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"It was just hard to stay right at the front, but coming in with the front group is good, I think. I was happy with how the legs were going, and how I was climbing, so that was good.”






21.01.2015 @ 14:11 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Calvin Watson continued his aggressive racing in stage two of the Tour Down Under and Daniel McConnell kept Trek's GC ambitions alive in a tough, leg-breaking stage two.


The 150.5-kilometer stage two was lumpy from the get-go and ended with a leg-breaking stair-stepped climb for the final six or so kilometers.  With the early three-man escape group already safely back in the fold with 24 kilometers to go – the peloton was taking no chances today on a stage one repeat - the win was a fight between the strongest of the fastest. Movistar’s Juan José Lobato timed his jump to perfection, waiting until it seemed almost impossible, then zoomed by everyone with apparent ease to take the victory.


Trek Factory Racing’s Dan McConnell finished with the front group in 44th place to keep the team’s GC ambition alive. More used to the dirt and fat knobby tires it has been an adjustment for McConnell in a UCI WorldTour race, and he was happy with how his race went compared to yesterday:


"Today was much better than yesterday, and I felt much more comfortable in the group," he said.


“Everyday, hopefully, is a progression,” he continued,” so I feel by the end of the week I will have it in the end. It was fast the whole last five kilometers and my legs were probably better towards the end of the race. It was just hard to stay right at the front, but coming in with the front group is good, I think. I was happy with how the legs were going, and how I was climbing, so that was good.”


Calvin Watson, 22, continued to show strong early season form with an attack with 20 kilometers remaining. BMC’s Danilo Wyss joined Watson and the duo dangled out front, never building a big lead, but kept the peloton at bay for 10 kilometers. For the young Australian it was a chance to give a good dig, show off the pinstripes, and steal a page from the Jens Voigt book of racing:


"I always love to race aggressively and Jens has always stolen the thunder, so it’s cool to be out there and attacking in my home race. I am really enjoying it."


He added: “I had good legs when we got on the circuits in Stirling, and I saw a good moment to attack when the bunch sat up.  Danilo Wyss from BMC joined me, and I thought why not give it a shot out there today, because realistically the finish in Stirling is not suited to my characteristics.  It was nice to be out there again, being aggressive, which is cool.”


Race leader Jack Bobridge (UniSA-Australia) successfully defended the ochre jersey, but Lobato moved into second, only three seconds back. Dan McConnell sits in 48th place only 13 seconds in arrears, and in a race decided by one second last year, it’s still anyone’s game.



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