Skip to main content


Sam Welsford is doing all the damage in the sprints at Santos Tour Down Under, aided and abetted by Ryan Mullen and Danny van Poppel (Photo: Jemma Knight)

Ryan Mullen and Danny van Poppel have looked like the best lead-out combination in the world for about 18 months now. And today they added to that reputation, firing Sam Welsford to a second win at Santos Tour Down Under.

While it is very early in the season yet, the Bora-hansgrohe trio took like an incredibly powerful unit and they will take some beating any time they get a clear run at the line through 2024.

“With guys like Danny and Ryan in front of you, you can turn your brain they’ll do the whole thing for you, they’re so smart and they also are on the same wavelengths with everything they do,” said a delighted Welsford after his second win today.

“Danny knows exactly when to go; he sees things before they happen, they say, it’s also true but for me it’s just having that belief in them that they have that belief in me.”

Mullen said he struggled with the heat on Tuesday, when Welsford took stage 1, but the Irish rider was a key man in the lead-out today deep into the finishing straight. He performed his usual trick of pulling Van Poppel to the front, with Welsford in tow.

And as the chequered flag approached, Mullen continued putting in a huge effort, before pulling over and letting Van Poppel do what he does; expertly pilot Welsford until the Australian was ready to kick for the line.

Welsford, a former track rider only starting his third season on the road, showed no signs of having to dig too deep to cope with the watts of Mullen and Van Poppel. He had plenty of kick left when the time came to hit the afterburners.

Opening up a very long way from the line, he swept to victory ahead of Elia Viviani (Ineos Grenadiers) and Daniel McLay (Arkéa-B&B Hotels). The highly fancied Caleb Ewan (Team Jayco AlUla) and Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty) were in the mix but could only manage 6th and 8th.

Yesterday’s stage 2 winner, 20-year-old Mexican Isaac del Toro (UAE Team Emirates), retained his race lead on today’s 145.3km stage from Tea Tree Gully to Campbelltown.

Ireland’s promising climbing talent, Archie Ryan (EF Education-EasyPost) was safely in the bunch again; placing 47th on the same time as the winner.

Ryan, who will look to testing himself on the uphill finishes on Saturday and Sunday, has ridden a lowkey race so far – as most of the GC men have. He remains 29th overall, some 11 seconds down on del Toro with three stages remaining.

#Mullen #Van #Poppel #fire #Welsford #brilliant #win #Campbelltown #Video

Source link