Hammes rides into top ten overall
Stage Two of the Santos Women's Tour Down Under set off from Lyndoch on Friday morning with some different conditions to the previous day. The heat and humidity were replaced by light rain fall and conditions worsened with the peloton battling strong cross-winds and, at times, heavy rain as the race went on. Something to make the European riders feel more at home.
The 102km route which would finish with a tough category 1 Queen of the Mountain hilltop finish at Mengels' Hill, took in the fantastic Barossa Valley and in the first half of the race the climb of Whispering Wall. Before the tour started, Stage Two was seen to be the main day to shake up the overall classification.
The stage started out as predicted; fast. Controlled by Mitchelton-Scott, who had the most to prove after missing out on the podium on Stage One.
The pace ramped up over the second of two ascents of Whispering Wall, it was clear that some teams were motivated to create a breakaway, but no break was given room.
With the weather getting worse and winds picking up, there were cross winds in the run in to the finale. With the group wittling down, the call was made by our road captain and the team worked well to place Kathrin Hammes in the front group before the final sections.
The pure climbers came out to play towards the end, with Katrin Garfoot along with Lucy Kennedy and her Mitchelton-Scott teammates Amanda Spratt and Annemiek van Vleuten were pushing the pace.
Hammes fought tooth and nail and finished in 8th place on the stage, which moves her into the top ten on GC. Having been suffering from a virus which almost ruled her out of traveling to Australia, this result really pleased Kathrin.
"I am happy with a top 10 result today, especially because we just started racing together as a new team and already did a really good job of riding together and supporting eachother.
It's really great for me to finish the teams effort off with a good result”
Meanwhile, further down the final climb, Abi van Twisk finished 16th on the stage which moves her into the same position overall after finishing just outside the top 20 on Stage One. This result moves Abi into 2nd place on the Young Rider Classification - just 12 seconds behind Grace Anderson of New Zealand.
DS, Loren Rowney was super happy with how today's race went and is already looking ahead.
"I couldn’t be happier with the end result today, with Kathrin in 8th place, and Abi Van Twisk moving up in the young rider classification. The team are only just getting started, this is exciting, and an indicator of what is to come.
Tomorrow’s stage will be an opportunity for the team to go for a stage result, as well as a higher result on GC”
Road captain, Molly Weaver rounded up what was another good day for the team.
It was another good day for the team, and we're all really happy with how it played out in the tough uphill final. With Kathrin finishing 8th on the stage, and Abi now sitting 2nd in the Young Rider Classification, we achieved both our goals for today's race.
It was a tough stage, with some strong cross winds as well as the climbs, so the fact we were represented in the front throughout the race shows the team dynamic already in place.
Having said that, we can all see areas where mistakes were made today. Looking ahead to the coming stages and races, this is a big positive for me.
The result shows that we are already able to compete at the front end of the race, so we can take confidence from this and continue to improve from here.
See our gallery from Stage Two here
Full results are listed below.
Official Highlights Video