Wednesday’s stage into Stirling was stinking hot. 37 degrees in the air, the tarmac temperature was nearing 45 degrees. I was down before the race started, and by 11am on my way into Stirling the mercury had already maxed out and casual riders were diving for cover.
Like the stage before it, Will Clarke (EF-Drapac), Nick Dlamini (Dimension Data) and Scott Bowden (UniSA) made up the day’s breakaway. They were joined by Jaime Castrillo (Movistar) as well, and the front group of 4 got a lead out to 5 minutes. At the KoM in Tea Tree Gully, it was again Dlamini who took out the honours, but not before a Scott Bowden charge. After the KoM, Dlamini retreated back to the peloton, leaving 3 out front. Through the two Sprint points, Bowden tried to get a jump on Will Clarke, but failed on both attempts. Will Clarke with the sprint point time bonuses was the virtual leader on the road, and both dropped back to the peloton once the day’s points were dried up.
This left Jaime Castrillo – a former U23 Spanish TT Champion – alone in the Stirling heat for around 50km. He passed through the finish line solo on the first two laps, but was caught with 15km to go. Back in the peloton, Steve Morobito (FDJ) suffered a crash in the pack, dislocating his shoulder. However, he popped it back in, got back on, and made it back to the bunch. Heading into the final bumps, stage 1 winner Andre Greipel found himself out the back of the peloton, giving Mitchelton a chance to catapult sprinter Caleb Ewan. Impey launched the sprint into Stirling for Ewan, and managed to get the Aussie his first victory at this year’s race. Impey hung on for second behind McCarthy, Sagan and Haas, rounding out the top 5.
See my pictures from the Unley start of Stage 2 below!
I hope you enjoyed this mini gallery. It’s a lot smaller than what I usually do, but I feel like the photos are much better quality than they used to be. I’ll be on the roadside taking photos on Saturday by the Salopian Inn in McLaren Vale, so if you spot me, say hi!
~The Cycling Raven