Australia—Team Garmin-Slipstream’s Chris Sutton narrowly missed victory at Stage 1 of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in his home nation on Monday. The Aussie finished second, edged out at the line by Estonian Jaan Kirsipuu, a four-time stage winner at the Tour de France.
Sutton also finished second in Sunday’s prologue circuit stage and now sits third overall in the seven-day stage race.
Monday’s 149km stage in Ballarat, Australia, turned out to be pivotal when a split in the field put all but the top 41 riders out of contention for the overall. The gap between the front group and everyone else ballooned to more than 18 minutes by the finish, and diligent work by the Garmin-Slipstream squad—including fourth place Tour de France finisher Bradley Wiggins—put all but one in the front group of contenders. Six of seven Garmin-Slipstream riders made the front group.
“Once the group was established, we just kind of rolled through most of the day,” Wiggins told VeloNews.com. “It was so windy towards the end it was very difficult for lone riders or breaks to go. We had six guys, which made it easy to control.”
American Alex Howes, a member of the Garmin-Slipstream Under-23 squad, took over the Mountains Classification on Monday by winning KOM and finishing second in another.
The Herald Sun Tour continues on Tuesday with Stage 2, from Colac to the coastal town of Warrnambool. It’s expected to be another day for the sprinters.
Jayco Herald Sun Tur
Australia, October 11-17
1. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est), LeTua, 3:41:54
2. Chris Sutton (Aus), Garmin-Slipstream, same time
3. Jonathan Cantwell (Aus), Fly V Australia, same time
4. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Garmin-Slipstream, at 0:04
5. David Pell (Aus), Savings & Loans, same time
1. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est), LeTua, 3:41:44
2. Jonathan Cantwell (Aus), Fly V Australia, at 0:01
3. Chris Sutton (Aus), Garmin-Slipstream, at 0:04
4. Richard Lang (Aus), Budget Forklifts, at 0:11
5. Dean Downing (GB), Rapha Condor, at 0:12