Jürgen Roelandts (21st) leads Movistar Team’s performance at Tour Down Under’s criterium prologue as Gabriel Cullaigh is unable to sprint, caught behind a crash in the final laps.
A fast-paced, dangerous criterium in Adelaide -30 laps, 51km-, made more difficult by the rain falling under an unusually mild Adelaide (just 20ºC), opened the 2020 season for the Movistar Team at the Schwalbe Classic, won by local favourite Caleb Ewan (LTS) ahead of Cofidis duo Elia Viviani (2nd) and Simone Consonni (3rd).
The Telefónica-backed squad was left out of any real contention at the finish of this Tour Down Under prelude -not affecting the GC; not a competitive, official UCI race-, due to a pile-up with four laps remaining which fortunately didn’t involve any of the Blues. However, the main Movistar Team card for the finish, Gabriel Cullaigh, was one of the first riders finding the incident in his way, and was forced to brake and lose the tail of the first half of the field.
Belgian Jürgen Roelandts, who finished in 21st place, was the only Movistar Team member inside the small group contesting the sprint. The squad directed by José Luis Arrieta -which also features Juri Hollmann, Edu Prades, Lluís Mas, Sergio Samitier and Jorge Arcas- will take part from Tuesday in the first round of the WorldTour. Another sprinter-suited finish is scheduled at the end of Tanunda’s stage one circuit (150km).
Cover picture (c): Dario Belingheri / BettiniPhoto