The Santos Tour Down Under has officially started today with the first stage from Unley to Lyndoch. The original distance (145 km) has been revised by the organizers to 118,5 km, in reason of the extreme heat, with hot wind and very high temperatures.
In these difficult conditions, one of the bravest riders of the peloton has attacked soon after the start: he was the Belgian of the Astana Pro Team, Laurens De Vreese.
“Before the start I was thinking to try to attack and see who could have join me in the escape – commented De Vreese – then, probably for the extreme heat, I remained all alone at the front but I didn’t lost motivation and I decided to insist in the attack, you never know how the situation could have develop…”.
“In the final the bunch catched me because the sprinter’s teams worked hard – concluded the Belgian – anyway I’m happy because I’ve gained the Subaru King of the Mountains Jersey and I’ve won the Alpecin Most Competitive Rider Award! A good way to start the Tour Down Under and the 2017 racing season!”.
The shortened today first stage has been won by the Australian sprinter, Caleb Ewan. The first classified Astana Pro Team rider has been the Danish, Matti Breschel, 22nd on the finish line.
Tomorrow, second stage from Stirling to Paracombe (148.5 km) that should suit for the fastest riders.
Photo credit: © bettiniphoto