Chaves third up Paracombe on stage 2 of Tour Down Under

Wed 18 Jan 2017

Colombian favourite Esteban Chaves has finished in third place on stage two of the Tour Down Under on a day that saw the big climbers flex their muscles on the final climb up Paracombe.

Chaves finished with Gorka Izaguirre (Movistar), 16seconds behind winner Richie Porte (BMC Racing). Bonus seconds on the line give Porte a 22-second lead in the overall standings.

“Richie was impressive,” Chaves said after the finish. “He did three accelerations, really really fast, and I can’t stay with him.”

“In the final I take third place and I am happy with that. The guys worked really well today from the beginning.”

The 2016 Il Lombardia champion acknowledged the task ahead in reclaiming the race lead but said he and his ORICA-SCOTT teammates would continue to fight. 

“It’s 20seconds, more or less, so it’s a big gap but you never know,” Chaves said. “The important thing is that we continue to fight, continue to try, like always, and we will see in the final.”

It’s the first time Chaves has kick started his season early in Australia, but the 27-year-old is pleased with the result. 

“For the last few years in the beginning (of the season) I was not bad but not super good when I start (racing) in France or Catalunya,” he explained. “When I have started with these races I have never had one really good result and now I have finished third in a WorldTour race stage so I am happy for that. 

How it happened: 

Stage two of the Tour Down Under started with five laps of the traditional Stirling circuit.

Two riders, including UniSA’s Cameron Meyer, went on an early attack but they were chased back by ORICA-SCOTT ahead of the first intermediate sprint.

The second move of the day was by Jasha Sutterlin (Movistar) who went solo for the remaining laps of Stirling before being caught as the race approached 30km to go.

Porte launched with three accelerations early in the 1.6km Paracombe climb and held onto the line for the victory as those behind fought hard for the minor placings and to limit time loss.

Tomorrow’s stage 3 starts in Glenelg and finishes with four local laps of Victor Harbour. 

Tour Down Under – Stage 2 Results:

1. Richie Porte (BMC) 3:46:06
2. Gorka Izaguirre (Movistar) +0:16
3. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:16

Tour Down Under – General Classification (after stage 2):

1. Richie Porte (BMC) 7:10:14
2. Gorka Izaguirre (Movistar) +0:20
3. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:22

Photo: ©