Australian rider Mark Renshaw grabbing second place on the opening stage of the Tour Down Under in Adelaide.
Jaco Venter, one of three SA riders in the squad, piloted the team’s sprinters in the closing stages before American Tyler Farrar launched a lengthy sprint to set up Renshaw in the dash for the line.
But local star Caleb Ewan, backed by an Orica-GreenEdge contingent which included South African Daryl Impey, was too strong and edged his compatriot for the win.
With the time bonus he received, Ewan was set to take a four-second advantage over Renshaw into Wednesday’s second stage of the World Tour race.
“The finish was very hard to judge, with a headwind finish and slight uphill,” Renshaw told the Dimension Data website.
“I maybe went a little too early once I’d seen the finish banner and that cost me the chance to win.”