Tonight, Danish time, Team Saxo Bank embarked on the first official assignment of the year by virtue of the 149 kilometer long first stage of the Tour Down Under, and just after the launch shot had sounded, Rohan Dennis (Team UniSA-Australia), Marcello Pavarin (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team), Martin Kohler (BMC Racing Team) and Eduard Vorganov (Katusha Team) jumped off to shape today’s long outburst.
Towards the end, the front group was shattered due to fatigue and the stage had to be decided in a sprint, but a crash on the very last kilometer brought Team Saxo Bank’s Takashi Miyazawa to an uncomfortably close encounter with the Australian asphalt, and ahead was Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol ) first man over the line ahead of Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre), while Team Saxo Bank’s new sprinter, Jonathan Cantwell, became seven.
“It was a pretty hot summer day, and the headwinds on the final stretch of the stage had a decisive influence on the outcome, as the outbreak was simply driving tired. In the end, we were included in a bigger crash where Takashi smoked in the tarmac, but he came through and after all had the surplus to have a smile on his lip as he had healed a little. Tomorrow’s stage is going to be really tough, waiting for more climbs along the way, and our goal is to get Luke (Roberts) full-skinned so he can get a good overall position, ”
said Team Saxo Bank Sports Director Bradley McGee after the stage.
Apparently the sprinters also have crowned days this year and can take most of the attention, but the fifth stage has a special surprise for the field as the riders are offered two laps on Old Villunga Hill, which is steep enough to catch their breath from the heavier sprinters.
Team Saxo Bank will start with Luke Roberts, Jonathan Cantwell, Jonas Aaen Jørgensen, Jaroslaw Marycz, Anders Lund, Sergio Paulinho and Takashi Miyazawa.