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by Mark Zalewski
January 18, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Kirsten Wild wins scorching Santos Women’s Tour finale, Amanda Spratt keeps firm GC hold; Caleb Ewan scorches to victory as extreme heat shortens Tour Down Under stage 1; La Méditerranéenne cancelled; Laura Kenny likely out for track World Championships; Loes Sels asks Belgian coach to only consider her results for worlds selection; CyclingTips Podcast, Episode 22: Changing lives in the off-season with Team Novo Nordisk; Owain Doull suffers appendicitis at Tour Down Under; Aevolo Cycling announces roster, sponsors; Christoph Strasser sets new world record for cycling across Australia; Guinness World Records verifies longest distance ridden by a woman; Video: Men’s Santos Tour Down Under, stage 1 highlights; Crash compilation from Fiuggi World Cup races; Mathieu van der Poel trains in Spain; Bike thief caught in the act on bike camera.
Caleb Ewan (ORICA-Scott) won a heat-shortened opening stage of the Santos Tour Down Under. The 22-year-old narrowly ousted Danny Van Poppel (Sky) and Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) to add to his victory in the People’s Choice Classic a few days earlier, and his stage 1 victory in Lyndoch a year earlier.
“It was a lot of pressure coming back here — same finish as last year — so I had pressure to do the same thing and win,” Ewan said post-race. “So it’s a relief and you know it’s just a great start to the week. I think it will put the whole team on a high and hopefully we can do something like we did last year” [ed. when the team won four of six stages and the general classification].
With temperatures nudging 40ºC, riders started to talk amongst themselves about the possibility of having the stage shortened. Some approached rider representative Adam Hansen who struck up a conversation with commissaires and the race director.
“The riders know that I’m the CPA delegate of this race so a lot of riders were coming up to me and just questioning it, if there’s something that’s possible that can be done,” Hansen told CyclingTips. “It’s my job to represent the riders. And for me it’s a hard thing because I like the heat. [But] it’s not my choice; it’s the riders’ choice. The UCI [commissaires] agreed, all the riders they agreed to it and we just needed the OK from Mike [Turtur, race director].”
Turtur agreed – shortening the stage was the right thing to do. And so on the first of three stage-ending circuits through the Barossa Valley, the announcement came over race race radio: the final lap would be removed and the stage trimmed from 145km to 118.5km.
Click through to read more at CyclingTips.