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ADELAIDE, Australia (CT) – Peter Sagan. Caleb Ewan. Andre Greipel. Elia Viviani — some are calling it the strongest sprint field in the Santos Tour Down Under’s 20-year history. And in the first battle of the sprinters, it was the world champion Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) that came out on top, winning Sunday’s People’s Choice Classic.
It unfolded much as expected — a break got up the road and built a small lead before being reeled back in ahead of a bunch sprint. Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) was looking for three wins on the trot, while Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) was looking to kick-start another successful visit to Adelaide. Instead it was Sagan that proved too strong, hitting the front late — as he often does — but also just in time.
He’s the man to beat in the sprints now, and there will be a few. Stages 1, 3 and 6 should end in a sprint, and stage 2 might as well. Whether the big-name sprinters can survive the uphill ramp into Stirling remains to be seen.
Bring on the Tour Down Under …