In a stunning turn of events at the Tour Down Under in Australia, 20-year-old Mexican cyclist Isaac Del Toro Romero achieved a surprising victory in stage two, securing his maiden WorldTour win and claiming the overall lead.
Riding for UAE Team Emirates, Del Toro Romero launched a bold attack in the final kilometer, seizing victory in the 141.6-kilometer stage and donning the coveted ochre jersey as the race leader.
Crossing the finish line ahead of Israel-Premier Tech pair Corbin Strong and Stephen Williams, Del Toro Romero expressed his joy at the historic win, becoming the first Mexican to claim a stage victory in the Tour Down Under.
With a two-second lead over Corbin Strong and a seven-second advantage over Eritrea's Biniam Girmay in the general classification, Del Toro Romero spoke about the challenging final kilometer and his determination to secure the win.
The young cyclist acknowledged the intensity of the final climb and how he strategically closed the gap to secure the victory. Del Toro Romero's courageous move came after a breakaway featuring American champion Quinn Simmons and Frenchman Bastien Tronchon, demonstrating his tactical prowess on the demanding course.
Australia's champion sprinter Caleb Ewan, finishing just outside the podium in fifth place for Jayco-AlUla, sits eighth overall, 10 seconds behind Del Toro Romero. Ewan faced challenges, including changing bikes mid-race and making up ground on sharp hill climbs, but expressed satisfaction with his progress, anticipating improvement in the coming stages.
Earlier attacks in the race saw Luke Plapp and Jhonatan Narvaez breaking away, with Plapp eventually adhering to team orders not to cooperate with Narvaez, closing down the breakaway attempt. The Tour Down Under's upcoming stages promise further excitement, with the final two weekend stages featuring challenging finishes at Willunga Hill and Mount Lofty, setting the stage for an intense battle among the cyclists.