Ewan takes the win on a difficult finish for stage 2Fri 5 Feb 2016
21-year-old sprinter Caleb Ewan has added another victory to his tally in an incredible start to the 2016 season. Already his third UCI win and ninth victory so far this season, Ewan powered ahead to take the honours, after a strong effort on the final climb of the day.
"It's a different finish to the usual sprints I contest," said Ewan. "I am really happy with the win today, the boys helped me out so much. I struggled a little bit over the climbs early on but I had the team around me and they helped me stay as fresh as possible for the final."
"On the final climb I knew (Jack) Bobridge (Trek-Segafredo) and (Peter) Kennaugh (Team Sky) were strong, they've proven that so I knew couldn't let them get a gap over the top. I fought for dear life and was able to stay with them.
"It's a real confidence boost to be able to win on terrain like this when it's tough."
Sport director Matt Wilson was also happy with the team's performance, tackling the tough race to come out on top.
"It definitely wasn't straight forward, but it was a really good days racing. Avanti IsoWhey had a big shot at getting rid of Caleb through the middle of the circuit, he found it quite difficult and then at the finish with the wind it really started to split up.
"It was a really fantastic ride by everyone. With Jack (Haig) now fourth on general classification it heats things a bit and taking the stage win, it was a perfect day for us."
How it happened:
An aggressive start to the second stage in Yarra Glen saw a number of riders trying to break away, however the attentive peloton wouldn't let any groups get a substantial gap. Bobridge tried his luck and got away solo taking the first intermediate sprint at 33.7km. His attempt was short lived as the peloton would not let him stay away solo after his performance at the Australian nationals this year.
The main break of the day was created when Yuma Koishi (Nippo Vini Fantini) and Chris Harper (State of Matter/MAAP) jumped away and forced their advantage of up to four minutes 57 seconds.
The wind picked up as the peloton rolled through the scenic terrain with Team Sky taking responsibility, working to slowly reel in the two riders. Over the summit of the final King of the Mountain at 95km to go, the break was finally caught but another ambitious trio which included Neil Van Der Ploeg (Avanti IsoWhey), Jason Christie (Kenyan Riders Downunder) and Cameron Bayly (Attaque Team Gusto) rode out to over one-minute coming into the back end of the race.
With only 15km left the breakaway's lead dropped substantially due to a chase from ORICA-GreenEDGE's Christian Meier and Sam Bewley. Coming into the final short climb of the day the peloton was all back together as ORICA-GreenEDGE worked to place Ewan in good position at the bottom.
Bobridge made a move around 800m before the summit of the climb, taking with him Kennaugh, Ewan and Haig. Over the top they where joined by Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Tanner Putt (United Health Care) and the six men rode away to the finish with the demolished peloton not far behind. Ewan crossed the line to take the honours, bike lengths ahead the nearest rider after the six man group scattered over the final 300m meters.
Haig finished the day in sixth place just 14 seconds behind Ewan and now goes into the final two stages fourth place on the general classification.
Jayco Herald Sun Tour Results Stage 2:
1. Caleb Ewan (OGE) 3:29:06
2. Tanner Putt (UHT) ST
3. Peter Kennaugh (SKY) +0:03
General Classification after Stage 2:
1. Peter Kennaugh (SKY) 6:33:21
2. Chris Froome (SKY) +0:13
3. Jack Bobridge (TFS) +0:31
4. Jack Haig (OGE) +0:48