Tour Down Under (st. 4)
Catalan climber struggles in closing kilometers after covering Norton Summit climb within GC group during TDU stage two
World road race champion Peter Sagan (BOH) is the new GC leader in the 2018 Tour Down Under as he kept the pace of the strongest climbers through the Norton Summit – decisive point of the 128km stage four to Uraidla – and shook the group up in the finishing ups-and-downs to finish the race with a strong sprint.
The bunch, pulled by BMC for the entire climb at a steady pace with no attacks allowed at all, had Marc Soler as best Movistar Team performer, his team-mates working hard to keep the Catalan allrounder well positioned into the difficult section of Gorde Road, prior to the ascent. Despite Marc remaining strong against the GC guys during the ascent, the numerous attempts – some of them from remarkable names such as Sagan himself, Richie Porte (BMC) or Robert Gesink (TLJ)- into the small ascents after the main climb took him out of the 30-some group which crossed the line up-front.
Soler ended up 2’40” behind the main group in the eve of Saturday’s decisive, Queen stage over the two climbs of Willunga Hill (3.5km, 7% avg.), end of a 151km journey expected to be less hot than previous days’.
Picture (c): Dario Belingheri / BettiniPhoto.net (3: Movistar Team)