Caleb Ewan Storms to Stage 2 Victory at the Tour Down Under
Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) won stage two and claimed the overall lead in the Tour Down Under.
Ewan showed his immense power in the uphill sprint to the finish to race away from defending champion Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) at the end of the 135.8 kilometer stage from Woodside to Stirling.
Nathan Haas (Cofidis) was third and Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) fourth.
Ewan claimed a 10 second time bonus for the stage win to take over from Bennett in the tour leader’s ocher jersey.
Ewan and Bennett are credited with the same time on general classification but Ewan, who finished seventh on the first stage, holds the race lead on count back.
Impey moved into a challenging position, only a second behind the race leader while Philpsen is fourth, four seconds behind Ewan.
”I’m super happy with that,” Ewan said. ”Yesterday things didn’t go to plan and I think we spoke for about an hour in the room about what we can do better.
”The boys did absolutely perfect today, they did everything I asked for and I headed to the line in perfect position.”
A crash within two kilometers of the line Wednesday fractured the peloton and left only about 25 riders in contention but Ewan stayed out of trouble and was left perfectly placed to unleash his sprint.
”You can’t do it on your own and I said to (the team) yesterday if I’m going to win today’s stage it’s a tough one and I’m going to need all the help I can get,” Ewan said.
Bennett also avoided the late pileup and was in a strong position heading towards the finish but he didn’t have Ewan’s late acceleration.
”In top form I know I can do a finish like this but in January it’s just good to be here,” Bennett said. ”To have these legs already in the season is pretty good.
”At 200 meters to go I thought this could be a good day but I got off the saddle and there’s nothing there.”
Thursday’s third stage will favor climbers, featuring a stiff climb to the finish atop a hill at Paracombe.
VIDEO: 2020 Tour Down Under Stage 2 Highlights
2020 Tour Down Under Stage 2 Top 10
1 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal 3:27:31
2 Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott
3 Nathan Haas (Aus) Cofidis Credit Solution
4 Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
5 Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana
6 Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
7 Timo Roosen (Ned) Jumnbo-Visma
8 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana
9 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
10 George Bennett (NZl) Jumbo-Visma
2020 Tour Down Under GC after Stage 2
1 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal 6:56:15
2 Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-QuickStep
3 Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:01
4 Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:04
5 Nathan Haas (Aus) Cofidis Credit Solutions 0:00:05
6 Jarrad Drizners (Aus) UniSA 0:00:07
7 Dylan Sunderland (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling 0:00:08
8 Chris Lawless (GBr) Team Ineos
9 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe
10 George Bennett (NZl) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:09