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Tour Down Under 2019: Stage 2

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Well folks, it's another blistering day at the Tour Down Under, with temperatures forecast for well above 36 C / 96 F again today.

After being forced to take a finishing loop off stage 1 due to concerns about high winds, the Tour Down Under organisers also announced that today's stage has been reduced because of the hot weather.

With temperatures expected to breach 40 C, organisers consulted with representatives from for teams and riders. After a full agreement on all sides, they decided to cut 26.9km from the original 149km route, leaving us with a 122.1km stage. 

 

You can read our story from yesterday about the change HERE

 

Although yesterday's stage was shortened because of forecasts for high winds, it was Elia Viviani who produced the most energy at the finish, putting on a master class for his rivals to take the victory and the first leader's jersey.

 

Here's the top 10 from stage 1:

1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 3:19:47
2 Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb
3 Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC Team
4 Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Merida
5 Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
6 Jasper Phlipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
7 Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Team Sky
8 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
9 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
10 Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) Groupama-FDJ

 

Top 10 GC after stage 1:

1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck - Quick-Step 3:19:37
2 Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:00:04
3 Patrick Bevin (NZl) CCC Team 0:00:05
4 Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb
5 Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC Team 0:00:06
6 Jason Lea (Aus) UniSA-Australia 0:00:08
7 Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:10
8 Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
9 Jasper Phlipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
10 Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Team Sky

 

If you missed the finish yesterday, you can read Daniel Benson's description of Viviani's master class HERE

 

The second stage will see the peloton race from Norwood, an Adelaide suburb about 77km to the northeast.

The 122.1km stage will start with a 9.5km neutral roll out as the course gently limbs out of town. The route immediately kicks up when the flag drops, and the riders will contest the first and only KOM of the day - the 13.3 per cent climb up Checker Hill Road - at just over 26km into the stage.

The first of two intermediate sprints comes in Birdwood at 39.2km after a steady uphill grind, which continues for the next 15km until a short descent into Springton and the second sprint of the day at 57.9km.

With 66.2km left to race after the final intermediate sprint in Springton, the course takes on several small climbs and descents as the riders make their way to another expected sprint finish in Angaston. Total climbing in the stage is 1,725 metres.

 

Conspicuously absent from the stage 1 sprint was Caleb Ewan, who is obviously still working with his new Lotto Soudal team to fine tune their finish. Read Daniel Benson's report on what happened to the young Australian yesterday HERE

 

And don't forget our podcast from after stage 1, where we hear from Viviani, Ewan, Paddy Bevin and Michael Valgren. Listen to the podcast HERE

 

Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott) missed the Down Under Classic criterium, but he was back in the saddle yesterday, finishing 95th. We caught up with him at the start this morning.

 

“All fine here. I just had a little bit of a stomach upset so missed the crit, but now I’m fine. If you want to test your stomach out, you test it out yesterday. I’m alright.

 

“It’s an interesting stage. You watch it on the video or even on the highlights and it doesn’t look like much, but I think after that final kilometre it’s probably four or five per cent for a little bit, which really takes it out of the legs.

 

"Obviously it’s a good mix of the fast guys and guys like Daryl Impey who are here, and it’s guys like him versus the pure sprinters like Caleb Ewan, Viviani and Sagan obviously.

 

"It’s going to be a good stage, normally we would’ve done one lap to see it first, but nobody would’ve seen it today we just come straight into the finish. That will also be interesting as people won’t be able to prepare or know where they need to go or not go. There could be a bit of misjudgement in the sprint, and the weather will also play a part and will make it tricky as well.”

 

Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb) was second yesterday and will wear the blue sprint jersey for today's stage. 

 

 

We caught up with Walscheid at the start of the stage: 

 

"I think it went pretty well. We were happy to start our race like that, and unfortunately first place wasn't possible.

 

"I was really happy to see Michael Storer out there in the break, and he did very well to collect those bonus seconds. He's also wearing the white jersey today – and I'm in the blue – so along with the stage result, it was a great day for us."

 

 

Walscheid's teammate Michael Storer had this to say about yesterday's adventure in the breakaway and earning the white jersey:
 

“I just went in the breakaway to pick up a few seconds, and I got five in the end, which was more than I expected.

 

“I don’t know what to expect today, because at 120km it’s short for us so may be harder for the breakaway today and the bonus seconds. Paddy Bevin put himself out there yesterday with the bonus seconds, so perhaps now there’ll be more interest in them.”

 

Elia Viviani's sprint yesterday really was something to see. First he held his position along the barriers as the hole started to close, then he used an unmatchable burst of speed to sail past Walscheid for the win. he earned the first leader's jersey for his effort. Here he is at the start today.

 

 

 

 

 

We asked Viviani about yesterday's sprint. Here's what he had to say:

 

"It was a small space, but it didn't feel dangerous to do it. I saw the space and it was getting smaller, but I came at it with a bit of speed, so it was probably a bit easier for me than it looked on TV. But it was a spectacular finish, and I hope that people enjoyed it.

 

"We want to try to control the race today, but that's never easy, especially if a breakaway goes. It's going to be hot, too, but hopefully we'll have some support from other teams, too, as they want to win as well.

 

"It's a more difficult sprint today, as it rises up to the finish line, and is not quite as fast as yesterday's finish, so we need to employ some good tactics today if we're going to get the win again."

 

The 9.5km neutral roll out is over and stage 2 at the Tour Down Under has officially started. We're racing folks, and the attacks have already started!

 

The first two attackers will sound familiar, as they were both in yesterday's early breakaway: Artyom Zakharov (Astana) and Jason Lea (UniSA-Australia), with Jaime Castrillo (Movistar) joining them to add to the fun.

 

The lead trio now has 35 seconds on the bunch.  Once again, riders out front are Artyom Zakharov (Astana), Jason Lea (UniSA-Australia) and Jaime Castrillo (Movistar)

 

The first prize up for grabs today comes at 26.3km with the Checker Hill KOM. The 800 metre climb averages 13.3 percent gradient, so it's no Sunday ride through the park.

 

117km remaining from 122km

The lead trio now has 3:10 on the bunch

 

Here's view from the top of Checker Hill, where crowds are already starting to gather.

 

 

114km remaining from 122km

New gap is 3:30. These guys aren't wasting any time racing into the Barossa Valley.

 

We covered Zakharov and Lea yesterday, but what do we know about Castrillo? The 22-year-old Spaniard joined Movistar last year and put in 56 race days, not bad for a neo pro. His calendar included the Tour Down Under, where he finished 107th in his first race for the team. He was sixth in the U23 road race at UCI Road World Championships in Austria.

 

If you want a closer look at the rig Viviani used to win stage 1, Josh Evans has got all of the details for you HERE

 

 

If you're a fan of blogs, Chad Haga's is always entertaining. In this instalment, the Team Sunweb pro writes about his off-season in the US. Read Haga's blog HERE

 

 

We're less than 10km away from the first KOM at Checker Hill. The gap is holding around 3:15

 

That was fast. The race says we're now 3km from the KOM, and the leaders have 2:45 

 

The Checker Hill climb is brutally steep. Whoever wins here is going to earn it.

 

It's properly hot out here today at #TourDownUnder. That means extra feed zones to help keep our riders hydrated. C… https://t.co/fzhHJQCwaz

@TeamSky Wed, 16th Jan 2019 01:28:08

Bit of a grinder on this climb. #TDU

@giveitaburl Wed, 16th Jan 2019 01:40:18

Lea takes the KOM ahead of Zakharov and Castrillo

 

The leaders are on an equally steep descent now, reaching speeds of 90kmh

 

The next gem to be plucked in this stage is the first intermediate sprint in Birdwood at 39.2km

 

85km remaining from 122km

The leaders are holding their gap at 2:13 about 2km from the first intermediate sprint

 

Zakharov takes maximum points at the intermediate sprint ahead of Castrillo and Lea. There are also time bonuses on offer of three, two and one second

 

The second and final intermediate sprint of the day comes in Springton with 66.2km remaining.

 

Journalsist aren't the only people working hard at the start line. Check out this pic we got of Caleb Ewan interviewing former teammate Alex Edmondson

 

 

Daniel Benson spoke with Team Sky's Wout Poels, who told us he's at the Tour Down Under to make a run at the GC. Richie Porte has won on Willunga Hill the past five times the race has gone there, and Poels told us he thought it would be "nice" if someone else won there. The peloton will tackle the climb twice in the final 25km kilometres of the last stage, finishing atop the climb.

 

Read more about what Poels had to say HERE

 

80 kilometers to go at today's #TourDownUnder stage, where our team's hard work reduced the advantage of the escapees to 1:50.

@deceuninck_qst Wed, 16th Jan 2019 02:11:54

#TourDownUnder One, two, three, four, five! It’s thirsty work on stage 2 but we have plenty of Giant bottles f… https://t.co/12zRYRxYqw

@CCCProTeam Wed, 16th Jan 2019 02:05:28

71km remaining from 122km

The race reports the gap has gone back out to nearly three minutes

 

I can’t pronounce Quick Steps new name so I will call them De Kooning Quick Paints.

@zoeart Wed, 16th Jan 2019 02:14:46

Zakharov has claimed the second intermediate sprint and another three-second bonus. That's a total of six seconds for him. Lea was second in Springton, with Castrillo third.

 

58km remaining from 122km

After the sprint and the carrots that were luring the breakaway riders all chewed up, the trio out front seem to have lost a  little motivation. They're gap is down to just 1:17

 

The peloton is going through the feed zone with 56.7km left to race. The riders will need to take on a lot of bottles as the temperature in Eden Valley has hit 38 C / 101 F

 

It's a beautiful landscape with a lot of brown and yellow grass mixed in with an occasional vineyard in the Barossa Valley. The peloton is currently on a tree-lined road getting a brief respite of shade.

 

The finish line in Angaston awaits. According to Wikiperdia, Angaston, which at 347 metres of elevation is one of the highest points in the Barossa Valley and has an average rainfall of 561 mm, was originally known as German Pass, but was later renamed after the politician, banker and possible former slaveholder George Fife Angas, who settled in the area in the 1850s.

 

 

49km remaining from 122km

The peloton is crawling along now, spread across the road and not working too hard. With 49km remaining, Artyom Zakharov (Astana), Jason Lea (UniSA-Australia) and Jaime Castrillo (Movistar) are still out front, but time gaps are heard to come by at the moment.

 

Temperatures have climbed another degree to 39 C / 102 F

 

Hold on. While we were making a sandwich the break has been caught. Now several more riders are heading up the road.

 

Manuele Boaro (Astana) and Matthieu Ladagnous (Groupama-FDJ) have gone up the road, but Boaro has been called off and is going back to the bunch.

 

Ladagnous appears to be throwing in the towel now that he's lost his companion. Even so, at the pace the peloton is riding it might take a while to catch him.

 

EF Education First's Dan McLay will be one of the sprinters looking for a result today in Angaston. He said he doesn't believe any one sprinter will dominate racing this year. You can read more of what McLay had to say HERE

 

 

38km remaining from 122km

Welp, Matthieu Ladagnous (Groupama-FDJ) is sticking with it. he's got 1:40 on the group now.

 

37km remaining from 122km

Ladagnous  hit 86kmh on the descent down Mengler Hill. He's got two minutes now on his way to Tanunda.

 

#TourDownUnder S2 Feed zones today are not about handing up a single bottle, but rather musettes containing multipl… https://t.co/BvsMvh98Br

@TrekSegafredo Wed, 16th Jan 2019 03:13:32

The cagey Frenchman out front is holding his gap at two minutes. The 34-year-old has spent his entire professional career, which started in 2006, with the FDJ teams. Now in his 16th season, he's scored 11 wins, the last of which came in 2013 during stage 3 of the Tour du Limousin.

 

32km remaining from 122km

Ladagnous' gap is down to 1:45 on these long straight roads in the heart of the Barossa Valley

 

30km remaining from 122km

They're pulling time back in chunks now, as the Frenchman's gap is down to 1:14 as he rides through Tanunda

 

28km remaining from 122km

It's Viviani's Deceuninck-QuickStep teammate Remi Cavagna on the front now, followed by Lotto for Ewan and Bahrain-Merida for Bauhaus.

 

These long straight roads aren't doing Ladagnous any favours, but he's still got 1:16 on the bunch.

 

25km remaining from 122km

As the peloton rides through the vineyards on either side of the road, QuickStep's Cavagna leads Lotto's Thomas de Gent and the rest of the peloton. They're not lingering anymore with 25km to go and 1:05 to the solo breakaway rider.

 

20km remaining from 122km

With 20km to go, Cavagna is still leading the bunch, and the gap is down to 35 seconds. He's taking on a bottle from the car, but success seems unlikely.

 

Team Sky have come to the front now to help with the chase. Their sprinter Owain Doull would like to have a crack at the finish. 

 

16km remaining from 122km

Ladagnous is just in front of the peloton now as they go up and over the rolling terrain

 

13km remaining from 122km

Ladagnous still has 34 seconds on the bunch, which isn't in any necessary hurry to bring hm back quite yet.

 

This is reminiscent of yesterday's finish, which turned out to be quite disorganised.

 

9km remaining from 122km

Ladagnous has taken his gap back out to 45 seconds. Can the Frenchman pull off a miracle?

 

7km remaining from 122km

The sprinters' teams have rounded up their fastmen and are moving up to the front.

 

5km remaining from 122km

Ladagnous's gap is down to 20 seconds. He won't make it.

 

The teams are confident in bringing him back, as they are going just fast enough to tick a few seconds off but not use up any more energy than necessary

 

Micthelton-Scott, Katusha, Team Sky and UAE are spread across the road. Could UAE"s Belgian youngster Japser Philpsen pull off a major upset today? Bahrain-Merida is also there for Phil Bauhaus.

 

2km remaining from 122km

It's over for Ladagnous!

 

2km remaining from 122km

A little argy bargy near the front as someone tries to take Sagan off the wheel of Daniel Oss

 

Control is changing rapidly. They all want control, but Bora's got it for now.

 

1km remaining from 122km

At 1km to go Team Sky is trying to take control

 

Crash in the middle of the field!!

 

The sprinters are gone.

 

Caryl Impey's got a lead out

 

Patrick Bevin takes it!

 

Great sprint from the CCC Team Kiwi. He was third at the start of the day, five seconds behind Viviani

 

Provisional result

1 Patrick Bevin (NZl) CCC Team
2 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
4 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma

 

Today's Top 10:


1 Patrick Bevin (NZl) CCC Team 03:14:31
2 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
3 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
4 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
5 Jasper Phlipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
6 Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Merida
7 Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
8 Luis Leon Sanches (Esp) Astana
9 Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo
10 Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Team Sky

 

Bevin is the new race leader, 5 seconds ahead of Elia Viviani and nine seconds ahead of Caleb Ewan

 

General Classification after stage 2

 

1 Patrick Bevin (NZl) CCC Team 06:04:03
2 Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 00:00:05
3 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal 00:00:09
4 Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb 00:00:09
5 Artyom Zakharov (Kaz) Astana 00:00:09
6 Jason Lea (Aus) Unisa-Australia 00:00:10
7 Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb 00:00:10
8 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:11
9 Jakub Mareczko ((Ita) CCC Team 00:00:11
10 Jaime Castrillo (Esp) Movistar 00:00:02

 

We've got video highlights from stage 2, including the messy finale with the crash in the finishing straight. Watch Patrick Bevin (CCC Team) school the pure sprinters HERE

 

 

#TourDownUnder A win for @PaddyBevin. A win for the team. These are the scenes we love. #RideForMore https://t.co/oXHZgD9pRe

@CCCProTeam Wed, 16th Jan 2019 05:05:12

#TourDownUnder Beating the Australian summer heat. The #BORAhansgrohe guys take some time to cool down post st… https://t.co/A1T5ANVLOH

@BORAhansgrohe Wed, 16th Jan 2019 05:43:13

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