PORT ADELAIDE, Australia (CT) – Elia Viviani (Deceuninck Quick-Step) has taken out the first stage of the 2019 Santos Tour Down Under.
As temperatures soared to 44ºC on the roads surrounding Adelaide, Viviani made the most of fragmented lead-out to open his account for 2019. The squad from Sunweb jostled for position at the front of the bunch in an effort to deliver Maximillian Walscheid safely to the line, however, Viviani was able to out position the German, passing him in the final metres to set up a thoroughly impressive victory.
“There was a headwind as expected,” Viviani said. “We planned for that. Normally these conditions make a chaotic sprint and it was indeed. Even with 1km to go, we didn’t look in the best position; it was about finding the space. I could keep the draft for quite a long time.”
Tomorrow’s stage 2 is also expected to end in a bunch sprint. Jason Lea (UniSA-Australia) leads the KOM classification and his stage 1 breakaway companion Michael Storer (Sunweb) leads the best young rider classification. Viviani leads the points classification in addition to the general classification, but with Viviani wearing ochre on stage 2, Walscheid will be in blue.
Imagery Courtesy of Cor Vos
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