Cullaigh (11th) in the mix at stage one sprint in Tanunda

21 January 2020
Imagen de la noticia ‛Cullaigh (11th) in the mix at stage one sprint in Tanunda’

Brit from Movistar Team gets good support from Jürgen Roelandts, fights into second bunch finish of the week in Australia. Sam Bennett (DQT) first ochre jersey holder at Tour Down Under.

Irishman Sam Bennett (DQT) claimed Tuesday’s victory at the end of the first racing day in the 2020 UCI WorldTour, an opening stage of the Tour Down Under comprising five laps (150km) of a circuit around Tanunda that featured the Cat-3 climb of Breakneck Hill. Jasper Philipsen (UAD) and Erik Baska (BOH) completed the day’s podium.

The inevitable sprint saw Gabriel Cullaigh (Movistar Team) fighting for a sprint result for the first time in Blue colours, a contest he had good support at with Jürgen Roelandts by his side. The expert Belgian led the Brit out throughout the entire finishing phase, though the West Yorkshire native ran out of space to progress inside the last 500 meters and had to make big efforts before properly launching the sprint, ending up in 11th place.

Cullaigh, in the background, takes 11th as Sam Bennett (DQT) wins in Tanunda. (c) Dario Belingheri / BettiniPhoto

Other than a mechanical issue for Sergio Samitier with just under ten kilometers remaning, which made him lose a handful of seconds at the end, the group directed by José Luis Arrieta finished with no major setbacks a day preceeding the first crucial moment for the GC contenders. A lumpy, traditional circuit around Stirling will require all attention from the top riders at Wednesday’s slightly uphill finish -around 3%-, prior to Thursday’s first proper mountain contest up Torrens Hill Road and towards Paracombe on stage three.

Cover picture (c): Dario Belingheri / BettiniPhoto