The team prepared well for the first intermediate sprint at the 8th lap of the stage in Adelaide. Firstly, it was Truls Korsaeth, who went in an early break to control the situation and later, when the break was brought back, it was the whole team, who provided a great support to the team leader. At the sprint point Oscar Gatto did a fantastic job to lead out Luis Leon Sanchez and to help him to take second place and 2 bonus seconds right behind the only rider still remained in the solo breakaway Logan Owen.
- We came out to the start of this stage with a goal to change something in the classification. And with a huge support of my teammates I succeed. Yesterday I missed some power on the final climb. Honestly, I suffered a lot from the heat in the first days and, especially, on Friday. Even if you are in a good form, the heat can change everything in one moment. Anyway, today I can be happy with the final result and, especially, with the way we rode this stage. The team was super and now we can go home with a good morale and motivation for the upcoming races, - said Luis Leon Sanchez.
With these seconds Sanchez moved up to 8th place in the overall classification of the Santos Tour Down Under.
- Yesterday Luis Leon did his best on Willunga Hill, but that was not enough to keep his position in the general classification, so he dropped down from 4th to 17th. Of course, we were a bit disappointed, but with only two seconds to the Top-10 of the race we decided to fight. The team strategy for today was to try to change back the GC situation for something better than 17th place. With the whole team supporting and thinking creative we managed to win 2 seconds, which brought Sanchez back in the Top-10 in overall. That was a great team work and team spirit today. Even we did not win I can say I am proud of Astana Pro Team today, - said sports director Lars Michaelsen.
Stage 6 of the race on the streets of Adelaide (90 km) ended with a fast bunch sprint, won by the German Andre Greipel. Caleb Ewan was second, while the World champion Peter Sagan was third. Luis Leon Sanchez finished safety in the group. Astana’s young sprinter Riccardo Minali was well positioned for the sprint, but got a mechanical and had to break. Another Astana Team rider Truls Korsaeth crashed out inside the last corner of the distance, but avoided any serious injures.
The final winner of the Santos Tour Down Under 2018 became the South African rider Daryl Impey. With the same time, the Australian Richie Porte took second place, while the final podium was completed by the Dutch Tom-Jelte Slagter (+0.16).
As it was noted above, Luis Leon Sanchez took a solid 8th place in the final classification of the race (+0.23). Another Astana rider Michael Valgren finished 26th.
Photo credit: ©Bettiniphoto