- - Down Under Classic 2024

Down Under Classic 2024

photo credits @ TDU

Jhonatan Narvaez claimed this year’s Tour Down Under Classic, after the Ineos Grenadiers rider chased his way back to the front, only to outfox the break on the line.  

However, before Narvaez’s triumph, all eyes were on Isaac del Toro (UAE Team Emirates), who claimed three of the four intermediate sprints before Narvaez closed in during the final dash for the line in Adelaide. 

Race Highlights

The race kicked off from a standing start, with Bauke Mollema (Lidl-Trek) putting in the first attack straight off the line, but he was predictably brought back as the peloton wound up over the first lap.

The first few laps saw plenty of attacks at the front, but none were made to stack. Ahead of the first prime lap, del Toro clipped off the front of the race to claim the prize but was soon also reeled back in by the fast-rolling peloton.

Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quick Step) took the chance to ride a lap on the front, showing himself ahead of the Tour Down Under where he is expected to be targeting the overall, but the wily Frenchman wasn’t capable of getting away.

Bora-Hansgrohe, riding in support of new signing and sprinter Sam Welsford, began to take control on the front of the peloton as the race reached the midway point, taking up the responsibility that may have fallen to Jayco AlUla, had Ewan been in action. Meanwhile, Ineos Grenadiers’ Filippo Ganna and Elia Viviani were sitting conspicuously at the very back of the bunch, staying out of the action.

With around 30 minutes of the one-hour race completed, a break eventually got a recognizable gap, with Del Toro once again on the offensive, this time taking Jhonatan Narváez with him.

The pair worked well together but had competition from interested chasers behind, and they were soon joined by Jack Rootkin-Gray (EF Education-EasyPost), Gil Gelders (Soudal Quick-Step) and Oscar Onley (dsm-firmenich PostNL), and later Natnael Tetsfazion and Harry Sweeny (EF Education-EasyPost).

The break only ever had a gap of around 16 seconds, and with Bora working with all seven of their riders on the front of the peloton, it seemed they would inevitably bring the escapees back, but this never quite materialized, with the bunch losing momentum at key moments and giving the break the advantage.

Heading into the final three laps, the fast peloton finally started to close in on the break, but it was too little, too late and the leaders – minus Rootkin-Gray – entered the final lap still ahead. A final burst of speed saw the bunch very nearly make the catch in the finishing straight, but it wasn’t enough to shut down the leaders, and it was a strong Narváez who sprinted to victory, just edging out Tetsfazion.

It was Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) who was the best from the bunch, taking seventh behind the surviving break, while Welsford could only manage 15th after all his team’s work, putting in a fairly unconvincing sprint once they knew it wasn’t for the win.

Leave a reply
Share on