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Isaac del Toro fell behind pack at 10 km to go to ‘test his legs’

Leader of Santos Tour Down Under forced himself to chase back on during Stage 4

17-01-2024 Tour Down Under; Tappa 02 Norwood - Lobethal; 2024, Uae Team Emirates; Del Toro Romero Isaac; Lobethal; Photo by: Sirotti

Mexican Isaac del Toro turned heads when he dropped out of the peloton with 10 km to go during Stage 4 of the Santos Tour Down Under. According to GCN’s Matilda Price, he did so to test his legs before Saturday’s challenging stage. Stage 5 goes from Christies Beach to the super tough Willunga Hill for a total of 129.3 km.

Sam Welsford powers to 2024 Tour Down Under hat trick

Del Toro is one of the most exciting riders in the peloton right now, showing incredible talent and strength. The Team UAE-Emirates rider currently leads the 6-day stage race by one second over Biniam Girmay of Intermarché – Wanty.

The 20-year-old turned pro in 2024 after spending the past two years riding for the Continental team, A.R. Monex Pro Cycling Team. This is only his second week of racing as a pro. He made his debut with the team at the Down Under Classic crit, where he took third. He then went on to win Stage 2 just four days later, attacking solo near the end of the race to take the win.

Many experts are saying he is the next big thing.

On TV, former pro Robbie McEwen said that Del Toro’s panache was “Pogacar-esque.” During the broadcast, Marco Marcato, the sports director for UAE Emirates, was questioned about whether he observed any resemblances between the two pros, according to cyclingnews.

“It’s too early to say,” Marcato said. “Tadej is the one, is the only one, so we will see, but for sure Del Toro is a strong guy, and he has the future in front of him. We hope he is still growing.”

Both the Mexican and the Slovenian won the Tour de l’Avenir-the under-23 version of the Tour de France. It’s a race that many other famous pro cyclists have won before going on to illustrious careers. Felice Gimondi, Joop Zoetemelk, Greg LeMond, Miguel Induráin, Laurent Fignon, and Egan Bernal have all won the “baby Tour.”

The Santos Down Under finishes up on Sunday with a 128.2 km race from Stage 6 in Unley to Mount Lofty.