In a finale full of emotions and surprises, the Ecuadorian Jhonatan Narváez (Ineos Grenadiers) won this Saturday the Down Under Classic criterium, a test held in Adelaide, Australia, prior to the traditional stage race of the Santos Tour Down Under.

The gold medalist in road cycling at the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games brought out all his power and class in the last meters to defeat the Eritrean Natnael Tesfatsion (Lidl Trek) in a spectacular sprint. To everyone’s surprise, the podium was completed by the Mexican Issac del Toro in his debut with the UAE Team Emirates.

The 26-year-old Ecuadorian, stage winner of the 2020 Giro d’Italia, predicted that new WorldTour rider, Mexican Isaac del Toro, is the man to watch during the WorldTour stage race.

Del Toro was impressive in his debut for UAE Team Emirates, winning three of the previous four sprints before Narváez took the top prize at the Adelaide city circuit. “He (Del Toro) is a contender for the general classification,” Narváez told Seven Plus.

“It was a very fast circuit. It was important to never lose motivation to win the race. Starting the season like this is very nice,” added the Ecuadorian.

The race also featured the participation of the Colombian Álvaro Hodeg, however, the Monterian sprinter from the UAE did not have a good day and did not enter the race, finishing in 110th place, 40 seconds behind the winner.

The one-day Australian race, which is not an official UCI competition, had a short course, where the peloton did several laps of a 1.35 kilometer circuit through the streets of Adelaide, known as the city of culture.

In the end there were many attacks and a handful of runners took advantage of the breakaway that surprised the sprinters’ teams. The platoon miscalculated and failed to hunt down the daring attackers.

For the most part, the entry list will be identical to that of the Tour Down Under, the first World Tour stage race of the 2024 season, which will take place between Tuesday, January 16 and Sunday, January 21.

Fuente: Revista Mundo Ciclístico y