Another top ten for ORICA-GreenEDGE on stage one of the Tour de LuxembourgThu 2 Jun 2016
Australian track star Alex Edmondson sprinted into the top ten on stage one of the 2.HC category race, Tour de Luxembourg.
On a day animated by a long breakaway of three riders, it eventually came down to the final seven kilometres after the breakaway was caught and the sprint teams lined themselves up ready for a bunch finish.
Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) proved too quick powering to victory on the 170kilometre stage with Edmondson riding into ninth place.
Sprinter Caleb Ewan was unfortunately swamped in the closing metres nevertheless sport director Matt Wilson was pleased with the whole ORICA-GreenEDGE team efforts despite not being able to finish as planned.
"It went well the whole day for us," explained Wilson. "With three guys up the road, but no one really dangerous we didn't have to do too much work until the final circuits and we had one rider up there helping with the chase."
"The guys did a really awesome job in the final for the lead out, they did really well against a very experienced train there with Lotto.
"Caleb was on the right wheel with around 500m to go, but there was a little fork in there and he got swamped from behind and boxed in.
"It was disappointing not to get the result we were looking for but we can't fault the effort and the work from all the guys today."
How it happened:
Unlike yesterday evening's prologue the riders took to the start line in Luxembourg pleased with dry conditions.
The 170.6kilometre stage featured four second category climbs with small rolling hills along the way and it wasn't long for the breakaway of the day to form.
Three riders from three different teams, Eitenne van Emple (Roompot), Brice Feilu (Fortuneo) and Thomas Deruette (Wallonie-Bruxelles) quickly established a gap as they headed towards the first GPM of the stage.
Initially, their advantage hovered around the two minute mark for a significant number of kilometres before the peloton settled down and they were able to increase their advantage to almost four minutes.
After 110kilometres of racing the leaders entered final three finishing circuits in Hesperange, with two climbs to tackle each lap their advantage finally began to plummet.
BMC Racing Team and current race leaders Lotto-Soudal were the two main teams to take up the chase as the finish line came nearer and nearer, however the trio out front continued to fight and remained together determined to hold onto an advantage.
In was in the final 30kilometres that ORICA-GreenEDGE sent Cheung King-Lok to the fore to join in with the chasing efforts and the time gap plummeted down to thirty seconds with just one GPM main climb remaining.
With only seven kilometres left the trio were swallowed up and the race was on for a bunch finish. ORICA-GreenEDGE headed into position to lead out their designated sprint.
In a rapid finish Greipel proved too strong powering ahead to take the victory on stage one with ORICA-GreenEDGE having to settle for a top ten placing after getting caught out in the final 500metres of the race.
The peloton head into stage two all relatively close on the general classification with Edmondson sitting in sixth position ahead of another lumpy 162kilometre stage.
Tour de Luxembourg Stage 1 results:
1. Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) 4:13
2. Adam Blythe (Tinkoff) ST
3. Amaury Capiot (Topsport Vlaanderen) ST
9. Alex Edmondson (ORICA-GreenEDGE) ST
General Classification after stage 1:
1. Jempy Drucker (Lotto-Soudal) 4:17:27
2. Maurits Lammertink (Roompot) +0:03
3. Tom Bohli (Lotto-Soudal) +0:04
6. Alex Edmondson (ORICA-GreenEDGE) +0:07