The Tour Down Under was presented with its first summit finish on stage 2. After Bora-hansgrohe picked up time bonuses throughout the day, Jay McCarthy held onto his fourth spot in the GC.
The 148.5km route included an opening circuit ridden five times, before heading north with 105km remaining. The undulating parcours continued until the highest point of the day, before a descent allowed riders to prepare for the final climb to the finish, where the day’s fireworks were going to happen.
While early attacks came, there was time to be taken in the intermediate sprints and the Bora-hansgrohe riders pushed to keep it all together. Jay McCarthy added all important seconds to his campaign in the first, while in the second, in spite of a rider escaping up the road and building a strong advantage, Michael Kolar and Rudi Selig took second and third respectively in the second sprint, preventing McCarthy’s rivals from picking up extra time.
At the 10km mark, and as the race began its final climb to Paracombe, the race looked calm, and as the kilometres ticked down, there were still no significant moves on the front until the race hit the final part of the climb. A late attack from Richie Porte (BMC) left the bunch behind to take the stage win, but finishing with the bunch, McCarthy held onto his GC fourth spot.
“We made a very good effort as a team, and I had Peter guide me into the final climb with the rest of the team and he was a big help out there, making sure I kept cool. I was delivered to a good position and when Richie went I didn’t want to follow straight away just in case I used too much energy. I’ve been carrying a little bit of sickness these past few days, and it may affect me or it may not, but I can tell everyone I did everything I could out there today.”, said McCarthy.