As Patrick Bevin gets set for stage 3 of the Santos Tour Down Under, the rider who is making his World Tour debut with Cannondale Pro Cycling is in a strong position; sixth overall two stages in. RoadCycling caught up with him after yesterday’s stage.
We were quietly confident before the start that the Santos Tour Down Under could be a race to suit our latest addition to the pantheon of Kiwi World Tour riders. Patrick Bevin is a bit of a Valverde-esque rider, one who can sprint but he’s no Cav, and can climb though he’s no Froome, and can time trial but he’s no Wiggins. He’s a Bevin! An exciting rider, a confident rider and for those reasons it’s not really any surprise to see him sitting just 10 seconds off the lead of Jay McCarthy and in 6th overall.
Today’s stage was disrupted by a crash in the final kilometre that took down a number of riders, disrupting Bevin’s positioning for the sprint. Afterwards he explained the finale to us, “Yeah the finish got pretty hectic, it was a tough run to the line and I had hoped to stay out of trouble and get a clean sprint but once the crash happened and I am accelerating to get a wheel inside the final kilometre it becomes pretty hard to have something left in the tank,” Patrick explained. “The team set up really well and it’s disappointing not to deliver on this, 6th in a finale like that is not a bad result but defiantly felt I had a bit more to give.”
What’s been particularly impressive, not just from Bevin but from Cannondale Pro Cycling as a whole, has been the team’s ability to really mix it in the sprints. They are not a team who we have historically associated strongly with sprint finishes in the same way that Lotto Soudal or GIANT-Alpecin, FDJ or even Katusha have been. But at the Tour Down Under so far they have shown themselves consistently at the front, and by consistently I mean that they have held position; they haven’t fizzled and faded and Bevin’s strong position is testament to that.
Despite the fact that the intensity of the race hasn’t been very strong, the final kilometres are predictably electric and by Patrick’s own admission it’s this part of the race that’s perhaps the most alarming. “Today was obviously much tougher than yesterday but the same format plays out, where that last portion of the race is always super tough! The hustle is taking a bit to get used to, there is not a lot of backing down and I certainly feel like I am laking a bit of confidence when the pressure is on at the end of the race, you simply can’t get away with expending any energy that you could possibly avoid,” Patrick said.
So far we think he’s fitting in just fine with life on the World Tour; we wish him well as the rest of the week unfolds.