Geraint Thomas wins Stage 2 to take lead in Santos Tour Down Under

Team Sky rider attacks on Corkscrew Road climb then outsprints rivals in finale

by Simon_MacMichael   January 23, 2013  

Geraint Thomas after winning Stage 2 of 2013 TDU (copyright Santos Tour Down Under, Regallo)

Geraint Thomas of Team Sky, who spent most of the 2012 season away from the road as he focused on the London Olympic Games, is the new leader of the Santos Tour Down Under. The Welshman attacked on the climb of Corkscrew Road and was joined by three riders on the 7-kilometre descent to the finish in Rostrevor, outsprinting them in the finale. Movistar’s Javier Moreno was second, with Ben Hermans of RadioShack Leopard Trek third.

Behind, there was a big crash on that descent that involved 30 or 40 riders, including world champion Philippe Gilbert of BMC Racing, one of the pre-race favourites for the overall,who lost nearly three minutes to Thomas.

Defending champion Simon Gerrans of ORica GreenEdge, meanwhile, lies 2 minutes 43 seconds behind his former Sky team mate. So far, only one rider, FDJ’s Arnaud Coutelle who suffered a broken nose and concussion, has had to abandon as a result of that crash.

Today’s stage was seen as one of two that will potentially influence the destination of the overall title, the other coming with a summit finish on Old Willunga Hill on Saturday.

Today’s win puts Thomas, who took a break from the road to focus on London 2012 last year but who has shown his climbing abilities in the past in races such as the Tour de France, where in 2011 he led the peloton up the Tourmalet, in a strong position to become the first winner of the Tour Down Under. Also in 2011, he picked up his first overall victory in a stage race in the Bayern Rundfahrt in Germany.

"I’m really happy with that,” said Thomas afterwards. “I’ve worked hard since the Olympics trying to lose the track weight and I’ve got some good kilometres in over the winter. I wanted to start this year strong. I knew I had decent form but you never know how well everyone else is going.

"I always knew that I’d have decent legs on the climb I just wasn’t sure how I’d go. I got a bit excited and attacked a bit earlier on there. With about 400 metres to go I was starting to tie up but fortunately there was that group behind and we were able to work well together.

"To get the win is a massive bonus for all the hard work over the winter."

Thomas had overhauled George Bennett of RadioShack Leopard Trek close to the summit of Corkscrew Road, going over the top on his own, but before long the Australian as well as Hermans and Moreno got across to him.

The Team Sky rider did much of the work on the way down to the finish, the other three riders in the group happy to let the world and Olympic team pursuit champion take the lead.

After the group passed under the flamme rouge, with the Welshman looking over his shoulder to make sure the group of 11 riders behind weren’t going to catch them, he dropped to the back before launching himself from a long way out, catching his rivals unaware and winning easily.

Gilbert described the crash that took place on the descent of Corkscrew Road, saying: "I crashed with 30 or 40 guys. They were laying there right on the corner. We just hit them. It was pretty impressive. I just had time to go to the left of the road and another group came behind us.

"It was very fast and there was a big crash.

"When Geraint attacked, I was already at my maximum and it was still a long way to the top. I tried to stay on the wheel, but I did not have the condition."

Another rider involved was Matthew Lloyd of Lampre-Merida. “I came around a corner and found a whole bunch of dudes on the road,” he reflected.

“Nowhere to go. I was [riding at] around 50 to 60 km/h. It wasn't too bad, but unfortunately there were 30 or 40 guys who came over the top of us. We had nowhere to go. It's one of those things. You cannot do anything about it.

"It was fast and there were corners everywhere. We were in a group of about 10 guys, there were four off the front, we were just behind. It was all relatively close. I am not sure who slid out first," he added.

Earlier in the 116.5 kilometre stage from Mount Barker, four riders had broken away, Calvin Watson of UniSA-Australia, Will Clarke of Argos-Shimano, AG2R La Mondiale’s Guillaume Bonnafond and Denmark's Christopher Juul Jensen, but they were kept on a tight leash ahead of that final climb.

Santos Tour Down Under Stage 2 result  
  
1  THOMAS, Geraint           Sky Procycling        2:44:18
2  MORENO BAZAN, Javier      Movistar                 0:01
3  HERMANS, Ben              Radioshack Leopard         st
4  SLAGTER, Tom Jelte        Blanco                   0:04
5  WELLENS, Tim              Lotto Belisol              st
6  PIETROPOLLI, Daniele      Lampre-Merida              st
7  BAUER, Jack               Garmin Sharp               st
8  KELDERMAN, Wilco          Blanco                     st
9  IZAGIRRE, Ion             Euskaltel Euskadi          st
10 BENNETT, George           Radioshack Leopard         st
11 HANSEN, Adam              Lotto Belisol              st
12 ELISSONDE, Kenny          FDJ                        st
13 MACHADO, Tiago            Radioshack Leopard         st
14 VEIKKANEN, Jussi          FDJ                        st
15 IZAGIRRE, Gorka           Euskaltel Euskadi          st
16 ROJAS GIL, Jose Joaquin   Movistar                 0:21
17 PAUWELS, Serge Omega      Pharma-Quick-Step          st
18 CHEREL, Mikael            AG2R La Mondiale           st
19 KASHECHKIN, Andrey        Astana                     st
20 VALLS FERRI, Rafael       Vacansoleil-DCM            st
  
Overall standings after Stage 2  
  
1  THOMAS, Geraint           Sky Procycling        6:19:32
2  MORENO BAZAN, Javier      Movistar                 0:05
3  HERMANS, Ben              Radioshack Leopa         0:07
4  PIETROPOLLI, Daniele      Lampre-Merida            0:14
5  SLAGTER, Tom Jelte        Blanco                     st
6  IZAGIRRE, Ion             Euskaltel Euskadi          st
7  IZAGIRRE, Gorka           Euskaltel Euskadi          st
8  WELLENS, Tim              Lotto Belisol              st
9  BAUER, Jack               Garmin Sharp               st
10 MACHADO, Tiago            Radioshack Leopard         st

19 user comments

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I HIGHLY advise, anyone who didn't watch, to see the highlights somewhere of the final 5km.

GT just blew everyone away. Up the Corkscrew like it was flat, over the top, powered off and let 3 guys catch up, then jumped them all to win by a distance. GREAT stuff.

Also, the Rapha kit is growing on me now, I like the blue band around the shorts Nerd

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8681 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 9:29

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf26dZA2skM&list=UUm0Qjs5OBrv3-d6kKBshEbg...

Link to end of the race. Great sprint and worth watching.

posted by Pisiform [52 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 9:59

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Pisiform wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cf26dZA2skM&list=UUm0Qjs5OBrv3-d6kKBshEbg&index=2

Link to end of the race. Great sprint and worth watching.

Blimey.
The balance of power, if it hasn't already, is definitely shifting.
I think the expression with regards British cyclists is 'strength in depth'.

Dominating!

posted by Some Fella [715 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 11:08

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Is the TDU being shown on TV? Can't seem to find it.

Tripod16

posted by Tripod16 [109 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 11:40

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Sky Sports are showing live coverage and highlights.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7895 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 12:03

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Looking at his wrists it appears he's no longer trying to con people into buying those magnetic wrist thingies!

posted by belgravedave [164 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 12:03

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Or being paid to use a product that he may have not much faith in but a pay cheque is a pay cheque. Are you happy with everything that you do at work every day of the week? And to be fair anyone daft enough to buy that sort of c£$p doesn't deserve a lot of sympathy IMHO.

bikeandy61's picture

posted by bikeandy61 [386 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 13:36

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Crikey that was a strong finish from G. Trying to hold onto his pursuit speed then.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2934 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 13:43

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Great finish by G, would like to be able to see from when he lead off up the climb but still. Good going fella!

bikeandy61's picture

posted by bikeandy61 [386 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 13:45

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I think the km to go on the TV was a bit out, I was settling down to watch the climb when G burst ahead after Clarke and left him standing and suddenly we were at the top of the climb.

Had a handful of seconds over the top, caught quickly on descent by other three, downhill all the way and they rode hard and had enough gap to play tactics a little under the flamme rouge.

TV totally missed that big crash which had a lot of star names in it, if that hadn't happened the chase might have been harder.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [7895 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 13:51

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bikeandy61 wrote:
Or being paid to use a product that he may have not much faith in but a pay cheque is a pay cheque. Are you happy with everything that you do at work every day of the week? And to be fair anyone daft enough to buy that sort of c£$p doesn't deserve a lot of sympathy IMHO.

And a snake oil salesman is a snake oil salesman.
At work I don't knowingly sell a product that doesn't work because,
a) That would be morally wrong
b) I think it's called deception and that is illegal.
As for being daft to buy the product on that we agree, so he's basically conning vulnerable people, nice.
If you disagree with the above google magnetic wristbands and Australian government.

posted by belgravedave [164 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 14:06

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You can download the BMJ study of magnetic bracelets on the bioflow site. Tell me if you do, I can't be bothered! Yawn

Tovarishch's picture

posted by Tovarishch [44 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 15:09

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belgravedave wrote:
bikeandy61 wrote:
Or being paid to use a product that he may have not much faith in but a pay cheque is a pay cheque. Are you happy with everything that you do at work every day of the week? And to be fair anyone daft enough to buy that sort of c£$p doesn't deserve a lot of sympathy IMHO.

And a snake oil salesman is a snake oil salesman.
At work I don't knowingly sell a product that doesn't work because,
a) That would be morally wrong
b) I think it's called deception and that is illegal.
As for being daft to buy the product on that we agree, so he's basically conning vulnerable people, nice.
If you disagree with the above google magnetic wristbands and Australian government.

DROWN HIM! DROWN HIM!

posted by Sam1 [212 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 16:33

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belgravedave wrote:
bikeandy61 wrote:
Or being paid to use a product that he may have not much faith in but a pay cheque is a pay cheque. Are you happy with everything that you do at work every day of the week? And to be fair anyone daft enough to buy that sort of c£$p doesn't deserve a lot of sympathy IMHO.

And a snake oil salesman is a snake oil salesman.
At work I don't knowingly sell a product that doesn't work because,
a) That would be morally wrong
b) I think it's called deception and that is illegal.
As for being daft to buy the product on that we agree, so he's basically conning vulnerable people, nice.
If you disagree with the above google magnetic wristbands and Australian government.

Tried that and got an article from road.cc - leaders in exposing pseudoscience. But that was referring to hologram wristbands, not the pukka magnetic ones that our G endorses Big Grin

Tovarishch's picture

posted by Tovarishch [44 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 17:15

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Oh no, now G has peaked too soon! Will Sky never learn?

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1331 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 19:09

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This News would be headline stuff in any other country, but the UK media only Know Cavendish and Wiggins. Even road cc should have it at the top! What's up with the UK news system.

BTW - Geraint, has not peaked too early; and it's time people realised he is a GC contender for some of the Major tours in the not-to-distant future.

Brilliant news; and he did it in style.

posted by Mostyn [400 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 20:16

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Fan bloody tastic. Didn't shirk any work on the run in either. Just held back a touch with 500 to go and caught them all off guard. Just a simple pursuit to the finish then. Track has definitely not hindered his road nowse. Belter!

Chris D

posted by wingsofspeed68 [49 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 21:58

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Mostyn wrote:
BTW - Geraint, has not peaked too early; and it's time people realised he is a GC contender for some of the Major tours in the not-to-distant future.

Brilliant news; and he did it in style.

I believe cat1commuter may have been being sarcastic there? Possibly in reference to 2012 when Wiggo had peaked too soon in every stage race he won (which was more or less every race he rode) Smile
You're right; G's got massive potential if he concentrates on the road now. I would love to see him win one of the Flandrian or Ardennes Classics this year; a Brit Paris-Roubaix winner...

posted by pwake [279 posts]
23rd January 2013 - 23:24

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pwake wrote:
I believe cat1commuter may have been being sarcastic there? Possibly in reference to 2012 when Wiggo had peaked too soon in every stage race he won (which was more or less every race he rode) Smile

I'm not sure, but I think I was being ironic rather than sarcastic.

But anyway, yes, exactly that!

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1331 posts]
24th January 2013 - 1:04

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