Young South African showing his class on the climbs Down Under
Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) won the 2nd stage of the Tour Down Under with his teammate, Daryl Impey coming across the line in 2nd. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) secured the final podium spot, Ewan moving into the overall race lead.
The 2nd stage of the Tour Down Under took on a more undulating parcours then yesterday, with the King of the Mountains prime coming after just 12km. With our Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka young gun, Nicholas Dlamini in the Subaru Polka Dot Jersey, he was off from the gun in search of those KOM points. Dlamini was joined by the same duo (Clarke & Bowden) that he escaped with yesterday plus one more, in the form of Jaime Castrillo (Movistar).
Upon reaching the summit, it was again Dlamini who proved to have the superior kick, taking maximum points to extend his lead to 8 points over Clarke. With his objective achieved for the day, our young South African returned to the peloton in order to save energy for the week ahead.
Once the sprint points had been mopped up by the other 3, Bowden and Clarke also returned to the peloton, leaving Castrillo to bake out in the Australian sun on his own. The Spaniard put up a valiant fight to make it to the final 15km lap around Stirling in the lead, but he was always destined to be caught.
The peloton, which really upped the tempo over the final of 4 laps, was reduced to just 48 riders coming to the line and our African Team still had 4 riders in contention. Tom-Jelte Slagter was our go to man for the final but unfortunately, Ben O’Connor, Lachlan Morton and Scott Davies weren’t able to find our Dutchman in the finale. As the sprint opened, Slagter got swamped after a general bunch movement and could not contest the sprint, rolling home in 23rd.
Tom-Jelte Slagter – Rider
Today was a hard finish but we knew that. I was surprised how big the group was in the end for the sprint. I was there but we kind of lost each other in the final lap, and got a bit mixed up. So, I tried to float from team to team in the last 3km and it went pretty well actually but with 500m to go I was a bit far back. I started sprinting and improved some positions but then the whole group moved left and I had to brake. I was caught up against the barrier and lost positions so unfortunately the result could have been a lot better.