Sheffield second in TDU prologue

17 Jan 2023

Sheffield second in TDU prologue

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Tour Down Under - Prologue » Adelaide , 5.5km

Magnus Sheffield got the Tour Down Under off to a strong start for the INEOS Grenadiers with second place in the opening prologue time trial.

The weather conspired to make the 5.5-kilometre course even more tricky, with heavy rain starting to fall as the first batch of riders left the start ramp.

Sheffield was able to manage risk while also maintaining great speed out on course, setting a time just eight seconds off the drier benchmark, and eventual winning time, of Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-EasyPost).

Second place also ensured the American moved straight into the Zwift Young Rider's Jersey heading into Wednesday's first full road stage.

Ethan Hayter and Luke Plapp also set competitive times to ensure both riders remained within 20 seconds of the ochre jersey. The mixed conditions caused havoc on the day, with the road starting to dry out again, only for rain to resume for the later runners, including Ethan.

His brother Leo was the first Grenadier down the ramp and, despite encountering heavy rain during his effort, came home 32nd. Despite a number of crashes on the day the team were able to get home safely, with Geraint Thomas among those taking a risk-free approach.
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Reaction

- Magnus Sheffield

"I’m really happy with how the start of the season has gone. I had really good form and I’m really happy with the off-season and also how I came down here.
 
"It’s a long race and we’ve got plenty of cards to show for later in the race. In the stage you saw today on Corkscrew in the women’s race, I think it will be a really exciting week.
 
"The way the race is structured with time bonuses it’s always going to be really tight no matter how the stages play out. There’s guys like Michael Matthews and also the strong sprinters like Caleb (Ewan). There’s a lot of fast guys you need to watch out for. 
 
"It was really special getting to race here by the Adelaide Dome. It was a really nice course, although some of us were hindered a bit by the rain, but there’s nothing you can do about this."