The Santos Tour Down started in the outskirts of Adelaide and lead the peloton over 138 kilometers to Victor Harbour. There were some threats that the race could be action packed at the end with clouds looming over the Crow’s Nest, the days decisive climb. In the end only a small peloton of around 50 riders contested for the win. Race leader Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) had the best legs. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Nathan Haas flew the flags for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, coming home in 6th and 9th position.
The race was lead by 3 riders who broke clear after 30 kilometers. Alexis Gougeard (Ag2R), Pat Shaw (Unisa) and David Tanner opened up a gap of about 4 minutes. Orica-GreenEdge kept control over the race though and were also the ones to pull them back inside the final 20 kilometers. With Crow’s Nest looming the race got hectic.
We had Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Nathan Haas, and Cameron Meyer near the front when the peloton reached the summit. Unfortunately, our fast South African was held up by a tumble on the descend. Whilst not coming down himself he had to chase back. Reinardt bridged the gap with 7 kilometers to go, yet that effort cost him important energy for the finale.
Inside the last kilometers Jesus Herrada (Movistar) and Lieuwe Westra (Astana) tried to escape from the bunch but were brought back quickly. All was set for Gerrans, who proved to be the man to beat. The Australian crossed the line in first place ahead of Ben Swift (Sky) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) to extend his overall lead.
Tomorrow’s stage will finish after 150 kilometers on the iconic Willunga Hill and will offer another chance.
Reinardt Janse van Rensburg – Rider
I had really good legs today and was able to get over Crow’s Nest with the front of the peloton. Unfortunately, Julian Arredondo took a tumble right in front of me. I lost some ground and found myself alone behind the front bunch. Eventually some other riders caught up and we were able to bridge across to the front with 7 kilometers to go. The effort cost me some energy for the finale. We still managed to place two of us in the top10 of the day, which is good. We have two more days left, so lets see.