Posted by Editoress on 01/18/07
Tour Down Under - Australia
Photos by Greg Descantes
Stage 2 - Mannum to Hahndorf 150 km
1 Steven Caethoven (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen, 3:36:29
2 Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen, at 0:01
3 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Team CSC
4 Hilton Clarke (Aus) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team
5 Kurt Hovelynck (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen
6 Martin Mueller (Ger) Team Milram
7 Markus Eichler (Ger) Unibet.com
8 Ludovic Turpin (Fra) AG2r Prevoyance
9 Christophe Edaleine (Fra) Credit Agricole
10 Benoit Sinner (Fra) Agritubel, all s.t.
1 Karl Menzies (Aus) Australia - UniSA, 7:44:33
2 Martin Elmiger (Sui) AG2r Prevoyance, at 0:01
3 Lars Bak (Den) Team CSC, 0:07
4 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Predictor - Lotto, 0:09
5 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Unibet.com, 0:17
6 Luke Roberts (Aus) Team CSC, 0:46
7 Gene Bates (Aus) SouthAustralia.com-AIS, s.t.
8 Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Credit Agricole, 0:51
9 Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Barloworld, s.t.
10 Simon Clarke (Aus) SouthAustralia.com-AIS, 1:04
1 Serge Pauwels (Ned) Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen, 16 points
2 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2r Prevoyance, 16
3 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Unibet.com, 12
4 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, 12
5 Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Barloworld, 8
1 Luke Roberts (Aus) Team CSC, 10 points
2 Gene Bates (Aus) SouthAustralia.com-AIS, 10
3 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) SouthAustralia.com-AIS, 10
4 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Bouygues Telecom, 10
5 Karl Menzies (Aus) Australia - UniSA, 8
Under 23 Classification
1 Simon Clarke (Aus) SouthAustralia.com-AIS, 7:45:37
2 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Unibet.com, at 8:58
3 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) SouthAustralia.com-AIS, 15:09
4 Clinton Avery (NZl) New Zealand National Team, 23:37
5 Matthew Goss (Aus) Team CSC, 25:16
1 SouthAustralia.com-AIS, 23:14:41
2 Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen, at 2:49
3 Credit Agricole, 7:52
4 Team CSC, 9:01
5 Unibet.com, 18:20
8 Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, 27:25
Belgians dominate Stage Two of 2007 Tour Down Under
Report courtesy Tour Down Under
Belgian riders Steven Caethoven, 25, and his Chocolade Jacques team mate Pieter Ghyllebert, 24, stole the march on local hero Stuart O'Grady (Team CSC) today (January 18th) to post a one-two finish across the line at the end of the 150km second stage of the 2007 Tour Down Under from Mannum, through the Adelaide Hills to historic Hahndorf.
Caethoven stopped the clock at 3:36:29 with Ghyllebert and O'Grady one second behind him after the field put on a stunning display for the 85,000 fans who flocked to the circuit and delivered welcome news to his Belgian-based fans shivering at home in the European winter.
The Chocolade Jacques team had been in the thick of the attacking action from the gun and their aggression paid off when they ended up with four riders in the lead group of twelve that contested the final sprint.
"Pieter Ghyllebert he launched me and behind me there was a gap ... I don't know why but it was easy for me," said Caethoven of the 15th win of his four year professional career . "We got the King of the Mountain jersey yesterday (Sergey Pauwels) and today we got a stage win so the pressure's off a little bit now.
"It's just fantastic so early in the season, it's a very big win and very important, it gives me a lot of confidence, said the Flemish cyclist who lives not far from Ghent. "Of course, it was four against one, but Stuart (O'Grady) was very strong and we had to give everything to beat him... he was very, very, very strong today
"There were constant attacks and in fact we had three little groups and they all came together - we had four guys, (at least) one in each group," said Caethoven.
O'Grady, who was named the Century 21 Most Aggressive Rider of the stage, was a key player today especially towards the end of the race when he launched an attack which saw him joined by Victorian Hilton Clarke (Navigators Insurance) and Spaniard Eduardo Gonzalo (Agritubel). The trio had been with a leading group of 15 but couldn't hold off the Chocolade Jacques counter attack which swept them up 400 metres from home.
Despite the effort O'Grady still found the speed to get in the placings which was some consolation for the South Australian and two time winner of the event.
"You can break it down any way you want, but at the end of the day, I was in an 'offensive' mood from the start, I was a bit disappointed after yesterday and wanted to put a bit of pain on the bunch and try to put the leaders under a bit of pressure," said O'Grady. "I did almost everything right, it was just unfortunate to fall upon four guys from the same team in the finish after such a hard day.
"That's racing, it's the beauty of having numbers at the finish...four in one group - when I saw that, I knew you've got everything cut out against you, you have to be ultra-aggressive," he said. "I was kind-of hoping I'd be able to pull something from out of the hat and jump back in and beat them in the sprint.
"Actually, I'm pretty happy, it was a long-hard day and the form is probably better than I expected, actually," said O'Grady who has team mate Lars Bak sitting in third overall, seven seconds off the lead. "We're not here to finish third and eighth overall, we're here to try to win the race, we're going to do everything we can."
The stage results had little impact on the overall rankings with all the main contenders safely ensconced in the main field which rode home 17:19 behind the stage winner. Tasmanian Karl Menzies (UniSA - Australia) is still wearing the leader's ochre jersey and is one second ahead of Swiss rider Martin Elmiger (AG2R-Preovoyance) in second.
"It wasn't too bad - they (UniSA Australia team) had to work pretty hard for 10 or 20km when there was a break with a GC rider (threat to my lead) in it at the start," said Menzies. "But then they had a whole lot of time off, they rested up after the climb and they only rode tempo at the end.
"They're world-class riders, they're strong boys," he said. "I wish they could push me all the way up Willunga (Stage 4 climb) that's the only thing. They won't be able to help me too much there but awesome team as they showed today. Awesome team and we can only see what happens."
The race was again aggressive from the start with an early attack at 15 kilometres which saw 20 riders go off the front but with second placed overall Elmiger in the group there was no way it would succeed.
At the first 'SA Lotteries' intermediate sprint at Tungkillo (25.7km) 1997 world champion, Laurent Brochard (FRA - Bouyges Telecom) attacked to claim the maximum bonus seconds and points with Tasmanian Wes Sulzberger (AUS - SouthAustralia.com-AIS) second and CSC debutant Matt Goss (AUS) third. Five other riders joined them soon after and they worked together to gain a lead of almost one minute by the 28km mark.
The group held the advantage to the second intermediate sprint at Mt Torrens (44km) where Sulzberger claimed the honours ahead of Brochard with Giampaolo Cheula (ITA - Barloworld) third.
The race came back together by the 53km mark but as they approached the 'A Brilliant Blend' King of the Mountain at Lenswood the action hotted up. Over the top it was Frenchman Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R-Prevoyance) picking up the maximum points ahead of Navigators rider Sergey Lagutin (UZB) and his team mate Hilton Clarke (AUS). The pressure applied on the climb left the race in bits and in the wake of the climb seven riders had formed a leading group with 14 others in pursuit. The two groups came together at 85 kilometres to form a 21 strong attack.
The race headed through Hahndorf for the first of three 20 kilometre circuits with six less riders in the lead group and by the time they crossed at the bell with one circuit to go the attacks were coming thick and fast before twelve riders regrouped to contest the final sprint.
Tomorrow's the 110 remaining riders will depart from the Adelaide Hills town of Stirling at 11.00am for the 128 kilometre stage to Victor Harbor. Sydney Olympic track champion, Brett Aitken (UniSA - Australia) today abandoned the race after working hard early to chase down the attack of Elmiger for his team leader, Menzies, and 'overcooking' his effort.
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