Tour Down Under 2018 | Stage 1 Race Report


– After a short breather, it’s time for the 2018 World Tour to begin with this, the 20th edition
of the Tour Down Under. The organization marked
this historic 20th year of the Tour Down Under by holding the start in Port Adelaide, where it all began on
Stage One back in 1999. This will be the third consecutive year that this familiar finishing circuit around Lyndoch has been used. Caleb Ewan has won the previous two years. Could anyone beat
Mitchelton-Scott’s Pocket Rocket? King of the Mountains
points an offer early and the Stage Three riders broke away from the Peloton as
soon as the flag dropped for the official start. World Tour debutantes Nickolas
Dlamini of Dimension Data and Scott Bowden of the UniSA Team were joined by seven year
Tour Down Under veteran, Will Clarke of EF Education First-Drapac. The trio would have noted kilometer 38 as their first point of interest. The one and only
categorized climb of the day at Humbug Scrub, Bowden made an early move as they reached the summit,
but Dlamini in a miserly move, shut the door on the young Australian crested the climb first
and took an early lead in the King of the Mountains competition. Bowden dropped away soon
after to leave just two riders toiling away at the head of the race. Meanwhile, back in the
bunch, Mitchelton-Scott’s Damien Howson was tasked with
keeping that gap manageable. Three minutes was the lead
with 90 kilometers still to go. On to the first of three
finishing circuits around Lyndoch and it was just two minutes,
25 to Dlamini and Clarke, but there were sprint points
and time bonuses available on this circuit. The first sprint at
kilometer 74 was uncontested, Clarke rolling through
and taking the five points and three bonus seconds. Plenty of interest in
the third and final bonus second offer, though. Three riders have broken
away to contest it. Laurent Didier, Rui Costa,
and Jhonatan Restrepo, who just pipped Costa to the line, much to the ire of the
2013 world champion. 100 kilometers gone, and again
while the majority of points at intermediate sprint
number two were taken uncontested by Clarke and Dlamini. There was another tussle for third. Nathan Haas took a crucial
extra second from Jay McCarthy which will no doubt be
useful in the battle for the general classification. Bora-Hansgrohe, Quick-Step
Floors, and Mitchelton-Scott were keen on bringing
things back together, for a bunch sprint,
and they got their wish with 10 kilometers still to run. A very fast downhill run into the line helped by a cross tail
wind, then when positioning around the final corner was crucial. Quick-Step had their man
Viviani in a good place in the final bend, and the
Italian took his chances with 200 meters to go. But Andre Greipel had
timed his effort perfectly, just to arrive ahead of Sagan and Ewan. The Gorilla marks his return to Australia with a 17th stage win
at the Tour Down Under. – Yeah, it’s always a nice present after winning the first stage, of course. But yeah, thanks for the team. They set up the sprint really good. Unfortunately, we were
already one rider down before the race started, so we just made the work for the other teams. They had to make the chase and
we could save until the final and set a good bunch sprint up. – Another day in the Ochre jersey for Andre Greipel, and you can see the importance of bonus seconds. Clarke, Dlamini, Haas,
and Restrepo all placing inside the top 10. FDJ’s Daniel Hoelgaard took a nasty spill into the barriers on that final bend. What initially looked
like a simple misjudgment from the front on camera,
could be construed as a little bit suspect
from the helicopter. We’ll let you make your
own mind up on that one, but the Norwegian has gone
to hospital for X-rays. Hopefully he can continue on Stage Two, which is a classic Tour Down Under route from Unley to Stirling. We hope you can join us then. Finally, if you enjoyed this video, please give it a thumbs up. And to check out what happened to the People’s Choice Classic just a couple of days
ago, click right here.