Bauhaus Wins Stage 1 of Santos Tour Down Under 2023
Today’s stage 1 of the 2023 Santos Tour Down Under was contested on a circuit in and around Tanunda. The stage length was 149.9 kilometers and the route included repeated 4.5-kilometer challenges up the category 4 Menglers Hill to shake the sprinters.
The peloton contested the stage in sunny conditions and the first parts of the stage were dominated by EF Education-EasyPost in support of their race leader Alberto Bettiol, who won yesterday’s prologue.
The Menglers Hill battles proved to have limited effect on the sprinters in the Tour Down Under peloton and their teams moved to the front of the peloton late in the stage to prevent breakaway hopefuls from getting their hopes up and to set a fast pace for a sprint finale. The buildup to the final was marked by crashes that caused some sprinters to lack important teammates in the final kilometers.
Bauhaus won the battle with a late bike throw across the finish line. He was closely followed by Caleb Ewan, riding for his new Team UniSA-Australia, and Michael Matthews of Team Jayco-AlUla.
Ewan, who experienced a challenging 2022 season dominated by injuries and lackluster performances, is now riding for ProTour Team Lotto Dstny. Ewan told Roadcycling.com he was happy to deliver a promising result at the start of the new season.
”To be honest, I was a bit surprised to be that close to the win, as I thought that I was way too far to be in contention. It’s of course disappointing with the legs I had but I am pretty happy about my form and sprint,” Ewan explained.
”I lost a couple of teammates in a crash, but Jarrad Drizners did a good job in the final, until his chain came off in the last descent. So I was alone in the end, but managed to keep a pretty good position in a sketchy final kilometres. I was in a good position until about one kilometre to go but the lead-outs in front ran out of guys and I got swamped a bit. I was way too far back and to be honest, I thought the stage was gone. That I was able to come this close to victory in the end, really surprised me. There’s a few more chances coming up this week so we’ll definitely give it another shot,” Ewan added.
Alberto Bettiol remains the overall leader of Santos Tour Down Under following stage 1 and has a six second lead on Matthews. Magnus Sheffield (Team Ineos-Grenadiers) is in third place, eight seconds behind.