Richie Porte (AUS) wins © Cor Vos
January 18, 2017 (Paracombe, South Australia) – Canada’s Michael Woods (Cannondal-Drapac) delivered a top-10 result finishing 9th on Stage 2 at the 19th annual Tour Down Under. The 148.5km stage took riders around five circuits of Stirling before heading to Paracombe for the finish up the short and steep Torrens Hill Road climb. Many considered Stage 2 to be the queen stage of this year’s Tour, and it was Richie Porte (Aus) of BMC Racing who claimed the win with a decisive solo victory.
Rusty Woods before stage 2 © Cannondale-Drapac
Cameron Meyer (Aus) (f) and Ondrej Cink (Cze) © Cor Vos
A two man breakaway kicked off the day’s action, with 2011 Tour Down Under winner Cameron Meyer (UniSA) and Ondrej Cink (Bahrain-Merida) going clear until just before the first intermediate sprint at 23km in. The two were caught, and Ben Swift of UAE-Abu Dhabi took maximum points.
Stage 2 peloton © Cor Vos
Jasha Sütterlin capitalized on the lull following the sprint, and broke clear of the peloton, taking a maximum of 5 min. at one point. Sütterlin took the second intermediate sprint of the day, and then was slowly reeled in by the GC favourite teams, including team Sky and BMC.
Stage 2 peloton © Cor Vos
Rohan Dennis (BMC) and Sergio Henao (Sky) both suffered mechanicals on the run into the base of the final climb, greatly hampering both rider’s chances to animate the stage.
Richie Porte (AUS) © Cor Vos
As the main group of riders turned onto the final climb of 1.2km at nearly 10%, Porte immediately hit out, distancing himself from all of his competitors. Colombian Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) and Gorka Izagirre (Movistar) of Spain attempted to remain in contact, however Porte was too strong on the day. Porte has finished second overall twice at the Tour Down Under, in 2015 and 2016, and it seems he is not taking any chances this year as he searched for every second until he crossed the line.
Michael Woods © Cor Vos
Woods had a strong day in the saddle in ninth at 19 seconds behind Porte and now sits 16th on GC. With the ascent up Willunga Hill still to come on Stage 5, Woods, as well as his competitors, will have another shot at gaining time on the other favourites.
1. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team. 3:46:06
2. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Esp) Movistar Team. 0:16
3. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott
4. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team. 0:19
5. Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data
6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi
7. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo
8. Michael Storer (Aus) UniSA-Australia
9. Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac
10. Luis León Sánchez (Esp) Astana Pro Team
GC after Stage 2
1. Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team. 7:10:14
2. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Esp) Movistar Team. 0:20
3. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott. 0:22
4. Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe. 0:24
5. Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data. 0:27
6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi. 0:29
7. Nathan Earle (Aus) UniSA-Australia
8. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team
9. Luis León Sánchez (Esp) Astana Pro Team
10. Rafael Valls (Esp) Lotto Soudal
11. Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
12. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
13. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb
14. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo
15. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Team Sky
16. Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac
17. Enric Mas (Esp) Quick-Step Floors
18. Michael Storer (Aus) UniSA-Australia
19. Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-Alpecin
20. Jesus Herrada Lopez (Esp) Movistar Team