18 January 2023

Tour Down Under, stage 1: race recap

Hugo Hofstetter competed in his first sprint of the year. He finished 8th in Tanunda.

Photo: Getty Images

I gave it my best afterwards, Kévin Ledanois helped me a lot in the last straight to find my place, afterwards we got a bit lost with the guys. I followed the right train, trying not to catch too much wind, not to catch too many waves, but of course that meant some effort before the final pack. It is also the first effort and sprint of the year. I finished in a hurry, sitting down, which must have cost me a place or two. I think there was a way to do better at this finish which frustrates me a little, but on the other hand I tell myself that we are only at the beginning of the season and that I am not at 100% and that it is more than encouraging”.

Yvon Caër, sport director

“This first stage of the Tour Down Under was very fast, the sprint at the finish was very competitive, it was very hard. There is no doubt that we are back on a UCI WorldTour competition in terms of rhythm and intensity. Hugo managed to get through the final, but he needs to find some automatisms. He had a top 5 in his legs in any case, as he maneuvered very well despite this. He, and the team as a whole, avoided the crashes which were numerous. There was some wind on this first stage around Tanunda. We will continue to work in order to put Hugo in the right conditions so that he can progress in the hierarchy of the sprinters present on this event”.