YATES, MATTHEWS LEAD WINNING EFFORT AT TOUR DOWN UNDER!
Posted by Eric Roque on
SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2023
Simon Yates put the finishing touch on a winning effort by Team Jayco AlUla at the Tour Down Under, taking the final stage and finishing second overall at the first WorldTour race of the 2023 season. Michael Matthews added to the team's success by winning the points classification.
Yates showed spectacular early-season form at the five-day stage race in Australia, coming close to the win on Stage 3 and then breaking through for the victory on the final stage. The Brit powered up the final climb to Mount Lofty on his Propel Advanced SL Disc team bike with a CADEX WheelSystem, ahead of Australians Jay Vine and Ben O’Connor, who finished second and third respectively.
“I am ecstatic, really happy,” said Yates, who wore a Rev Pro helmet and Surge Pro shoes to take the win. “We came here to win the overall and we really gave it a good shot so I think we can walk away very happy.”
Yates emerged as one of the top contenders for the general classification midway through the stage race when he launched a move on the pivotal Corkscrew climb on Stage 3. He came up just short of the win but moved into third overall with two stages to go. He continued that momentum the following day, moving up another spot to second overall, putting himself in position to fight for the GC win on the final stage.
The hilly Stage 5 course in the Adelaide Hills turned into a GC battle between Yates, Vine and O'Connor. Yates attacked first in the final kilometers. Vine countered, but Yates was able to power past him at the finish. The Brit took the stage win and locked up second overall behind Vine in the GC.
“It was a tough day out there today, a short stage and one of those circuit races around here that I like with a couple of laps around Mount Lofty," Yates said. "The boys were really great again and everybody played their part. I just managed to line it up there on the final climb and passed Vine on the line for the win. It’s great to win here in Australia!”
In addition to Yates’s stage win and GC podium, the team’s Australian rider Michael Matthews won the overall points classification.
“We had a bit of a rollercoaster week and especially for me personally, but as a team I think we did all we could and to take a stage win, the points jersey and also second overall," Matthews said. "I think it has been a good week and start of the season for us. It has been really hard, aggressive racing and a real pleasure to race again here in Australia.”
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