ADELAIDE, Australia (AFP) – Spain’s Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle swooped in the last 50 metres to win the second stage of the Tour Down Under in the South Australian town of Stirling on Wednesday.
Lobato Del Valle came from 10th place in the closing stages to fly past South African Daryl Impey (Orica GreenEdge) at the end of the long uphill finish and win in 3hr 42min 24sec.
His Movistar teammate Gorka Izaguirre Insausti was third, just ahead of Dutchman Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin).
“It was a very difficult finish for me but I managed to come through towards the end, and it’s a good win for the team,” Lobato Dell Valle said.
“We always come to this race with a great team, we like to ride well here and it’s important for us to do well in the Tour Down Under.”
Australia’s Jack Bobridge rode in with the peloton to maintain his hold on the ochre leader’s jersey after a day’s racing in perfect conditions on the testing course around the Adelaide Hills.
From the inner-city Adelaide start the race stayed together until Cameron Meyer (Orica GreenEDGE) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) broke clear after 18 kilometres.
They were soon joined by Campbell Flakemore (BMC), with the trio opening a lead of almost four minutes by the 62km mark.
But unlike Tuesday when the peloton mistimed the chase and let the breakaway stay clear until the finish, this time the main teams were taking no chances.
The chase was organised by IAM and Team Sky and steadily reeled in the leaders, catching them at the end of the second of two 20km laps around the countryside surrounding Stirling.
Calvin Watson (Trek Factory Racing) and Danilo Wyss (BMC) broke clear at the start of the last lap and stayed away for 10 kilometres, but they were caught at the bottom of the long uphill finishing stretch into Stirling.