Team Visma | Lease a Bike survives tricky first stage Tour Down Under
Team Visma | Lease a Bike has finished the first stage of the Tour Down Under without any problems. In sweltering conditions, the yellow-black formation brought leader Milan Vader safely across the line. Sam Welsford sprinted to take the day's victory.
The first road race of the new year took place in and around Tanunda on a 144-kilometre course. It soon became clear that the stage would end in a bunch sprint after the climbs of Menglers Hill failed to make any difference.
The wind proved treacherous in the final kilometres, but Team Visma | Lease a Bike came through the day unscathed. "That was the most important thing”, sports director Addy Engels said. "It was a nervous ride. The wind picked up a lot and even got a bit tricky. You could see that everyone was on their toes. With forty degrees, it was also super hot today.”
"The new guys made a good impression on me"
With Bart Lemmen, Loe van Belle and Johannes Staune-Mittet, Team Visma | Lease a Bike had some new riders at the start. "They made a good impression on me. They are in good shape and have a lot of power. That's always good."
A more challenging stage awaits the riders tomorrow, Engels predicted. "Quite early on, we'll come to a lap that we'll do three times. There is a tricky climb, and the last summit is eight kilometres from the finish. Our first goal is to get through the day well and then make sure Milan is in a good position when the climb starts.”