Elia Viviani takes 68th victory of his career at Tour Down Under
Jan 15 2019 10:17 pm CET

Elia Viviani takes 68th victory of his career at Tour Down Under
Elia Viviani takes 68th victory of his career at Tour Down Under
Elia Viviani (c)Sigrid Eggers | Deceuninck - Quick-Step Cycling Team

Deceuninck-Quick-Step's Elia Viviani has started his season with a victory at the first stage of the Santos Tour Down Under.

The Italian champion finished the 2018 season with a victory at the last stage of the Vuelta a España and starts the new season in the same way. Viviani took the 68th win of his career at the first stage of the Australian race, which is also the opening of the WorldTour calendar.

"First win of the year for the team, first win for me, it's a really great day for us," said Viviani at the end of the stage. "I felt a bit of pressure after the amazing season I had last year, but now I am more relaxed and already looking forward to the next opportunities I'll get this week here in Australia.

Deceuninck-Quick-Step took control of the pace of the peloton during the stage and forced a sprint finish in Port Adelaide. The team managed to put Viviani in a good position ahead of the final metres and he launched a late sprint but that was strong enough to allow him to beat Sunweb's Max Walscheid and CCC's Jakub Mareczko.

"We knew it was going to be a headwind, and this made for a difficult and chaotic sprint, but our plan was to wait a little bit before putting me in the best position," the rider explained.

"All the teams were committed and it wasn't easy to find some space, but Michael and Saba did a great job, as always. Despite some guys having a few meters on me in the final, I didn't panic and opened my sprint at the right moment. Once I found that space on the left of the barriers, I felt that I could win."

Viviani also took the lead in the General Classification of the Tour Down Under.
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ELIA VIVIANI
SANTOS TOUR DOWN UNDER





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