Elia Viviani starts the season with a bang in Tour Down Under

Elia Viviani starts the season with a bang in Tour Down Under

Tuesday 15 January 2019 - 05:40

The Italian Champion came out of nowhere in the chaotic stage 1 finale to take the win and the leader’s jersey.

Four months after concluding the most successful season of his career with a perfectly-timed sprint in Madrid, Elia Viviani picked up where he had left off, scoring another victory – his 68th since turning pro – after producing a fantastic late burst which saw him blitz the Tour Down Under field in the last 150 meters of an opening stage held in extreme heat and windy conditions which prompted the organisers to take out the 3.4km finishing circuit.

“First win of the year for the team, first win for me, it’s a really great day for us. I felt a bit of pressure after the amazing season I had last year, but now I am more relaxed and already looking forward to the next opportunities I’ll get this week here in Australia”, Elia said after his masterclass sprint performance in Port Adelaide, host for the first time in history of a Tour Down Under stage.

Deceuninck – Quick-Step were one of the teams who controlled the four-man breakaway which animated the 129km-long stage that rolled out from North Adelaide, with the likes of Rémi Cavagna, neo-pro Mikkel Honoré and James Knox, whose fair share of work at the head of the peloton helped keep the quartet on a leash before eventually reeling them in.  

Two days after a crash took him out of contention in the closing kilometer of the Down Under Classic, the 29-year-old Viviani showed once again why he was the best sprinter of 2018, a combination of world class bike handling skills, huge confidence, crazy turn of speed and fearless sprinting, coupled with a solid lead-out provided by Michael Mørkøv and Fabio Sabatini, propelling him to a convincing victory in a scrappy finish.

Elia decided to leave it late in Port Adelaide, where the strong headwind played an important role in the outcome, and charged through the left of the peloton after finding an unreal gap, no wider than his handlebars. The Italian Champion’s daredevil move helped him power past Max Walscheid (Team Sunweb) and win stage 1 of the World Tour race by several bike lengths, claiming the ochre jersey in the process.

“We knew it was going to be a headwind, and this made for a difficult and chaotic sprint, but our plan was to wait a little bit before putting me in the best position. All the teams were committed and it wasn’t easy to find some space, but Michael and Saba did a great job, as always. Despite some guys having a few meters on me in the final, I didn’t panic and opened my sprint at the right moment. Once I found that space on the left of the barriers, I felt that I could win”, said the Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider, first Italian in 16 years to top the Tour Down Under general classification.

 

Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images

Race details

1 Elia Viviani
Deceuninck - Quick Step
3:19:47
2 Max Walscheid
Team Sunweb
,,
3 Jakub Mareczko
CCC Team
,,
4 Phil Bauhaus
Bahrain Merida
,,
5 Ryan Gibbons
Team Dimension Data
,,
6 Jasper Philipsen
UAE-Team Emirates
,,
7 Kristoffer Halvorsen
Team Sky
,,
8 Peter Sagan
BORA - hansgrohe
,,
9 Danny van Poppel
Team Jumbo-Visma
,,
10 Daniel Hoelgaard
Groupama - FDJ
,,
52 Dries Devenyns
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
63 Michael Mørkøv Christensen
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
70 Mikkel Frølich Honoré
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
71 Fabio Sabatini
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
100 Rémi Cavagna
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
107 James Knox
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
1 Elia Viviani
Deceuninck - Quick Step
3:19:37
2 Max Walscheid
Team Sunweb
0:04
3 Patrick Bevin
CCC Team
0:05
4 Michael Storer
Team Sunweb
,,
5 Jakub Mareczko
CCC Team
0:06
6 Jason Lea
UniSA-Australia
0:08
7 Phil Bauhaus
Bahrain Merida
0:10
8 Ryan Gibbons
Team Dimension Data
,,
9 Jasper Philipsen
UAE-Team Emirates
,,
10 Kristoffer Halvorsen
Team Sky
,,
54 Dries Devenyns
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
65 Michael Mørkøv Christensen
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
72 Mikkel Frølich Honoré
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
73 Fabio Sabatini
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
100 Rémi Cavagna
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
107 James Knox
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
1 Elia Viviani
Deceuninck - Quick Step
15 pt
2 Max Walscheid
Team Sunweb
14 pt
3 Jakub Mareczko
CCC Team
13 pt
4 Phil Bauhaus
Bahrain Merida
12 pt
5 Ryan Gibbons
Team Dimension Data
11 pt
6 Jasper Philipsen
UAE-Team Emirates
10 pt
7 Kristoffer Halvorsen
Team Sky
9 pt
8 Patrick Bevin
CCC Team
8 pt
9 Michael Storer
Team Sunweb
8 pt
10 Peter Sagan
BORA - hansgrohe
8 pt
1 Michael Storer
Team Sunweb
3:19:42
2 Jakub Mareczko
CCC Team
0:01
3 Jason Lea
UniSA-Australia
0:03
4 Phil Bauhaus
Bahrain Merida
0:05
5 Ryan Gibbons
Team Dimension Data
,,
6 Jasper Philipsen
UAE-Team Emirates
,,
7 Kristoffer Halvorsen
Team Sky
,,
8 Davide Ballerini
Astana Pro Team
,,
9 Dmitry Strakhov
Team Katusha Alpecin
,,
10 Benoît Cosnefroy
AG2R La Mondiale
,,
27 Mikkel Frølich Honoré
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
33 Rémi Cavagna
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
37 James Knox
Deceuninck - Quick Step
,,
1 Jason Lea
UniSA-Australia
10 pt
2 Artyom Zakharov
Astana Pro Team
6 pt
3 Patrick Bevin
CCC Team
4 pt
4 Michael Storer
Team Sunweb
2 pt
1 UAE-Team Emirates 9:59:21
2 Team Katusha Alpecin ,,
3 CCC Team ,,
4 Team Sky ,,
5 Mitchelton-Scott ,,
6 Groupama - FDJ ,,
7 Astana Pro Team ,,
8 Team Jumbo-Visma ,,
9 AG2R La Mondiale ,,
10 Team Dimension Data ,,

Top results

1 Elia Viviani
Deceuninck - Quick Step
3:19:47
2 Max Walscheid
Team Sunweb
,,
3 Jakub Mareczko
CCC Team
,,
See all race results

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