Tour Down Under Results - Stage 2
Italian Fabio SACCHI (Saeco) today signalled he is in top form and on track in his bid to claim honours when he rode to victory in today's second stage of the 2003 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under. In the process he claimed the overall race lead and the lead in the SA Lotteries Sprint classification.
SACCHI crossed the line in 3hr29min16sec, 14 seconds clear of 2002 Tour de France sprint winner and world ranked number four, Robbie McEWEN (Lotto - Domo) with Frenchman Cedric HERVE (Credit Agricole) close behind in third.
"I had a great day," said SACCHI. "But it's only the second day and you have to bear that in mind."
It's the third consecutive year that the 28 year old has found himself in the Jacob's Creek leader's jersey after the second stage of the event. In 2001 he claimed the stage win and wore the jersey for one day before it was wrested from his shoulders by eventual Tour winner and local hero Stuart O'GRADY (Credit Agricole). Last year SACCHI placed second on Stage 2 to claim the race lead but on the penultimate stage he conceded the jersey to Australian Michael ROGERS (Quick Step - Davitamon) who claimed the overall crown.
This year SACCHI arrived in Adelaide two weeks early determined to reach peak form ahead of the race and today his advance preparation paid off. But he admits the race is far from decided.
"There are a lot of tough riders out there and you've got to live the race day by day," he said. "I will try my best, count on my friends (team mates) and see if I can take out the win."
The 94 strong international field rode out of Jacob's Creek at a fairly sedate pace which prompted UniSA local rider Russell VAN HOUT to launch a solo attack less than 30 kilometres from the start.
VAN HOUT established a significant lead which at one stage had him almost nine minutes ahead of the rest of the field. The 26 year old cleaned up the maximum points in the two SA Lotteries intermediate sprints of the day at Mt Pleasant (45km) and Eden Valley (62km) and managed to hold off his to be first over Mengler Hill which gave him the overall lead in the Laubman & Pank King of the Mountains.
Forty kilometres from the finish VAN HOUT's solo journey ended when a chasing trio joined him and 20 kilometres later eight more cyclists, including the eventual placegetters, set up a lead group of twelve.
Overnight race leader Baden COOKE, (AUS - FDJeux.com) missed the break and along with Stuart O'GRADY (AUS - Credit Agricole) was left to chase down the leaders in a bid to minimise the damage.
Five kilometres from home six riders remained in the leading group and pundits were predicting a McEWEN win.
But SACCHI, fearing he would have no answer for McEWEN's blistering sprint, broke away in the final kilometre to set himself up for a clear victory.
"I have a lot of respect for Robbie and he worked hard throughout the whole day," said SACCHI. "I can't thank him enough (but I knew) he would be the number one rider in a the sprint finish."
McEWEN, who was awarded second place on the opening stage in Adelaide's East End after a controversial finish in which first across the line, Graeme BROWN (Ceramiche Panaria - Fiordo) was relegated to last in the field for dangerous riding, acknowledged that today SACCHI was also in good form.
"I cramped on the climb into Kapunda and that's where SACCHI launched his attack," said McEWEN. "He was just too strong today and maybe it was the nerves creeping up for the finish but I just started to cramp really badly and as I was trying to have a bit of a stretch he took off."
"No-one could match that," McEWEN added. "He's (SACCHI) too strong."
SACCHI now holds an overall lead of 16 seconds to McEWEN with HERVE third, 18 seconds behind the leader.
The 140 kilometre stage from Jacob's Creek to Kapunda rode through the in the Barossa Valle winegrowing region, north of Adelaide, and an estimated 80,000 fans turned out to enjoy the spectacle of world class cycling.
"We had a number of event firsts today," said Belinda DEWHIRST, General Manager, Australian Major Events. "It was the first time a stage started from a location instead of a town (Jacob's Creek Visitor's Centre) which proved hugely succesful with a lot of people taking the chance to come down and meet the cyclists."
"We also launched a key initiative to give cycling enthusiasts the chance to experience the route firsthand with the inaugural Breakaway Tour which saw 620 international, interstate and local cyclists ride off two and a half hours before the professionals," said Ms DEWHIRST. "People of all ages and fitness levels joined in for a day of great cycling fun through one of our most famous and picturesque regions."
"After their ride they joined the thousands who turned out in Kapunda to welcome the Tour to town for the first time," she said. "The enthusiasm of the Kapunda community also saw them take out today's Best Dressed Town prize."
Stage 2 - January 22, 2003: Jacob's Creek Visitor Centre - Kapunda, 140 km:
1 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 3.29.16 (40.14 km/h)2 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto Domo 0.143 Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole4 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R5 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC6 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Ag2R7 Brad McGee (Aus) FDJeux.com 0.238 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA9 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom10 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski11 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quickstep-Davitamon12 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole13 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) CSC14 Angel Vicioso (Spa) ONCE Eroski15 Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA16 Patrick Jonker (Aus) UniSA17 Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom18 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC19 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) FDJeux.com20 Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den) CSC21 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA22 Sergey Matveyev (Ukr) Panaria Fiordo23 David Canada (Spa) Quickstep-Davitamon 0.2724 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2R25 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R26 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon27 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Credit Agricole28 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole29 Gianpaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski30 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA31 Stefen Wesemann (Ger) Telekom 0.3332 Alvaro Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski 0.5333 Dirk Reichl (Ger) Telekom 1.5934 Erik Putsep (Est) Ag2R35 Joerg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco-Longoni Sport36 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC37 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R38 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon39 Bobby Julich (USA) Telekom40 Glenn d'Hollander (Bel) Lotto Domo41 Christopher Jenner (NZl) Credit Agricole42 Christian Werner (Ger) Telekom43 Kai Hundertmarck (Ger) Telekom44 Regis Lhuillier (Fra) FDJeux.com45 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com46 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Domo47 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2R48 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport49 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon50 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Lotto Domo51 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport52 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo53 Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski54 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE Eroski55 Scott Davis (Aus) Panaria Fiordo56 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Lotto Domo57 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria Fiordo58 Bram Tankink (Ned) Quickstep-Davitamon 2.0859 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water60 David Betts (Aus) United Water61 Lee Godfrey (Aus) United Water 11.2862 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water63 Brett Aitken (Aus) UniSA64 Steve Cunningham (Aus) UniSA65 Ruben Bongiorno (Arg) Panaria Fiordo66 Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Mex) Panaria Fiordo67 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Panaria Fiordo68 Allan Davis (Aus) ONCE Eroski69 Nicola Gavazzi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport70 Christian Pepoli (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport71 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Credit Agricole72 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R73 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Telekom74 Aaron Kemps (Aus) United Water75 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Credit Agricole76 Dario Pieri (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport77 Juan Fuentes (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport78 Jakob Piil (Den) CSC79 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Lotto Domo80 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto Domo81 Arvis Piziks (Lat) CSC82 Davide Bramati (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon83 Filippo Perfetto (Ita) Panaria Fiordo84 Nick Gates (Aus) Lotto Domo85 Ashley Hutchinson (Aus) United Water86 Jay Sweet (Aus) UniSA87 Brendan Cato (Aus) United Water88 Mickael Pichon (Fra) FDJeux.com89 Jacky Durand (Fra) FDJeux.com90 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) United Water91 Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJeux.com92 Matt Wilson (Aus) FDJeux.com93 Julian Dean (NZl) CSC94 Corey Sweet (Aus) Credit Agricole
Overall rankings after stage 2:
1 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 4.31.302 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto Domo 0.163 Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole 0.184 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R 0.205 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Ag2R6 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC7 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA 0.238 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom 0.289 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole 0.2910 Angel Vicioso (Spa) ONCE Eroski11 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quickstep-Davitamon12 Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den) CSC13 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski14 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) CSC15 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC16 Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA17 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA18 Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom19 Sergey Matveyev (Ukr) Panaria Fiordo20 Brad McGee (Aus) FDJeux.com21 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) FDJeux.com22 Patrick Jonker (Aus) UniSA23 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole 0.3124 Gianpaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski 0.3325 David Canada (Spa) Quickstep-Davitamon26 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2R27 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R28 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon29 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Credit Agricole30 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA31 Stefen Wesemann (Ger) Telekom 0.3932 Alvaro Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski 0.5933 Dirk Reichl (Ger) Telekom 2.0534 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com35 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon36 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon37 Erik Putsep (Est) Ag2R38 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R39 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport40 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC41 Joerg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco-Longoni Sport42 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport43 Regis Lhuillier (Fra) FDJeux.com44 Kai Hundertmarck (Ger) Telekom45 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2R46 Bobby Julich (USA) Telekom47 Christian Werner (Ger) Telekom48 Glenn d'Hollander (Bel) Lotto Domo49 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE Eroski50 Christopher Jenner (NZl) Credit Agricole51 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Domo52 Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski53 Scott Davis (Aus) Panaria Fiordo54 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Lotto Domo55 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo56 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Lotto Domo57 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water 2.1458 Bram Tankink (Ned) Quickstep-Davitamon59 David Betts (Aus) United Water60 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria Fiordo 2.3561 Ashley Hutchinson (Aus) United Water 11.3262 Matt Wilson (Aus) FDJeux.com 11.3363 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water 11.3464 Brett Aitken (Aus) UniSA65 Allan Davis (Aus) ONCE Eroski66 Ruben Bongiorno (Arg) Panaria Fiordo67 Nicola Gavazzi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport68 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R69 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Panaria Fiordo70 Julian Dean (NZl) CSC71 Mickael Pichon (Fra) FDJeux.com72 Christian Pepoli (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport73 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Telekom74 Steve Cunningham (Aus) UniSA75 Brendan Cato (Aus) United Water76 Juan Fuentes (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport77 Dario Pieri (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport78 Arvis Piziks (Lat) CSC79 Aaron Kemps (Aus) United Water80 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Credit Agricole81 Filippo Perfetto (Ita) Panaria Fiordo82 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto Domo83 Corey Sweet (Aus) Credit Agricole84 Lee Godfrey (Aus) United Water85 Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Mex) Panaria Fiordo86 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Credit Agricole87 Jakob Piil (Den) CSC88 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) United Water89 Davide Bramati (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon90 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Lotto Domo91 Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJeux.com92 Nick Gates (Aus) Lotto Domo93 Jay Sweet (Aus) UniSA94 Jacky Durand (Fra) FDJeux.com