Stellar teamwork was on display again today on stage 2 of the Tour Down Under, which set Corbin Strong up to sprint to eighth place and move up to fifth place on the General Classification with three stages remaining.
The threat of crosswinds proved correct and approaching the halfway point of the race, the peloton split in two with the gap growing to 30 seconds. Good positioning from his teammates meant Corbin was well positioned in the front group and after another impressive lead out, the Kiwi won the second intermediate sprint to claim three bonus seconds.
“It definitely lived up to how hard we expected it to be. All day it was dangerous with potential splits and we saw that 50 kilometers into the race when then race split to pieces and again in the finish. It’s a good thing we had such a strong team today and the boys rode out of their skin to keep me in the best position possible all day,” said Corbin.
The big test came on the final climb of the day, Nettle Hill, where the steep gradients did some damage and an attack from Jay Vine saw a five-rider move go clear. Strong was in the chase group behind, where Derek Gee and Sebastian Berwick rallied around him and helped limit the time loss.
Although the peloton was closing in fast, Rohan Dennis hung on to take the win from the front group, while Corbin sprinted to eighth place from the bunch, 11 seconds behind. After taking bonus seconds two days in a row, Corbin moves up to fifth place on the General Classification, 14 seconds behind new race leader Dennis.
For now, Corbin is taking things day by day with another big test on the Corkscrew climb coming tomorrow.
“There will be dangerous points every day and the GC is probably quite different compared to what everyone was expecting at this point in the race. So, I think there will be some teams riding really aggressively and if we can carry on riding how we have been, we’ll be right up there challenging for stage wins and the GC.”