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6th Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under - 2.3

Australia, January 20-25, 2004

Home    Stage profile    Start list    Results

Stage 1: Tuesday Jan 21, Adelaide street race, 50km

Complete live report

Start time: 19:30 ACDT
Est finish time: 20:40 ACDT

Welcome to our live coverage of the opening stage of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under. Stage 1, a 50 kilometre criterium around Adelaide's East End, was a proven crowd-pleaser in 2003 and returns unchanged to kick off the physical - and often verbal - fireworks between top sprinters Robbie McEwen, Baden Cooke and Graeme Brown.

Last year, speedy Panaria sprinter Brown crossed the line first ahead of The Benalla Bullet Cooke and Pocket Rocket McEwen, but was later relegated after officials announced he had deviated from his line, setting up a media free-for-all between the trio over the ensuing days that never let up. Others to watch include Kiwi fastman Julian Dean and Estonia's Jaan Kirsipuu, a previous Tour de France stage winner.

The JCTDU will have a somewhat sombre start this year, with the race observing a minute's silence for South Australian cricketing legend David Hookes, who passed away 24 hours ago from injuries sustained in an altercation outside a Melbourne hotel on Sunday night. Hookes was a star cricket player who later went on to coach the Victorian team as well as provide game commentary.

South Australian Premier Mike Rann said "Many thousands of people, who were entertained by David at the cricket or over the airwaves, will be in the East End tomorrow night to watch the opening stage of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under. It is fitting then that we stop for a minute to think of David and the loved-ones he has left behind."

19:28 ACDT
In other news, the JCTDU will start without Brad McGee (FDJeux.com), who pulled out of the race a few hours ago after contracting what looks like food poisoning. His teammate Baden Cooke told us before the start that McGee had fish for lunch and a couple of hours later he found him in the shower throwing up. "It's a big blow because we were going for the overall," said Cooke.

19:33 ACDT - 1 km/49 km to go
And they're off in the 2004 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, with 25 laps of a fast 2 km circuit to cover. Shortly after the start, Hilton Clarke (Team Australia) has a mechanical problem.

One of the favourites for today, Graeme Brown, told Cyclingnews' Karen Forman that he's in good form and looking forward to the race: "I've had a few sprints out of corners and felt OK," he said. "Crits are suited for me; last year, I crossed the line first, but things happen in crits."

Asked if there was anyone to be concerned about, Brownie said he's not really worried about anyone in particular: "I feel like I can beat any person here, although there's Robbie and Baden and there's always someone else. It will be a tough finish - we [our team] want it to be a sprint."

19:37 ACDT - 5 km/45 km to go
There has been an attack by Frank van Dulmen (BankGiroLoterij) coming into lap 3. Almost immediately, FDJeux.com and United Water get to the front and starts to chase it down. He has 7 seconds at the end of the third lap. Hilton Clarke broke a spoke on the start line and destroyed his rear derailleur. After the first lap he pulled into the pit area and hopped on the bunch on lap 3.

19:42 ACDT - 8 km/42 km to go
Kiwi sprinter Julian Dean (Credit Agricole) is another rider to watch this evening, although he's usually better over the longer stages. He told Cyclingnews' Gabriella Ekström that the course is pretty open, but believes the race will stay together over this short stage of 50 kilometres. "There are a lot of guys who want to hold it together for the sprint, especially Panaria for example. I'll just try to be up there in the end," said Dean.

Andy Flickinger (Ag2r) has formed a new breakaway on lap 4, after Van Dulmen was caught.

19:49 ACDT - 12 km/38 km to go
Peter Dawson (United Water) is leading the chase of Andy Flickinger, as the peloton approaches the end of the 6th lap.

19:53 ACDT - 16 km/34 km to go
United Water go on the offensive now with Ashley Humbert attacking strongly, followed by Erki Putsep (Ag2r) and Eric Leblacher (Credit Agricole). They are joined by more riders as the pace heats up with under 17 laps to go.

19:58 ACDT - 20 km/30 km to go
Putsep, Humbert, Phillipe Gilbert (FDJeux.com), Geoffroy Lequatre (Credit Agricole), Ciaran Power (Navigators), Addy Engels and Matthe Pronk (BankGiroLoterij), Hilton Clarke (Team Australia), Giuliano Figueras (Panaria) form a group leading up to the sprint lap.

The group is caught before the sprint lap, which is taken by Swiss sprinter Aurielen Clerc (Quick.Step) from Bernhard Eisel (FDJeux.com) and Guillermo Bongiorno (Panaria).

After the sprint, Glenn d'Hollander (Lotto-Domo) straight away launches a counter move.

20:04 ACDT - 22 km/28 km to go
Glenn d'Hollander has been caught and a new break containing Robbie McEwen (also Lotto-Domo) and 10 others has now got 30 seconds lead on the peloton. Lotto-Domo has sat up at the front of the bunch, trying to slow things down, obviously.

Lotto-Domo sprinter Robbie McEwen is looking for an early season victory after having a bit of a dry spell of late. He told Cyclingnews' Gabriella Ekström today that, "It's a good opportunity for me to get a win to start out the season with. There's a bit of tension because most guys haven't raced this season, so it's going to be good to get this started and over with because then the tension will be gone and everyone can get on with the season."

20:08 ACDT - 30 km/20 km to go
David McPartland (United Water), Nicolas Portal (Ag2r), Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Domo), Mark Renshaw (FDJeux.com), Rudi Kemna (BankGiroLoterij), Graeme Brown (Panaria), Dave McKenzie (Navigators), Cedric Herve and Mads Kaggestad (Credit Agricole) are part of the break, which doesn't appear to have D'Hollander in it any more. The gap is 40 seconds with 10 laps to go.

20:14 ACDT - 32 km/18 km to go
Nicolas Vogondy (FDJ), Peter Dawson (United Water) and Guiliano Figueras (Panaria) are also part of the break, which now has 50 seconds with 9 laps to go and is looking like the winning move. Lots of sprinters in it: McEwen, Brown, Kemna, McKenzie...

20:18 ACDT - 35 km/15 km to go
As the break's lead goes out to a minute with 15 km to go, it's now very unlikely that they will be caught. Most of the sprinters are up there, so there are no teams willing to chase hard.

Matthew Rex (UniSA) has a lap out for a mechanical.

20:22 ACDT - 42 km/8 km to go
The second bonus sprint is taken by Mark Renshaw, from Norwegian Mads Kaggestad and Giuliano Figueras (Panaria)...a very dangerous rider when in form. 4 laps to go and the gap is up to 1'25.

20:29 ACDT - 46 km/4 km to go
The break has just 2 laps (4 km) of the first stage to go, and it's looking like a showdown between McEwen, Brown, Kemna, and McKenzie. But anything can happen as there are some other strong riders in the move who will try to attack. And attack they do! Nicolas Portal (Ag2r) blasts off the front of the break inside 2 to go.

20:31 ACDT - 48 km/2 km to go
Portal is caught as the break reforms for the final lap. They've almost lapped the peloton!

20:35 ACDT - 50 km/0 km to go
Robbie McEwen wins the stage from Rudi Kemna, in what was a very hectic last lap. The break actually caught the peloton on the last lap and it was quite chaotic - at one stage it looked like McKenzie might steal it, but in the end McEwen came through for his first win of the season in strong style. Mark Renshaw took third in front of a rather miffed Graeme Brown, but McEwen will be the one to wear the leader's jersey tomorrow.


1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Domo              1.02.19
2 Rudi Kemna (Ned) Bankgiroloterij 
3 Mark Renshaw (Aus) FDJeux.com 
4 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria-Margres 
5 Nicholas Vogondy (Fra) FDJeux.com 
6 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2r Prevoyance 
7 David McKenzie (Aus) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team 
8 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water 
9 Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole 
10 David McPartland (Aus) Team Australia 

Sprints classification  

1 Mark Renshaw (Aus) FDJeux.com 

King of the Mountains classification  

1 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA