7th Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under - 2.HC
Australia, January 18-23, 2005
Stage 2 - Wednesday, January 19: Salisbury to Tanunda, 150km
Commentary by Anthony Tan, with additional reporting from Gabriella Ekström
Complete live report
Live coverage starts: 11.00 ACDT
Estimated finish time: 14.48 ACDT
Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of Stage 2 of the Jacob's Creek
Tour Down Under, the first road leg of the six-stage tour that takes the peloton
from Salisbury to the Barossa township of Tanunda.
Situated roughly 20km north of Adelaide, the spunky new town centre of Salisbury
plays host to the start of today's stage, where the usual pre-race mingling
goes on before the official kick-off at 11am. Once the flag is dropped, the
95 riders left in the race (no casualties so far, thank goodness!) undertake
a reverse S-shaped, 150 kilometre journey, traversing the towns of Elizabeth,
Gawler, Lyndoch, Williamstown, Mount Pleasant, Springton, Angaston and Nuriootpa,
before the finish in Murray St, Tanunda.
Two sprints and one king of the mountains (KOM) prime is up for grabs today;
the first SA Lotteries Sprint at Williamstown (km 46.8), then the KOM at Smith
Hill (km 64.0), before the second sprint bonus at Mt Pleasant (km 85.0). The
Be Active Tour will also follow this route prior to the race start. Look out
for Ministers Tony Abbott and Kevin Andrews in lycra!
11:24 CST 11.8km/138.2km to go
After a huge 400 metre neutral section, 95 riders crossed the official race
start line at 1103 this morning under warm conditions, around 26 degrees Celsius,
with Cyclingnews' Gabriella Ekström reporting that its getting increasingly
cloudy, and that the forecasted maximum of 36 looks unlikely.
11:34 CST 17km/133km to go
Right now, you may be wondering why the updates aren't more frequent... Well,
that's because nothing much is going on! The Davitamon-Lotto boys have been
active up front, but the pace is cruisy (or piano, as they say in Italy).
A correction about all 95 riders taking to the start today: Australia's Henk
Vogels did not rock up on the start line - we'll try and find more about that
11:46 CST 24km/126km to go
Jeez, I spoke too soon... it's just been reported that a four-man reak went
at around the 11 kilometre mark, with Wim Vansevenant (Lotto-Domo), Scott Davis
and Aaron Kemps (United Water) represented - we'll get info on guy #4 later.
At km 14, the quartet had 30 seconds on the peloton, then at km 16, their lead
went out to 1'05, with no-one terribly interested in chasing them down. Adelaide
boy Russell Van Hout (Uni SA) is trying to bridge across, and is 30 seconds
behind the break. To quote a famously reported bedroom scene with actor Russell
Crowe, "Go Russ, Go!"
11:59 CST 29km/121km to go
Van Hout has sat up - too hard to chase four riders swapping off at 50 clicks
an hour. Sincere apologies requested here: riders in the break are: Lazlo Bodrogi
(Credit Agricole), Mickael Delage (FDJeux.com), David O'Loughlin (Navigators
Insurance), David McKenzie (United Water), not Vansevenant, Davis and
Kemps. The gap's really opened up now - it's 5'40 to the peloton.
Scott Davis from the United Water team hinted that stage two may get off to
an aggressive start. He told Cyclingnews, "if we can get one guy in a
break of say, six or seven, that's what we would like. Overall, our aim is to
get a stage win and after that we'll see how we go in the overall classification."
Benoit Poilvet from Credit Agricole is like many of the visiting European pros
- they just don't know what to expect and how they'll cope with the heat. "Our
plan is the same as anyone's - to put someone in a break. Or, we don't really
have a plan besides that. I think Patrice Halgand is in for a good chance for
the overall, and we have Jaan Kirsipuu for the stage wins."
It's just past midday, and Cyclingnews' Gabriella Ekström says the clouds
are slowly clearing, with the chance of rain now unlikely. Russell Van Hout
(Uni SA) is still dangling out in between the break and the bunch, which goes
to show how much of an advantage the quartet now have.
Home-town favourite, Stuart O'Grady (Cofidis), said, "normally this is one of
the easiest stages and I'm up to it if it comes down to a sprint", even though
he did attack the lead bunch in the final kilometre of last night's opening
stage, rather than sticking around for an all-in bunch kick with Robbie McEwen
and Allan Davis.
"However, there's a hill in the middle of the stage and so there will be a lot
of attacks that could go away." Last year, an attack did go away and
it included the wily Patrick Jonker, who took almost two minutes out of the
field and had the experience to hold on to the lead right until the race finished
in Adelaide, closing off his career as a pro cyclist in his home-town with a
fairytale ending. "We'll just see how well Lotto will handle the heat and if
they look weak, we'll attack them," O'Grady said.
12:14 CST 42km/108km to go
It's 5km to the first sprint for the lead group.
Cadel Evans will be a key rider today for Davitamon-Lotto and Robbie McEwen's
chances of retaining the leader's jersey that he won last night in the Adelaide
street circuit. He told Cyclingnews before the start, "it's windy and
it's hard, and that is good. I'm just going to take care of Robbie and see how
he goes today," he said of his team leader, seated next to him in a team car
while being interviewed. But overall, McEwen and Evans didn't feel any real
pressure; they'll wait and see how the stage pans out.
12:29 CST 50km/100km to go
At the Williamstown sprint, Mickael Delage (FDJeux.com) took line honours from
David McKenzie (United Water) and Lazlo Bodrogi (Credit Agricole). The break's
still lookin' good, with a 5+ minute advantage.
There's quite a few emails coming in re. bovine activity at the JCTDU. You guys!
Cyclingnews readers Paul Stolk and Warwick Hutchinson seem particularly
concerned, with Paul asking for *any* livestock sightings (geez) and Warwick
saying, "No doubt some smart cookie will get a government grant to study and
compare how cows are affected by the passing of the Tour de France and the JCTDU
in their respective countries!" (what the ...?)
I'm concerned. I better apply for that degree in agriculture before I go to
Oh yes. Back to the race. Nothing much going on. Break at 4'30.
12:48 CST 62km/88km to go
With two clicks to the KOM of Smith Hill, it's young Frenchman Mickael Delage
(FDJeux.com) who appears to have the itchiest feet of the four. The peloton
are roughly two kilometres behind. The peloton are slowly closing in and are
4'10 to the break; with 90-odd k's to go, there's still every chance they'll
13:01 CST 66km/84km to go
Lazlo Bodrogi (Credit Agricole) was dropped just before the top of Smith Hill
- he's a chrono (TT) man, so no surprise there. Mickael Delage (FDJeux.com)
took the KOM ahead of David McKenzie (United Water) and David O'Loughlin (Navigators
Back in the peloton, Sergio Paulinho (Liberty Seguros), Gene Bates (Uni SA),
Inigo Chaurreau (Ag2r Prevoyance), Luis Leon Sanchez (Liberty Seguros), Jonathon
Clarke (United Water), Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto) got a small gap at the
top of climb, but they're now back in the fold.
Mikel Astarloza, the Spanish rider with French team Ag2r-Prevoyance and winner
of the JCTDU in 2003, said his team's plan was to wait-and-see. "We don't have
a team leader as of today. We'll figure that out after today, since it's likely
a break will go away today. I must say that I like the weather today, it's better
than last year. It's not as hot as it has been."
His team-mate, young Australian rider Simon Gerrans in his first stage race
for the French squad in 2005, said, "it's going to be a hard stage and windy.
Naturally, we will try to put someone in there for the finish.
"A realistic goal for us is to get a stage win and then aim as high as we can
in the overall classification. I think a podium position is a possibility for
one of us," he said of the team's overall prospects.
One of the star attractions at this year's JCTDU is Lampre-Caffita's Gilberto
Simoni, dual winner of the Giro d'Italia (2001 & 2003). He said, "my tactic
today is survival". He admitted he's not feeling so great. Was this from the
jetlag and change in climate? "No! It's the competition!"
Speaking for the USA's only team in the JCTDU - the Navigators Insurance Team
- was newly crowned Australian road time trial champion, Nathan O'Neill. "Typically,
on paper it looks suited to the sprinters today." He said the Navigators will
ride in an opportunistic fashion today as the team has two good sprinters in
Kirk O'Bee and Hilton Clarke Jr, and either of those riders "could steal some
of the limelight".
In previous years, the race has been animated by the super-keen local riders
in teams like UniSA and United Water. Gene Bates, this year's leader of the
UniSA team, told Cyclingnews, "it's the same plan as yesterday - try
to ride as aggressively as possible.
"I know the course well and I have trained over these climbs," said the South
Australian rider, who is taking over from Patrick Jonker as leader of last year's
victorious team, where Jonker won the overall and the team took out the teams
"I think some riders will try for a break, but the likes of O'Grady and McEwen
are probably better prepared this year. I'm not sure if they're going to let
a break go at this time," he said.
13:13 CST 80km/70km to go
The pletone (thought I'd throw in some Italian, since superstar Gibo
Simoni is in town :)) is now closing in (or the riders in the break are tiring,
or both), the gap now at 2'00. 5km till the second sprint at Mt Pleasant, which
happens to be at a lung-busting altitude of 500m above sea-level.
We've also had a number of emails to the CN commentary team about how European
riders cope with the extreme climate change - going from say, -4°C in Denmark
to almost 40°C in Adelaide is most certainly a shock to the system. Well, back
when the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under began in 1999, the answer was a resounding
'not real well'.
However, things have changed since then. The Euro boys are now coming out much
earlier to Oz, allowing their bodies and minds to properly acclimatize and also
get in a few more training miles before the race begins. But there's always
a handful who get caught out with just how far ahead some of the Aussies are
in terms of race fitness.
The parcours for the JCTDU also lends itself to Europeans, with no more than
one KOM each day, and the longest stage 152 kilometres in length, so these considerations
make an early-season race such as this more inviting to the Europeans.
More housekeeping: re. Henk Vogels, there's been no updates via race radio,
but we'll try and get hold of Davitamon-Lotto DS Hendrik Redant and/or Allan
Peiper as soon as the stage finishes. Poor guy; it's never easy making a comeback
after what he's been through.
13:57 CST 95km/55km to go
Apologies for the delay - toilet break (or is that too much information?)
David McKenzie (United Water) took out the second sprint at Mt Pleasant sprint
(km 85), followed by Mickael Delage (FDJeux.com) and Lazlo Bodrogi (Credit Agricole).
Then for some strange reason, McKenzie sat up - even though the gap back to
the peloton was still 1'27.
Then there were two: Mickael Delage (FDJeux.com), David O'Loughlin (Navigators
Insurance). And according to our latest reports from race radio, the French/Irish
combo have actually extended their lead to 1'45 at the 95 kilometre mark. Not
much is known about Delage, but O'Loughlin is a strong TT rider, so don't discount
the duo just yet.
14:07 CST 107km/43km to go
Animal update: plenty of horses, sheep and cows, but no roos, giraffes, zebras,
lions, tigers, hippos, leopards or monkeys.
Vogels update: looks like Henk's got the 'flu. Get well soon, Henk.
Shortly after the second and final sprint, riders received their musettes (feed
bags) and each took on board a family bucket of KFC, with a Streets Cornetto
for dessert. Joking.
The gap is now 1'35 after 107 kilometres' racing.
14:20 CST 120km/30km to go
To quote Elmer Fudd, the peloton appears have gone very, very quiet. At km 113,
Lazlo Bodrogi (Credit Agricole, and yes, he got back on after the KOM at Smith's
Hill - sorry), Mickael Delage (FDJeux.com) and David O'Loughlin (Navigators
Insurance) were holding their advantage at around one and a half minutes. They've
now just passed the town of Angston (km 120).
14:27 CST 130km/20km to go
It's most certainly touch and go: 20km to the finish and the gap's now 45 seconds.
I know I'm quoting people like it's going out of style, but to quote The Footy
Show's Paul 'Fatty' Vautin, I would say they're goooooooone (said in a high-pitched
Feeding has been extended to 10km before the finish (km 150).
Yay! I got something right today! The break are being caught... it's all together
with just under 20 to go.
14:40 CST 140km/10km to go
OK folks, it's all looking good for a sprint royale coming into Tanunda. It
appears rockin' Robbie's gonna have one of those years like he did in 2002,
where he won just about everything he wanted to win, but today's finish isn't
overly technical, so it could be a day for the likes of Baden Cooke (FdJeux.com)
or Jaan Kirsipuu (Credit Agricole).
14:48 CST 145km/5km to go
With five k to go, the Davitamon-Lotto, FdJeux.com, Liberty Seguros and Cofidis
boyz are setting it up for Robbie, Cookie, Alby and Stuey (yes, all nicknames
in Australia must end in 'ie', 'by' or 'ey'). Place your bets. As they say in
Canada (even though we're in Oz), I'm rooting for Robbie.
15:00 CST 150km/0km to go
... and Robbie wins Stage 2 of the JCTDU!! Onya maaate!
Provisional second is Graeme Brown (Panaria) and third is Allan Davis (Liberty
Correction: second place was Paride Grillo (Ceramiche Panaria Navigare), and
third was Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros). We'll get some quotes from Robbie shortly
(look out for our race report) and we'll also have an interview with David Mckenzie
later this evening. But for now, thanks for tuning into our live coverage of
the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under. We'll be back again tomorrow for Stage 3,
a 139km stage from Glenelg to Victor Harbor. Ta ta for now.
1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Davitamon - Lotto
2 Paride Grillo (Ita) Ceramiche Panaria - Navigare
3 Allan Davis (Aus) Liberty Seguros
the commentary team