Australian Annette Edmondson scores 'home' sprint victory on stage one of the 2018 Women's Tour Down Under

Annette Edmondson (Wiggle-High5) took the sprint finish victory at the end of stage one of the 2018 Women’s Tour Down Under in Australia on Thursday.

Australian Edmondson took the victory on the 115-kilometre stage, that started and finshed in Gumeracha. Italian Giorgia Bronzini (Cylance Pro Cycling) placed second with Lauretta Hanson (UniSA-Australia) in third.

Hanson’s UniSA-Australia team-mate Rachel Neylan had earlier launched a solo escape, but was reeled in by the bunch with two kilometres to go to set up a bunch finish. A crash in the final 300 metres caught out a few riders.

>>> Tour Down Under 2018: Latest news, reports and race info

“Today was very, very good!” Edmondson said. “I’m very happy with that. The team rode so well.

Annette Edmondson wins stage one of the 2018 Women’s Tour Down Under. Photo: Tour Down Under/Kevin Anderson

“We talked about going for the sprint, but there was always a bit of a question mark with the first race of the year because you’re not really sure how you’re going to go against the rest with all the international riders coming.

“You don’t know who’s targeted the race and who hasn’t. I knew that my form was good the last couple of weeks, so I wanted to have a crack. I haven’t been in this form for a while at the Tour Down Under so I thought that this was the year I was going to do well if I was ever going to.”

Edmondson now leads the race six seconds ahead of Bronzini overall thanks to her winner’s time bonus. Hanson is third at eight seconds.

Prior to the finish of the stage, a truck laden with hay bales took out the finish-line inflatable – but it was put back into place well before the arrival of the riders.

The UCI 2.1-ranked race continues on Friday with stage two, from Lyndoch to Mengler’s Hill covering 102 kilometres and ending with an uphill finish. The four-stage race concludes on Sunday, January 14.



Results

Women’s Tour Down Under 2018, stage one: Gumeracha to Gumeracha, 115km
1. Annette Edmondson (Aus) Wiggle-High5 in 3-08-53
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling
3. Lauretta Hanson (Aus) UniSA-Australia
4. Sarah Roy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
5. Emilie Moberg (Nor) Team VirtuCycling
6. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Ale Cippolini
7. Maria Vittoria Sperotto (Ita) Be Pink
8. Kristina Clonan (Aus) TIS Racing
9. Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Team VirtuCycling
10. Georgia Baker (Aus) TIS Racing all at same time

General classification after stage one
1. Annette Edmondson (Aus) Wiggle-High5 in 3-08-41
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling at 6 secs
3. Lauretta Hanson (Aus) UniSA-Australia at 8 secs
4. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Ale Cippolini at 9 secs
5. Emilie Moberg (Nor) Team VirtuCycling at 11 secs
6. Sarah Roy (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 12 secs
7. Maria Vittoria Sperotto (Ita) Be Pink at 12 secs
8. Kristina Clonan (Aus) TIS Racing at 12 secs
9. Barbara Guarischi (Ita) Team VirtuCycling at 12 secs
10. Georgia Baker (Aus) TIS Racing at 12 secs