So close for Halvorsen

30 Jan 2019

So close for Halvorsen

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Herald Sun Tour stage one: Phillip Island, 97.9km

Kristoffer Halvorsen came within inches of his first victory for Team Sky on the opening stage at the Herald Sun Tour.
The young Norwegian sprinter benefitted from a strong leadout on the final lap of the Phillip Island motor racing circuit but was edged out on the line by Dan McLay (EF Education First). 
Team Sky hit the front as the peloton dropped down into turn 10, with Luke Rowe and finally Owain Doull delivering Halvorsen to the line.
While Halvorsen battled it out in a near photo finish, Pavel Sivakov was alert and powered home to sixth, making sure he was on the right side of a four-second split in the bunch behind.
Christian Knees was active early, spending a few opening laps in the breakaway before heading back to the peloton as the laps were clicked off. 
Brett Lancaster

Brett Lancaster

It's good for his confidence to be right up there fighting for the win.

Sport Director Brett Lancaster -

"We were in a couple of early moves. Luke was in there with Christian at the start and then Christian went alone in the break. I called Christian back as it wasn't working out there and we opted to save everything for the last lap. 

"We hit it with a couple of kilometres to go and it worked well. Kristoffer just got edged out which is one of those things. It's good for his confidence though I think to be right up there fighting for the win. Once again Owain, Luke, Dylan (van Baarle) and the whole crew did a good lead-out. We didn't quite pull it off so we've got two more chances on stage three and stage six. We'll go into those with a lot of confidence.

"Tomorrow is a proper GC day so we'll see what happens. We have a few bullets to fire. This race has never gone over that particular climb before up in the Gippsland area. The weather's going to be quite cool, certainly by Australian standards, so it's going to be quite interesting."
What's next?

Stage two should provide an intriguing test with a late climb on the run into Churchill. The 3.8km Jeeralang climb averages 9.4% and features a gravel section towards the summit.
Stage one result

1. Dan McLay (EF Education First) 2:16:58
2. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Team Sky) s.t.
3. Wouter Wippert (EvoPro Racing)
4. Theodore Yates (Drapac-Cannondale Dev)
5. Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-Scott)
6. Pavel Sivakov (Team Sky)

Overall standings

1. Dan McLay (EF Education First) 2:16:48
2. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Team Sky) +4"
3. Wouter Wippert (EvoPro Racing) +6"
4. Ayden Toovey (Team BridgeLane) +8"
5. Theodore Yates (Drapac-Cannondale Dev) +10"
7. Pavel Sivakov (Team Sky) s.t.

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