Geraint Thomas wins the 2nd stage of the Tour Down Under, disturbed by a crash
The second stage of the Tour Down Under 2013 took place between Mount Barker and Rostrevor today. As expected, the climb of Corkscrew Road had a big influence on the result, but a crash in the final part of the race disturbed how it unfolded. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) gave everything he had to win this stage beating the other riders in the breakaway but also the chasing riders who were coming back quickly on the leading group.
The summary of the 2nd stage of the Tour Down Under 2013: Mount Barker > Rostrevor
It was a short stage (with its 116.5 kilometers the shortest stage in the history of the Tour Down Under) which was on the programme of the Tour Down Under 2013 today, between Mount Barker and Rostrevor with a short and steep climb in the final part: Corkscrew Road over 2.5 km at 9% and going up to 19% at some places. Therefore, before the start of the stage the favourite rider for the stage win was Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team), but it turned out not to be his day ...
Right from the start, at the initiative of Calvin Watson (UniSA), a breakaway was formed with Will Clarke (Argos-Shimano), Guillaume BonnafondAG2R La Mondiale and Christopher Juul-Jensen (Team Saxo-Tinkoff). After 17 kilometers their gap was up to 2'20". The peloton played some sort of a cat-and-mouse game with this breakaway because after having brought down the gap to 45 seconds, it went back up and stabilised around 1'50" at half-race.
In the breakaway the Australian rider Will Clarke took the points in the two intermediate sprints, the first time ahead of Watson and Bonnafond followed by a sprint which he won ahead of Bonnafond and Juul-Jensen.
The peloton seemed to have some difficulties in getting organised to take back this breakaway but in the end it happened all rather quickly and at 19 kilometers from the finish, the peloton decided to bring an end to the dreams of the 4 leading riders.
Not surprisingly the climb of Corkscrew road made the peloton fall apart and George Bennett (Radioshack-Leopard-Trek) managed to get away, with Geraint Thomas (Team Sky). This leading duo was joined by Ben Hermans, Bennett's team mate, and Javier Moreno (Movistar Team) when about 15 riders, including Philippe Gilbert, crashed.
11 riders started the chase on the 4 leading riders but didn't manage to get back on them before the finish. Geraint Thomas turned out to be the fastest when he attacked early from the back of the group. The British rider even declared after the finish that at one point he thought he had attacked too early but that he gave everything he could from 400 meters from the finish already simply because he saw the other riders coming back quick on the leading group. Javier Moreno finished second, ahead of Ben Hermans at 1 second and Tom-Jelte Slagter (Blanco Pro Cycling Team) at 4 seconds.
The classifications after the 2nd stage of the Tour Down Under 2013