The Santos Tour Down Under has officially started today with Stage 1 from Unley to Lyndoch.
The original distance (145 km) has been revised by the organizers to 118.5 km in reason of the extreme heat, with hot wind and very high temperatures.
In these difficult conditions, one of the bravest riders of the peloton has attacked soon after the start: he was the Belgian of the Astana Pro Team, Laurens De Vreese.
“Before the start I was thinking to try to attack and see who could have join me in the escape,” commented De Vreese. “Then, probably because of the extreme heat, I remained all alone at the front but I didn’t lost motivation and I decided to insist in the attack, you never know how the situation could have developed.”
“In the final the bunch caught up with me because the sprinter’s teams worked hard,” concluded the Belgian. “Anyway, I’m happy because I won the Subaru King of the Mountains Jersey and the Alpecin Most Competitive Rider Award! A good way to start the Tour Down Under and the 2017 racing season!”
Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan won today’s shortened Stage 1. The first classified Astana Pro Team rider was Danish Matti Breschel, who finished 22nd at the finish line.
Tomorrow, Stage 2, from Stirling to Paracombe (148.5 km) is a stage that should suit the fastest riders.
(c) Photo: BettiniPhoto
About Astana Pro Team
Astana Pro Team is a Kazakh squad that was formed in 2006. Led by Alexandr Vinokurov, the most famous and successful cyclist in the history of Kazakhstan and one of the greatest sportsman ever in his country, the team has a Grand Tour talent in the shape of Fabio Aru, who won the 2015 Vuelta a España after placing second in the Giro behind Alberto Contador earlier that year.