Hamilton fifth as general classification battle takes shape on stage two of the Jayco Herald Sun Tou

Thu 31 Jan 2019

Fresh in his new leadership role for Mitchelton-SCOTTLucas Hamilton has finished fifth on the second stage of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour as the general classification battle began to take shape. 

Two of the world’s best climbers in Michael Woods (EF Education First) and Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) were too good for the rest of the field as they crested the final climb ahead with 11.5km to go before riding on, with the assistance of a tail wind, to contest the stage in a two-up sprint won by Woods.

Breakaway of six:
A group of six riders rode away from the peloton in the opening 15km of racing and contested for the initial intermediate sprints, before reducing to three riders at the top of the first classified climb.

Despite the windy conditions, it wasn’t until almost 100km into the day, 10km before the final climb, before Team Sky put on the pressure to end the breakaway’s day and cause splits in the bunch.

The final gravel climb:
As expected, the attacks began to fire on the final climb, first with Team Sky and then from Woods and Porte behind. 

Woods and Porte crested the top of the Jeeralang climb with a small advantage over Hamilton who was in third position, but caught alone.

The 22-year-old teamed up with two Team Sky riders on the descent for the chase, but they could only minimise the gap to just under 20seconds. 

Lucas Hamilton:
“The wind was a bit of an elephant in the room, I think most people knew about it and could feel it, but with the climb at the end no one really wanted to take it up too early.

“We had marked a point at 96km in and I think Team Sky did as well, to go on a turn, and that just blew it to pieces so I think it was always there, it just took a team willing to do it. 

“Woods attacked with about 1.5km to go to the top of the climb. I had good teammates around, the team was awesome today closing gaps in the wind and Dion (Smith) was going really well on the climb. 

“I tried to pace it at my own pace, I probably rode a little too cautiously, so I got caught in between Woodsy and Richie and the two Sky guys. On the descent the two Sky guys caught me and we joined together. They one-two attacked me in the end so Kenny (Elisonde) got a few seconds on me in the end.

“My confidence is higher now than leading into the stage, in terms of climbing. I felt really good, I was able to finish the climb really strongly, it was probably more my tactics in the end.”

Jayco Herald Sun Tour – Stage 2 Results:
1. Michael Woods (EF Education First) 2:55:44
2. Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) ST
3. Kenny Elissonde (Team Sky) +0:17
5. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:19

Jayco Herald Sun Tour – General Classification after stage 2:
1. Michael Woods (EF Education First) 2:55:44
2. Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) +0:04
3. Kenny Elissonde (Team Sky) +0:27
4. Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:29

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.