Stage 2 from Stirling to Paracomb covered 148km through the Adelaide hills and was seen as one of the key stages of this years edition of the race. The stage did not disappoint. Richie Porte (BMC) came out on top after soloing away from the rest on the final climb. Nathan Haas flew the flag for Team Dimension Data and finished a strong 5th in a world class field.
The stage got off to a quick start and saw former Team Dimension Data rider Cameron Meyer (UniSA-AIS) attacking from the gun. He was joined by Ondrej Cink (Bahrein-Merida). The duo wasn’t allowed too much of a gap though, as the peloton reeled them in again with the first intermediate sprint in sight.
Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar) was the next to try his luck. He opened up a gap of over 5 minutes and would stay away for most of the stage. However, the bunch covered his move before approaching the descent of Norton Summit. From there on it was all about being in the right position.
Mark Renshaw and later Jacques Janse van Rensburg made sure that Haas would reach the final climb in one of the first positions. The latter one did and managed to stay in contention with the likes of Ion Izaguirre (Movistar) and Esteban Chavez (Orica-Scott), who went on to finish 2nd and 3rd on the day. Haas crossed the line in 5th place after a late surge.
Climbing away from the rest on the way to Paracomb, Porte won the stage and also took over the GC lead. He has 20 seconds over Izaguirre. Haas remains in 5th overall, 27 seconds down on Porte.
Nathan Haas – Rider
I have been looking forward to this stage for a long time and even based myself here in Adelaide over the winter to prepare well for the Tour Down Under. I put a lot of thought and effort in approaching today’s stage and it’s great to see that it all worked out. The laps around Stirling were hard and took a lot of power out of people’s legs. The team was really good today. Coming up the Gorge Mark Renshaw and later Jacques Janse van Rensburg put me into position and helped me entering the climb up to Paracomb in 2nd wheel behind Peter Sagan. That was where I wanted to be and I think I showed that for the kind of rider I am I was the best in my class against a lot of climbers today. Congrats to Richie Porte, he was on a different level. Let’s see what the rest of the week brings.