Australia’s Cameron Meyer handed his Garmin-Cervelo team a reason to smile on the Tour Down Under when he took the race leader’s ochre jersey after a deserved stage win yesterday.
Meyer, a world track cycling champion, worked hard to get into the only successful breakaway of the 124km fourth stage from Norwood to Strathalbyn in the Adelaide Hills.
And the 23-year-old’s efforts paid off, as strong headwinds and a lack of collaboration in the chasing pack conspired to allow the break a clear run to the finish.
Meyer beat Belgian Thomas De Gendt, of Vacansoleil, in a two-up sprint with Dutchman Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank) in third just ahead of former Australian champion Matt Wilson, also of Garmin-Cervelo.
With the chasing pack arriving 24 seconds later, Meyer took the ochre jersey from overnight leader and compatriot Matthew Goss, who rides for HTC-Columbia.
Ten Dam is now second overall at 10 seconds adrift, with Goss in third at 12 ahead of today’s potentially decisive fifth stage which takes in two ascents of the short but steep Willunga Hill.
“It’s just great to get a win for the team,” Meyer said. “To get the stage win was the first thing I thought about. Yesterday, I missed the split by seven seconds and lost a little bit on GC [general classification], so I thought, ‘It’s going to be hard to make that back.’”
The four leaders worked well together, but with their lead hovering around the minute mark with 30km to go they decided to up the pace.
“We had to really play it cool and wait, the peloton can bring it back whenever they want,” Meyer said. “So we waited until about 20km-30km to go and then we really hit the gas, and when we went, we went strong.”
Despite the common interest of being able to contend the stage win, Goss’ HTC-Highroad team were left almost to their own devices as they fought to defend his overall jersey.
With strong headwinds -hindering the chase, HTC’s lead-out man Mark Renshaw complained that other teams were simply hanging off their coat tails.
“It’s the same old story, we rode all day and we can’t be expected to close the gap and ride all day. Some of the other teams need to have a look at themselves,” Renshaw said. “We had one guy from Omega-Pharma and a couple of guys from RadioShack, but by then it was too late. With a finish like that, everyone knew it was downhill for the last 10 km.”
The race finishes with a 90km street race in Adelaide tomorrow and Goss said he would fight all the way — picking up bonus seconds at the intermediate sprints and at the finish — to get back into the race lead.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first