Welsh duo make top-10 starts Down Under

13 Jan 2019

Welsh duo make top-10 starts Down Under

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Down Under Classic

Owain Doull and Luke Rowe came home sixth and seventh respectively in a crash-filled finish to the Down Under Classic.
 
With a short, sharp hour of racing on the agenda, the new-look 2019 peloton battled it out across 31 laps of the 1.7-kilometre circuit.
 
With a number of intermediate sprints and breakaways splitting up the early action, Team Sky opted to keep their powder dry in hot temperatures, prioritising the final sprint.
 
Moving to the fore with six laps to go, Rowe initially led the line, with strong riding from Christian Knees to string out the bunch. That ensured our lead riders were well positioned, with Doull sat on the wheel of Rowe, avoiding the first crash with two laps to go. Sadly that pile-up made life hard for fellow sprinter Kristoffer Halvorsen, who was unable to regain contact.

Key moment
 
Rowe hit the front again on the final lap, with a crash near the front of the bunch ending the day for a number of top sprinters coming out of the final corner. Both Welshmen made it through, but after a lot of work they were unable to hold the wheel of the final sprint on Bartels Road. 
 
It was Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) who made a winning debut for his new team, fending off Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) at the line, with Doull and Rowe able to roll in and secure strong finishes.
Owain Doull

Owain Doull

A bit of chaos, but all good fun.
Reaction
Owain Doull - 

“It was hot and fast which was to be expected really. It was a good race to blow out the cobwebs and a decent day all in day. The team did a good job. A bit of chaos but, all good fun.
 
 “We were working for Kristoffer today but there was a crash with two or three laps to go and he got stuck behind it. We switched and I thought I’d have a nudge. Sixth is not bad, but not great. But still a nice start!”
Highlights
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Fan of the Day

The first of a new segment on TeamSky.com. Today Ollie Rowe was on hand to watch his dad Luke in action. He even had a 'Team Sky #1 Fan' on his lanyard.
What's Next?

After the opening criterium showpiece the action proper begins on Tuesday with a 132.4km stage from North Adelaide. The riders head up into the hills before arriving back into Port Adelaide for an expected sprint finish.
Result

1. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 1:03:59
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) s.t.
3. Alexander Edmondson (Mitchelton-Scott)
4. Roger Kluge (Lotto Soudal) +2"
5. Daniel Oss (Bora-Hansgrohe) +4"
6. Owain Doull (Team Sky) +5"
7. Luke Rowe (Team Sky) +9"

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