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Tour Down Under Stage 2 – Live Coverage

Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the 2020 Tour Down Under. We'll have blow-by-blow coverage of all six stages, including today's 135.8km second stage from Woodside to Stirling.

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Hello race fans and welcome to our coverage of stage 2 at the Tour Down Under. Yesterday's opening stage provided plenty of drama, as Sam Bennett and Deceuninck-QuickStep rebounded from a disappointing performance at the Schwalbe Classic on Sunday to storm to victory yesterday in Tanunda.

Stage 2 takes the riders 135.8km from Woodside to the uphill-sprint finish in Stirling. There are two loops on each "end" of the course, and riders will tackle each of them four times, starting in Woodside. The peloton will complete four loops of Woodside and surrounds, including two ascents of Quarry Road in Charleston.

Intermediate prizes up for grabs today begin early again, with the first KOM coming on the category 2 climb of Quarry Road just 15.5km into the day. The second and final KOM of the day comes on Quarry Road again at 38.5km.

Time for riders to sign in before the start


World champion Mads Pedersen at today's sign-in

Trek-Segafredo's Tour Down Under team, including Richie Porte and world champion Mads Pedersen, inked their names on a Trek Madone SLR Disc with Force Etap AXS 12-speed that will be auctioned off to benefit victims of Australia's bushfire crisis. Read more about the auction HERE

if you missed our story on Rohan Dennis yesterday, you can still catch it today. He discusses his reasons for leaving the Tour de France so abruptly and his road to Team Ineos.

Mat Hayman previewed the stage route for us, and the former Mitchelton-Scott rider says we should expect a tough day on this hilly course, but sprinters who have arrived at the race fit should still be in contention for the win. You can read all of Hayman's remarks HERE

Mike Turtur, race director for the Santos Tour Down Under, said he is happy to see the start for the first time in Woodside.

“The challenge each year is to design a course for the race that will test the riders and create a spectacle for the fans. Not only do we need to create a route that provides enough challenges for the elite riders from around the world, but we also need to ensure it is suitable for sprinters and all-rounders alike."

Today's race goes into areas touched by the recent bushfires in Australia, and South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said Woodside debut as a host community couldn’t come at a better time.

“This is Woodside’s first start, and there couldn’t be a better time for crowds to flock to the Adelaide Hills town and show their support, not just for cycling but for the fire-affected communities and local businesses."

It's almost go time!

....aaaaaaand we're rolling for stage 2 of the 2020 Tour Down Under. Our first prize is a KOM at 15.5km. Jarrad Drizners (UniSA), tied on points with Joey Rosskopf (CCC Team) after yesterday, currently wears the mountains jersey.

CCC Team's Rosskopf isn't waiting around today. He's already on the attack in serach of more KOM points. He's joined by UniSA's Sam Jenner with Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-up Nation) and  Laurens De Vreese (Astana) trying to bridge.

Rosskopf and Jenner have 1:20 on the peloton, with Goldstein and De Vreese still in no-man's land trying to bridge

Goldstein and De Vreese are almost on terms with Rosskopf and Jenner, lingering just 20 seconds behind while the peloton is another two minutes back. We almost have a four-rider breakaway like on stage 1.

The breakaway on stage 1 formed after the first intermediate sprint 15km into the day. Before that, Mitchelton-Scott had welded everything back together so that 2019 champion Daryl Impey could fight for the three-second time bonus at the sprint, which he took.

The leaders are though the start line on the Woodside circuit and now have just 15 seconds on the two chasers

Jenner can protect his teammate Drizner's mountain jersey at the first KOM by winning the points and denying them to Rosskopf.

Rsskopf takes maximum points on the KOM ahead of Jenner. De Vreese is third. He and Goldstein have joined the two leaders to form a four-rider break with 120km to go

The gap from the peloton to our four leaders is just under three minutes now.
In the move once agin are Joey Rosskopf (CCC Team), Sam Jenner (UniSA), Laurens de Vreese (Astana) and Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up nation). 

Why do riders like the Tour Down Under, you might ask ....

New gap to the leaders is 1:35 as the peloton is feeling lively

The next KOM comes on Quarry Road again at 38.5km with 97.3km to race.

Rosskopf is a very determined rider today and has attacked his breakaway companions ahead of the second KOM. He's going for maximum points and a lock on the mountains jersey.

Rosskopf has 16 seconds on three chasers and 1:40 on the peloton.

Rosskopf hangs on to get maximum points again. That should seal his lead in the mountains classification.

Our Ellis Bacon was at the start line talking with riders and got some insight from Nathan Haas of Cofidis. Here's what the gregarious Australian had to say about today's finish in Stirling:

"I think between the three of us [Haas, Elia Viviani and Simone Consonni], we have a real shot at animating the final, but I really believe that Viviani's our guy for today. He's been up there here in the past, but I don't think he's had a stronger type of lead-out for that last moment; I think he's always brought his faster guys. So I think, with Consonni and me, we can really place him into the right spot today."

AG2R's Romain Bardet won't want to lose any time on the run-in to the finish, with the first proper hilly stage to come Thursday with stage 3 to Paracombe, but he was at least very honest with reporters on his assessment of today's finale:

It's OK, Romain, not everyone can be fast and crazy ...

With 85km to go, our four leaders have 1:07 on the peloton. The first intermediate sprint on the Stirling circuit in Heatherfield comes with 60.9km remaining.

The peloton is in no hurry to catch the breakaway with so many kilometres still on the docket, so they've backed off and the gap has gone back out to two minutes.

Race leader Sam Bennett's Deceuninck-QuickStep team is on the front keeping the escapees in check during this middle section of the race.

While we're waiting for the race to heat back up, take a look at this article by Josh Croxton that checks out what data do pro cyclists want to see while racing.

The breakaway has started on the Stirling circuit with a gap of 1:0 and 70km to go.

Less than 10km to go to the first intermediate sprint of the day.

The leaders are less than 3km from the first intermediate sprint.

The leaders are approaching the sprint and Jenner is leading them out.

Goldstein takes the sprint ahead of De Vreese and Jenner.

A reminder, our breakaway riders are:

The four breakaway riders are hanging onto a one-minute gap with 55km to go.

In case you missed it earlier today, the wildcards and routes were announced for La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège

The leaders are 7km from the second and final sprint of the day, which comes with 39.6km to race.

Laurens De Vreese has set off on his own now that the leaders' gap is down to 45 seconds. He's got 1km to go to the second sprint of the day and the bonus seconds.

De Vreese got the three seconds, but Jay McCarty (Bora-Hansgrohe) and George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) jumped clear of the bunch and picked up bonuses of two seconds and one second, respectively.

De Vreese starts the final 30km lap with 20 seconds on the bunch. The catch is imminent. Now it's just a matter of when.

There are 25km to go  and De Vreese has been caught. Deceuninck-QuickStep remains on the front for race leader Sam Bennett.

The peloton is going through Stirling and getting the bell for the final circuit – 21km to go.

Team Ineos' Luke Rowe has thrown his hand up for help, and Rohan Dennis is with him. This is an unfortunate time for a mechanical with 15km to go and the pace heating up ...

The pace os really going now. Rowe and Dennis will need to work hard to regain the bunch.

There are 10km remaining now, and it's mostly uphill to the final kicker in Stirling. Can Bennett hang on over the climbs and thus keep his leader's jersey?  And what of Rohan Dennis and his GC hopes? We'll find out shortly. 

Rowe and Dennis have made it to the back of the peloton. Now Dennis has to find his way to the front for the finale. He's got 9km to get it done

Six kilometres to go and the teams are starting to surge forward. Bora is there and now Mitchelton-Scott have all come forward to press the pace on the climb.

It's Mictehtlon-Scott on the right and Bora on the left, followed by Team Ineos and Rohan Dennis. 

Mitchelton-Scott's Luke Durbridge is hammering out the pace on the front now as Lotto Soudal now come forward for Ewan. Can the 'Pocket Rocket' make up for being out of position on stage 1?

Jumbo-Visma, Lotto Soudal, Cofidis and Astana are all in the mix with Mitchelton, Bora and Ineos. The sprinters have made it ver the hardest part of the climb!!

2.5km to go now and Mitchelton are still driving the pace trying to unglue the sprinters

There's a big crash about halfway back in the peloton, but the fallen riders are within 3km and will get the same time. A group of 25 continues on the front.

Cam Meyer is leading out Impey. They're sprinting!!

It's Ewan. Caleb Ewan wins stage 2 at the 2020 Tour Down Under in Stirling! 

Impey was second on the stage and scored a six-second time bonus

Stage 2 Top 10

Ewan is the new race leader but we're waiting for a complete GC top 10

GC top 4 after stage 2

GC Top 10

1 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal 6:56:15

A good day for Mr. Ewan

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