Groves takes Tour of Estonia race lead after second place finish on stage one

Australian sprinter Kaden Groves added to his 2022 podium tally with a second-place finish in the technical and sketchy final sprint to stage one of the Tour of Estonia.
Despite missing out on the win, the 23-year-old moves into the race lead thanks to back-to-back second places on the opening two days of action, with tomorrow’s final stage set to decide the overall.
Miserable weather conditions greeted the peloton ahead of the 192.6km stage and it took more than 50km before a two-rider breakaway was formed. Team BikeExchange-Jayco then took up the responsibility of keeping the gap in check as they moved to the head of the bunch.
The rain made for tough racing and the squad looked to take advantage of the conditions through an exposed section as they upped the pace and split the peloton with 50km to go. However, with a change in direction and the wind easing off, things came back together 10km later.
The breakaway was eventually reeled back in with 15km to go as attentions turned to navigating the technical run to the finish. Team BikeExchange-Jayco moved to the head of the pack with 3km to go, with New Zealander Campbell Stewart guiding Groves into the last kilometre in Tartu.
As the sprint opened up on the wet cobbles, Madis Mihkels jumped away early on the uphill drag to the line, with Groves struggling to put the power down on the tricky surface. In the end, the line came too soon for the Australian as Mihkels held on, with Groves forced to settle for second place.

Kaden Groves (2nd):
“It was a pretty tough day today actually, it was a massive ride by the boys, especially (Sam) Bewley and Tanel (Kangert). I’ve got to thank the boys for all their hard work riding in the wind and the rain on the front, controlling the entire race. We didn’t get much help out there today.
It was a really technical final, especially on wet roads and not to mention the uphill, cobbled kick. Obviously, we’re disappointed with second, but I just got beaten by the stronger man today, I turned the corner in second and it stayed that way to the top.
Tomorrow will be very, very tough. I think the race will be ours to lose, so we’ll need a lift and a good ride, and hopefully we can hold onto the yellow jersey.”

2022 Tour of Estonia Stage 1 – Results:
1. Madis Mihkels 4:09:13
2. Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) +0:02
3. Tomas Barta +0:02

2022 Tour of Estonia Stage 1 – GC:
1. Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) 4:14:25
2. Madis Mihkels +0:00
3. Marceli Boguslawski +0:09

Photo: Getty Sport