Tour Down Under 2014: stage two - five observations

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Racing

Tour Down Under 2014: stage two – five observations

Thoughts as Diego Ulissi wins stage two and Gerrans extends overall lead

In a race where every second counts – Simon Gerrans’ 2012 victory was achieved through count-back after he and Alejandro Valverde recorded equal times – it was not the best start for Team Sky to see team leader Richie Porte lose four seconds in stage one after being caught behind a split in the leading group. Having, as ever, put riders on the front of the bunch throughout the day, their efforts got the better of them in the final kilometres.

After their efforts during stage one, pictured, bore little fruit, Team Sky opted for a change in tactics for stage two (pic: Sirotti)

A quick re-think clearly happened overnight however, as the British team opted to spend much of today tucked in the bunch – happy to let Orica-GreenEDGE drive the momentum instead. Much fresher this time out, it allowed first Philip Deignan to attack on the final lap, before Ian Stannard and then Porte followed suit in a bid to drop their GC rivals. While the tactic did not succeed this time, and Geraint Thomas found himself well back in the leading group after being caught behind a crash, at least it showed some thinking had occurred and both Thomas and Porte will remain hopeful of challenging overall.

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