Santos Tour Down Under Stage 1: Meersman 6th as Breakaway Holds Off Peloton
A four-rider breakaway that attacked at the 9km mark of a 132.6km Santos Tour Down Under Stage 1 held off the peloton to decide the victory on Monday.
Jack Bobridge (UniSA-Australia) won the stage of Santos Tour Down Under, from Tanunda to Campbelltown, which was the official launching of the UCI WorldTour season. His breakaway companions Lieuwe Westra (Astana) and Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEDGE) were 2nd and 3rd.
Gianni Meersman of Etixx - Quick-Step finished 6th in the stage, after his teammates worked hard on the front trying to chase the four riders down. The gap was as high as 2'40" early in the race, but the peloton kept the advantage seemingly controlled throughout in anticipation of a bunch sprint. It seemed the predicted finish would prove to be true, but somehow the peloton was unable to actually catch the four men before the end of the stage.
Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to a 150.5km Stage 2, from Unley to Stirling. The parcours is undulating, but the final three kilometers are mostly flat.