The Tour Take | Tour Down Under Stage 1
1st – Elia Viviani ( Deceuninck— Quick-Step)
2nd – Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb)
3rd – Jakub Mareczko (CCC Team)
The organisers really tried to ease the riders into the season today. 129km, one KOM and two intermediate sprints. The riders set off from North Adelaide, and headed to Paracombe for three loops and came back on the same road. Not unlike a finale we would see in Dubai or the old Tour of Qatar. No lumps or bumps in the last 30km.
Jason Lea, Patrick Bevin, Michael Storer and Zakharov jumped away in the early stages of the day. Zakharov would dropped back to the peloton with 88km to go, leaving the NZ/Aus trio to press on. They worked well together until the heat of the day and the peloton, who maybe panicked a little early brought an early end to their day with 38 km to go.
In fairness, it was a pretty quite finale today. Of course the heat took the zap out of the riders legs and the parcour didn’t off much either. With the wide, flat run in it was difficult for teams to get organised. In the final kilometre, it was only Katusha and Team Jumbo- Visma that were the only squads to have more than one rider together. That didn’t matter at all. With everyone else going as a lone wolf, it made for un ultra messy sprint. Max Walscheid looked to have the victory, until Viviani threaded the needle down the left to create an opening for himself. With a clear run at Walscheid’s wheel, the Italian went past him like he was standing still, winning by two lengths.
3- Elia Viviani. Cool in a crisis. Looked like there was no way out, but the Italian found the gap to unleash his savage finish.
2- Patrick Bevin. Snuck up the road to grab some time bonuses. A bloke who has done well here before. Those five seconds could come in handy later.
1- Jakub Mareczko. First race in a World Tour team. He ran third in a messy sprint. Doesn’t mind getting to work in the trenches.
See you back at the social club,