell 2
128Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:14:41
129Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky0:14:51
130Oscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:17:15
131Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team SunwebRow 130 - Cell 2
132Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-SegafredoRow 131 - Cell 2
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Sprint 1, Heathfield 23.7km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Ben Swift (GBr) Team UAE Abu Dhabi5pts
2Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Sean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal2Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprrint 2, Heathfield 65.9km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team5pts
2Michal Kolár (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Rudiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe2Row 2 - Cell 3
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Finish Line Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team15pts
2Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team14Row 1 - Cell 3
3Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott13Row 2 - Cell 3
4Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team12Row 3 - Cell 3
5Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data11Row 4 - Cell 3
6Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Michael Storer (Aus) UniSA-Australia8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team6Row 9 - Cell 3
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