Talking Tactics with Robbie McEwen: Be Safe Be Seen MAC Stage 6
18 Apr 17
During each stage of the 2017 Santos Tour Down Under, former pro cyclist Robbie McEwen was on hand to explain the inner workings of the peloton as they raced towards winning crucial UCI WorldTour points. In this, the final of the series, we take a look back over the tactics employed in the final stage of the 2017 Santos Tour Down Under.
Starting and finishing by Elder Park next to the banks of the River Torrens, Be Safe Be Seen MAC Stage 6 saw the peloton race on a fast-paced 4.5km circuit through the heart of the Adelaide CBD.
Cycling commentator and former professional cyclist Robbie McEwen said the race was getting very complex, with attacks, tactical movement and precision in the peloton, with positions in the General Classification up for grabs.
“There’s so much going on,” he told Wide World of Sports’ Tim Gilbert. “There’s races within the race.”
“We’ve been watching that coverage of BORA-Hansgrohe riding for Jay McCarthy, it’s all about getting those bonus seconds.
“Jay McCarthy’s been nipping away at these bonus seconds all week and they know if he can take them on this stage he can jump right up on the general classification.
“This riding on the front, just keeping everything together, and when it came down to that intermediate sprint, these are all non-sprinters trying to improve their GC and we just saw Jay McCarthy grab three seconds and go into equal third.”
McEwen explained that, in addition to the iiNet Sprint points, the other element of the day’s race is the Subaru King of the Mountain sprint up Montefiore Hill.
“Thomas DeGendt, he needs to get one point at the Subaru King of the Mountain competition to lock up that jersey, to win it overall,” said McEwen.
“He’s in a deadlock with Richie Porte at the moment, so that’s also going on. And of course, we’ve got the final sprint, there’s still the stage win on the line.
“There’s so many different things going on within this race.”
McEwen said, when looking at the final sprint to the finish, it’s Caleb Ewan of ORICA-SCOTT who looked like a contender.
“Caleb Ewan won here last year, and as he’s demonstrated over the past week, he’s head and shoulders above the rest, especially for such a little guy in the sprint,” he said.
“But Peter Sagan has said: ‘I’m going to work for Jay (McCarthy) but then I’m going to do the sprint and I want to try and win.’
“Because the last international, non-Australian win of the Santos Tour Down Under was Wouter Wippert in 2015 on this stage.
“So, will Ewan make it four from six? Or will we get an international winner for a change?”
As the race came to a close, McEwen explained that when it comes to tactics, the teams aren’t just looking immediately in front; they’re looking at the bigger picture of the UCI WorldTour.
“That’s why it’s so cut-throat on this stage,” said McEwen.
“They’ve got to get it tactically just right, because there’ll be a big difference in those WorldTour points depending on where you finish on the overall classification.
“And these Europeans have come a long way to be here in Australia, they want to get something out of it.”
Talking Tactics with Robbie McEwen: Hostworks Stage 1
Talking Tactics with Robbie McEwen: Staging Connections Stage 2
Talking Tactics with Robbie McEwen: Hansgrohe Stage 3
Talking Tactics with Robbie McEwen: Bupa Stage 4
Talking Tactics with Robbie McEwen: BikeExchange Stage 5