Groves second on opening stage of the Jayco Herald Sun TourWed 5 Feb 2020
Neo-pro Kaden Groves has sprinted to second place on the opening stage of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Shepparton.
Groves was positioned by Mitchelton-SCOTT teammates before finding himself too far back into the final corner.
With some of the strongest legs in the bunch, Groves moved his way up the field in the final straight to finish just behind winner Alberto Dainese (Team Sunweb).
Setting up for the bunch sprint:
The peloton rolled out of Mitchelton Winery, the naming-rights sponsor and spiritual home of Mitchelton-SCOTT, for the start of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
Racing was kept together until the first intermediate sprint, after which a breakaway of five formed and rode out to a lead of over three minute lead.
The four WorldTour teams sent workhorses to the front of the bunch, including Kiwi Sam Bewley for Mitchelton-SCOTT.
They had the breakaway under control all day, before the final survivors were brought back within the last 10km.
Australian champion Cameron Meyer and Kiwi Dion Smith set Groves for the final sprint, but losing the wheel and caught a little too far back into the final corner the 21-year-old had ground to make up in the final straight.
Showing his turn of speed, Groves rushed through the field, coming short only to Dainese. Moreno Hofland (EF Pro Cycling) rounded up the podium.
“There were four different teams riding and we had Bewley on the front with a rider each from Sunweb, EF and Israel.
"With the four WorldTour teams controlling I was pretty confident it would all come back and I don’t think at any point anyone was panicked.
“We were pretty organised in the final sprint, EF and us probably have the strongest lead outs but it was messy coming into the final corner and I probably came around a little too far back.
“I made my way through the path of riders, I had strong legs, but at the end of the day I think I was too far back to get the win.”
“There isn’t a lot of opportunities for the sprinters here and this was a great one for Kaden so it was all for him today.
"We knew the other WorldTour teams had sprinters that they’d want to give a chance as well so we were pretty confident we were going to get lots of help.
“The boys did a really good job keeping at the front but just in the final EF were really strong, they have some specialist lead out guys here and we got out drag raced. Kaden just got a bit lost and probably came through the last corner five wheels too far back. He did an incredible sprint to get from there to second place, so he is obviously doing really well so hopefully he gets another chance.”
Jayco Herald Sun Tour – Stage 1 Results:
1. Alberto Dainese (Team Sunweb) 2:36:42
2. Kaden Groves (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
3. Moreno Hofland (EF Pro Cycling) ST
Photo courtesy of Con Chronis.