Patrick Bevin shocked the sprint favourites to win stage two of the Tour Down Under, securing CCC Team's first ever WorldTour victory
The 27-year-old held off the challenge of Ewan to cross the line first and take over the race leadership from Elia Viviani.
His victory is CCC Team’s maiden WorldTour victory and his first triumph outside of a National Championships since winning stage four of the Herald Sun Tour in February 2015.
A two-time and current time trial champion of his home country, Bevin was well-placed in the run-in to avoid a crash and used the slipstream of Luis León Sánchez (Astana) before powering past the Spaniard to take the victory ahead of Ewan in an uphill sprint.
Viviani was unable to repeat his success from stage one, and could only finish seventh, ceding the ochre jersey to Bevin who now must be considered among the contenders to win the race overall.
How it happened
Just like stage one, the length of the stage was shortened due to the current extreme heat in south Australia, with the revised distance totalling 122.1km. Almost immediately Lason Lea (UniSA-Australia) and Arytom Zakharov (Astana) jumped clear of the peloton, just like they did the previous day.
The pair formed a break that stuck, and they were shortly joined by Jaime Castrillo of Movistar. The trio’s lead hovered around three minutes until they were caught by the peloton at the relatively early juncture of 55km from the finish.
Such an early catch tempted Groupama-FDJ’s Mathieu Ladagnous to make a solo bid of his own, and his attempt was admirable: he rode out front for a decent amount of time and some distance ahead of the rest of the field. He was, however, caught with 2800 metres left.
Perhaps bearing in mind the previous stage’s chaotic, unruly finish, the line outs were much more orderly as they dipped under two kilometres and approached the finishing ascent.
Team Sky and Team Sunweb led the charge, but as the road rounded to the left with 500m left, Sánchez made a surge to the line and pulled away. As those immediately behind chased down the Spaniard, a crash took out several riders and blocked the road.
It left around 25 riders left to contest the finale. Bevin came from deep and rode his own line on the right of the road before dipping in behind Sánchez’s slipstream, just like Ewan had also done.
But it was Bevin who nudged to Sánchez’s right, sprinting beyond him. Ewan was unable to negate the slight rise as well as Bevin and it was the latter who sprinted more furiously, crossing the line with enough time to clench and raise his hands in celebratory fashion. Sagan placed third.
Tour Down Under 2019, stage two: Norwood to Angaston (122.1km)
1. Patrick Bevin (Nzl) CCC Team, in 3:14.31
2. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto-Soudal
3. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
4. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
5. Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE-Team Emirates
6. Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Merida
7. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-Quick Step
8. Luis León Sánchez (Esp) Astana
9. Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo
10. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Team Sky, all at same time
General classification after stage two
1. Patrick Bevin (Nzl) CCC Team, in 6:34.03
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-Quick Step, at 5secs
3. Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto-Soudal
4. Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb
5. Artyom Zakharov (Kaz) Astana, at 9secs
6. Jason Lea (Aus) UniSA-Australia
7. Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb, at 10secs
8. Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
9. Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC Team, at 11secs
10. Jaime Castrillo (Esp) Movistar, at 12 secs