Edmondson third as he returns to Buninyong for stage two of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour

Fri 2 Feb 2018

Australian champion Alex Edmondson has sprinted to third place on stage two of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour as he returned to Buninyong, the place of his breakthrough win just a few weeks ago.

The second stage was neutralised on an eight-kilometre gravel section after the route was changed due to roadworks and later deemed too dangerous to race across, before a big group made it to the finish for bunch sprint.

Gravel brings peloton to a halt:
A last minute reroute on stage 2 was cause by roadworks, leading riders along an eight-kilometre section of gravel. But whilst outsiders got excited about the prospect, it was clear the gravel was too soft under wheels and racing was neutralised.

All riders were stopped at the end of the gravel sector, with the day’s main breakaway of seven riders restarted with their three-minute 25second advantage before racing was back underway. 

Back in Buninyong:
The day was over for the early breakaway as they entered the familiar circuit around Buninyong, home of the Australian championships.  A few minor attacks went over the top of the climb, but the single circuit wasn’t enough to cause a split and a big group came into the line together.

Dropped chain spoils Edmondson’s return:
Without a sprinter to lead out, Australian champion Edmondson was Mitchelton-SCOTT’s go-to for today’s stage when a big bunch came to the line. The 24-year-old lost his teammates in the final kilometre but as he regained position dropped his chain, forcing him to start his sprint late for third.

Alex Edmondson - Third place:
"It's a bit of pressure when the team says they'll ride for you but I like a bit of pressure and obviously coming to Buninyong, I wanted to come here and try to do what I did here a few weeks ago but I got third today.

"We came into a gravel section and in the end they made the right decision and neutralised the race. For us it was a bit sketchy, but that is bike racing.

"Coming into the finish it was pretty chaotic. In the nationals there's not that many people coming into the finish which makes it a bit nicer. Here, down the last descent, the guys tried their best to keep it together. I lost them with about 800m to go and coming into 500m to go I move up but sadly my chain came off which wasn't ideal which delayed my sprint and I was going for third." 

Damien Howson:
“It was quite cool to finish on the nationals course, that we’ve ridden a few laps around but today with many Europeans who’ve never seen it before so it was a nice little advantage for us coming into the final 10km.

“There wasn’t any stress on the GC front, the one rider that was up there on GC came back to the group with 30km to go so it was all up to the sprint teams to control it.
“Alex did well to finish third which is good for him considering we didn’t give him a lot of support in the final, it was a pretty messy finish.”

Tomorrow: Kilometres and climbing make for big Queen stage:
Tomorrow’s stage three is the obvious Queen stage with a 20km climb to finish up Lake Mountain.  Whilst the Lake Mountain climb isn’t said to be ultra-difficult, the peloton will cover around 200km before they even begin it. And with the 200+km covered today thanks to a roadworks deviation, there will some tired bodies in the bunch. 

Jayco Herald Sun Tour – Stage 2 Results:
1. Mads Pedersen (Trek Seafredo) 5:23:12
2. Steele von Hoff (Bennelong Swisswellness) ST
3. Alex Edmondson (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

Jayco Herald Sun Tour – General Classification after Stage 2:
1. Lasse Norman Hansen (Aqua Blue Sport) 9:01:54
2. Steele von Hoff (Bennelong Swisswellness) +0:04
3. Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:09