McCarthy Take Tour Down Under Stage Two Win And Race Lead

Kev Monks20 Jan 2016 09:59

Tinkoff's Jay McCarthy has taken victory on the second stage of Santos Tour Down Under in South Australia and now leads the race.

Unley, which was hosting the race for the fifteenth time in eighteen runnings, was the setting for the departure of stage two which was 132kms long and takes the race on a very lumpy course to a finish in Stirling which is only fifteen minutes by car from Adelaide.

On a day where temperatures were cooler than for the opening day and with Caleb Ewan in the leader's ochre jersey and Sean Lake in the KOM jersey, the 140 riders completed the six kilometres of neutral zone and took off down the South East Highway.

Straight away, there was an attack and four riders in Thomas De Gendt of Lotto Soudal, Manuele Boaro of Tinkoff, Yoann Offredo of FDJ and Patrick Lane of Uni-SA.got three hundred metres clear and were 55 seconds clear after four kilometres.

Some riders struggled but got back to the peloton as they neared the Subaru KOM at Rangeview Road. Manuele Boaro went first and his efforts paid off as he took the points ahead of Lane and De Gendt.

After IAM Cycling's Matteo Pelucchi abandoned the race, the front quartet were caught with twenty one kilometres gone as the race passed through Aldgate.

Through the feedzone and onto five 21km laps around Stirling they went altogether heading for the first iiNET sprint in Heathfield after 27.9kms.

Orica GreenEdge's Simon Gerrans took the sprint and the three seconds ahead of the race leader Caleb Ewan, followed by Dimension Data's Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg and Movistar's Jose Joaquin Rojas.

Lotto Soudal's Adam Hansen in his eighth Tour Down Under, slipped off the front after thirty kilometres and was soon 1.15 clear before getting 1.50 clear after 38 kilometres and he went over the finish line to start the second lap with a lead of 2.20.

British champion Peter Kennaugh went to the front of the peloton as Adam Hansen took the second sprint in Heathfield after 49.3km and Gerrans took two points to move within two points of Caleb Ewan who took a point.

Hansen's lead had dropped to 1.35 with seventy kilometres left but increased slightly to 1.43 as he started on the third lap.

Team Sky's Salvatore Puccio abandoned due to illness as Hansen's lead steadied at two minutes as Uni-SA, started to work with Orica GreenEdge and the gap came down.

BMC came to the front and as Hansen took the bell for the final twenty one kilometres, he was only forty one seconds clear and with 18.9kms left, Hansen was caught by the pack which again had Orica GreenEdge on the front.

Kiel Reijnen of Trek, punctured and went off the road but managed to save it and was able to get back on his way after a change of two wheels.

The final seven kilometres were all up hill and it was Giant Alpecin who led with Jack Bobridge also well placed before Team Sky started to come up on the left with Luke Rowe on the front.

Ian Stannard took over as at the back, riders were being dropped all over the road and then dropped back. So Simon Geschke and then Lampre took over.

Diego Ullisi tried to slip away but the peloton were watching and the Lampre rider, dropped back with 1.2kms left.

Peter Kennaugh made his move and went away with Pim Lithgart following.

There was a crash involving Simon Gerrans whilst at the front Kennaugh was caught and Tinkoff got four men on the front and it was Jay McCarthy in 3.26.40 who took the win ahead of Ullisi, Rohan Dennis, Wyss, Vakoc, Bevin, Lobato, Henao, Roux and Battaglin.

McCarthy, who leads the race by four seconds from Ullisi, said to Paul Sherwen: "I have been eyeing this stage for a few years. I was hoping I could get my chance and I am glad that i could deliver.

"I have the chance to go for the GC so now I have to recover and there is plenty more work ahead of us and I hope we can get more results."