Tour Down Under 2016: Jay McCarthy wins stage two after late crash
Simon Gerrans brought down but moves third overall after grabbing bonus seconds earlier in day
Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff) bagged the first WorldTour stage win of his career on stage two of the Tour Down Under in Stirling.
The 23-year-old Aussie was too fast on the uphill finish for second-placed Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) and Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing), who finished third, after a late crash had denied Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) a shot at the stage win.
Gerrans’ Orica-GreenEDGE team had controlled proceedings throughout, and helped to earn him five bonus seconds in the process, but he and team-mate Daryl Impey were brought down in the final 500m to deny them the chance at finishing the job.
As the crash was so late, Gerrans got the same as McCarthy but the Tinkoff man’s bonus seconds means it is he who will roll out in the ochre jersey on stage three.
Searing heat was the order of the day again, but a four-man break had formed inside the first two kilometres to contest King of the Mountain points.
Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff) was the victor, ahead of Patrick Lane (UniSA-Australia) but back in the bunch Orica-GreenEDGE were a team on a mission.
They cut the advantage to the leaders as the Stirling circuit approached, and only Yoann Offredo (FDJ) and Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) were left to reel in as the first intermediate sprint approached/
Orica-GreenEDGE did so with aplomb, allowing Gerrans and stage one winner Caleb Ewan to snaffle bonus seconds before Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal) took off solo.
The Aussie hardman was given much more leeway, and held a lead of two-and-a-half minutes at the second intermediate sprint.
Not that it was a worry to Gerrans, who once again nicked more bonifications to take his tally to five seconds for the day – Ewan again following just behind him.
Hansen’s lead held for some time, despite the best efforts of Michael Hepburn and Luke Durbridge, before other teams began to lend firepower to the chase.
There was still some 19km to ride when Hansen was caught, and a high pace ensued on the front – too much for race leader Caleb Ewan to handle.
British champion Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) tried an opportunist attack under the flamme rouge with Pim Ligthart but that came to nothing – other than protecting him from the crash with 500m to go.
With Impey and Gerrans poised to strike, a touch of wheels brought them down and handed McCarthy and Ulissi the advantage.
McCarthy was fastest, and will wear the ochre jersey, but Gerrans too remains in a strong position ahead of stage three thanks to his earlier efforts.
Santos Tour Down Under 2016: stage two – result
1) Jay McCarthy (AUS) – Tinkoff – 3.26.40hrs
2) Diego Ulissi (ITA) – Lampre-Merida – ST
3) Rohan Dennis (AUS) – BMC Racing
4) Danilo Wyss (SUI) – BMC Racing
5) Petr Vakoc (CZE) – Etixx-QuickStep
6) Patrick Bevin (NZL) – Cannondale
7) Juan Jose Lobato (ESP) – Movistar
8) Sergio Henao (COL) – Team Sky
9) Anthony Roux (FRA) – FDJ
10) Enrico Battaglin (ITA) – LottoNL-Jumbo
1) Jay McCarthy (AUS) – Tinkoff – 6.50.43hrs
2) Diego Ulissi (ITA) – Lampre-Merida +4”
3) Simon Gerrans (AUS) – Orica-GreenEDGE +5”
4) Rohan Dennis (AUS) – BMC Racing +6”
5) Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA) – Dimension Data +9”
6) Patrick Bevin (NZL) – Cannondale +10”
7) Enrico Battaglin (ITA) – LottoNL-Jumbo – ST
8) Juan Jose Lobato (ESP) – Movistar
9) Anthony Roux (FRA) – FDJ
10) Tobias Ludvigsson (SWE) – Giant-Alpecin
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