The WorldTour season opener the Santos Tour Down Under is done and dusted. The race followed a familiar script with tight racing, a couple of explosive climbs and opportunities for the fast men. While the race doesn’t have as high a profile as others on the calendar, its place on the calendar ensures cycling fans are paying attention to the action in scorching hot Australia.
Patrick Bevin leads the breakaway on Stage 1 to sneak in some bonus seconds.
Elia Viviani would kick the season off just like his Deceuninck-QuickStep team finished 2018.
Bevin made good on his incredible form to win Stage 2 and take the race lead.
The peloton passes the vineyards around Adelaide.
Peter Sagan opened his 2019 account book on a undulating stage to Uraidla.
Woods was one of the strongest riders on the Corkscrew on Stage 4.
A regrouping after the Corkscrew saw Impey lay the groundwork for his overall win taking the stage victory.
Supporters were out in force in the heat of the Australian summer.
Caleb Ewan was the first to cross the line on Stage 5 but was later relegated for a head butt.
Bevin was the real looser on the day though crashing hard.
Impey managed to cross the line third and become the first rider to win the race in consecutive years.
Jsper Philipsen fresh into the WorldTour crossed the line second and was awarded the victory.
The climb of Willunga Hill is always exciting and Kenny Elissonde and Wout Poels lit it up with a strong attack.
In an out come as inevitable in professional cycling as any, Richie Porte attacked with 1.3 km to go.
And took his sixth consecutive win on the races hardest stage.
Daryl Impey became the first rider to win the race in consecutive years while second place Richie Porte won on Willunga Hill for the sixth time in as many years. Peter Sagan won a race not wearing the rainbow jersey for the first time in three years. Patrick Bevin put on a show with aggressive racing only to crash on the penultimate stage crushing his hopes of overall victory and 20-year-old Jasper Philipsen won his first WorldTour race.
Michael Woods was the only Canadian in the race and rode to a respectable seventh overall though expectations were higher after his phenomenal 2018. He went on the attack on Stage 4 on the Corkscrew and tried to follow Porte on Willunga but was missing a bit of speed. The heat of Australia opened the pro pelotons race legs and gave fans the first glimpse of new team kits. The WorldTour calendar briefly resumes next weekend with the Cadel Evans Ocean Road Race before going into a slumber into the end of February with the UAE Tour.