Tour Down Under: Steimle retains top 10 place
Five climbs, three of which were classified, were spread over the 149.9 kilometers of Wednesday’s stage, but the rolling terrain didn’t convince too many riders to go in the breakaway. In fact, only one man – Nans Peters (AG2R Citroen) – zipped away from the group in the first hour of racing, putting five minutes between him and the chasers, a gap which began coming down in the last 100 kilometers.
It was a rather quiet day, with the exceptions of a couple of crashes. In one of these, James Knox was involved, fortunately without any serious consequences. The Brit got back on his bike and made his way back to the peloton, which continued its chase on the circuit, further reducing the deficit to the lone leader. The moment he was caught, the sprinters moved towards the front of the peloton in anticipation of the mass gallop.
With two kilometers to go, it was Soudal Quick-Step’s Mattia Cattaneo who took over the pace-setting for Jannik Steimle, who was tucked in his wheel. The German, eighth in the Adelaide prologue, finished just outside the top 10 on the uphill drag in Tanunda – as Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) came out on top in the messy sprint of stage 1 – and remained in the top 10 overall.
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