News | Santos Tour Down Under • January 18, 2023
Covi takes top-5 at Tour Down Under
Italian 4th in sprint opener
After yesterday’s prologue which kicked-off the Tour Down Under, the Australian race today saw the riders tackle the first stage with a circuit around the city of Tanunda for 149.9km.
On a day characterized by wind and many crashes, Alessandro Covi first won the GPM 40km from the finish, and was then able to be in the top positions in the final kilometers of the race, finishing the fast sprint in fourth place behind Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Victorious) who raised his hands in triumph.
After Covi taking a spill in the opening prologue, Bax and Fisher-Black were also involved in one of the mid-course crashes today. Both riders were able to get back on the bike with some abrasions without encountering more serious problems.
Jay Vine finished the stage safely with the main peloton, managing to avoid the riders who crashed with 500m to go. The Australian is now eleventh in the General Classification at 14” from leader Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost).
Covi: “Yesterday I crashed but, fortunately, I’m fine and I’m only sorry for having lost important seconds from the point of view of the General. Losing the possibility of achieving a goal, you immediately have to think about how to do better in another way and therefore how to play your chances for a stage win. Not having pure sprinters in the team here, today I tried, having also already wasted some energy to win the intermediate GPM, but I had really fast riders ahead of me and I probably couldn’t do better. The condition is good, so in the next few days we’ll see how we go and aim for a few stages and the General Classification with my teammates“.
Tomorrow’s undulating second stage will take the riders from Brighton to Victor Harbor with 159.9km to go.
Results 1st stage:
1.Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Victorious) 3h37’35”
2.Caleb Ewan (Unisa-Australia) s.t.
3.Michael Matthews (Team Jayco Alula) st.
4.Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates) s.t.
General classification after the 1st stage:
1.Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost) 3h43’54”
2.Michael Matthews (Team Jayco Alula) +6”
3.Magnus Sheffield (INEOS Grenadiers) +8”