This is exactly what the Tour Down Under needed - a stage in the middle that throws the race on its head. In previous years the TDU was basically a sprinters race until the overall was decided on Willunga. With the Corkscrew thrown into the mix, it revealed who is on form, and who's out of contention. The two favorites, Gerrans and Gilbert are over two minutes down and with the way Geraint Thomas was climbing today, it looks like he's the man to beat.
Geraint Thomas said after the race, “I’m really happy with that. I’ve worked hard since the Olympics trying to lose the track weight and I’ve got some good kilometres in over the winter. I wanted to start this year strong. I knew I had decent form but you never know how well everyone else is going.”
“I always knew that I’d have decent legs on the climb I just wasn’t sure how I’d go. I got a bit excited and attacked a bit earlier on there. With about 400 metres to go I was starting to tie up but fortunately there was that group behind and we were able to work well together.
“To get the win is a massive bonus for all the hard work over the winter.”
According to Greg Henderson (Lotto Belisol) they placed the water bottles on the grill so that it helps the Lotto Belisol riders identify their team car in the convoy as all team cars in TdU look the same.
Andy Schleck (Radioshack Leopard) wearing the jersey of Jens Voigt today.
The corkscrew belonged to Matty Lloyd, but it wasn’t in the cards today.
Early breakaway being formed near the town of Flaxley with the peloton in the background.
Breakaway of four riders through Harhndorf. In the front are Calvin Watson (UniSA – Australia), Will Clarke (Argos – Shimano) and in the rear are Christopher Juul Jensen (Saxo – Tinkoff) and Guillaume Bonnafond (AG2R)
The remaining trio of USPS team on Corkscrew Road with the mysterious motor-man.
The Hampton Cycles boys from Melbourne. It’s always a smashfest riding with these guys at the TDU. Watch out for them.
Geraint Thomas ascending to the summit of Corkscrew Road and eventually taking stage victory.
Swiss national champion, Martin Kohler (Team BMC) is being encouraged by a fan on a scooter.
Philippe Gilbert one of the main contenders of Tour Down Under had been caught up in the crash during the descend from the summit of Corkscrew Road.
Arnaud Courteille (Team FdJ-Unvex) was badly injured during the crash including a possible broken nose.
Julian Kearn (Ag2r La Mondiale) on far right was treated at the finish line for cuts and abrasions.