Germany’s Phil Bauhaus has beaten Aussie favourite Caleb Ewan and powered to an exciting Stage 1 win in Tanunda.
The 28-year-old clinched the stage over second-placed Ewan from the Australian National Team with Jayco AlUla’s Michael Matthews finishing third.
Bauhaus, of team Bahrain Victorious, recovered from an earlier crash where he smacked his head on the tarmac, grazed his elbow, and was forced to change bikes before making a comeback to win the stage. Several other crashes occurred through the nervous and twitchy peloton through the afternoon
“It’s always difficult to expect to win but I knew our team was pretty good and I was a bit unsure (after the crash),’’ Bauhaus said.
“It took time for me to recover but my team did really well and also teammate Nikias Arndt in the last kilometre was super calm and looking where I am and making space for me,” continued Bauhaus.
“And this time at 250 to 300m out, I just go this time (for the sprint finish) and the last 50m I was just fully in pain and I just kept going. I’m super happy, I was still in front.”
Bauhaus is now the owner of the Ziptrak sprint jersey with 30 points Italy’s Alberto Bettiol will keep the ochre leader’s jersey for Stage 2 on Thursday, holding a six-second gap over Jayco AlUla’s Michael Matthews who ended the race in second place in the Ziptrak points classification.
Thursday’s Stage Two is all about the coast. It will start in beachside Brighton – an event first – before descending into Victor Harbor for a big finish.
At 154.8km this is the longest of the Santos Tour Down Under’s five road stages and is set to be pivotal.
Bicycling Australia’s Tour Down Under Coverage Is Presented By Hammerhead Cycling Computers.