The Jayco Herald Sun Tour got underway today with an almost pancake-flat 121 kilometre long stage from Nagambie to Shepparton. A fierce pace was set at the head of the peloton after the flag dropped as teams looked to form the day’s breakaway, before a group of five riders escaped after 20 kilometres of action.
The race then settled into a rhythm with the gap to the breakaway plateauing at three minutes and 30 seconds once the peloton began to chase and the gap slowly started to dwindle throughout the afternoon as the WorldTour teams worked to ensure there was a bunch sprint.
After a valiant effort the breakaway was eventually caught inside the last ten kilometres and Team Sunweb worked well to move Alberto Dainese towards the front of the group ahead of the sprint finish. It was a hectic run in with a big fight for position within the bunch, as riders surged to the front of the peloton.
Coming into the final corner Dainese was in the wheel of Max Kanter. Moving out and producing a powerful sprint, he charged his way to the line to claim the win ahead of Kaden Groves (Mitchelton-Scott) and Moreno Hofland (EF Pro Cycling). The result was his first victory for the team and the Men’s program’s first win of the year. As a result, Dainese moves into the lead of both the GC and young rider’s jerseys, as well as the lead of the points jersey ahead of tomorrow’s second stage.
Alberto Dainese – “The guys did a perfect job today,” praised Dainese after the finish. “We controlled the breakaway all day long and Storer did a great job on the front of the bunch. The rest of the guys did a good job in the last five kilometres and we almost did the perfect lead out. I went into the last corner in around fifth or sixth wheel behind Max. I waited a little bit in the sprint because it was a bit messy and into a headwind but in the end it I managed to take the win.”