Ben Swift Wins Final Stage and Cameron Meyer Wins 2011 Tour Down Under
Team Sky's Ben Swift wins stage 6 of the Tour Down Under 2011; Lance Armstrong finished his last race outside the U.S. in 65th place out of 129 riders in the 2011 Tour Down Under, refusing to speak to reporters afterward. Team Garmin-Cervelo's Cameron Meyer of Australia beat countryman Matthew Goss (Team HTC-HighRoad) by two seconds to win the Down Under Tour overall.
a winner of three world championships on the track and has now emerged as one of Australia's leading road cyclists.
"I can't thank my teammates enough. They were great," Meyer said. "And credit to Matt Goss, too. He fought right to the end."
Team HTC-Highroad riders rode at the front of the peleton throughout the race, doing everything possible to lift Goss into the overall lead. Goss finished second in the first of two intermediate sprints during the final stage to pick up 4 bonus seconds, cutting Meyer's lead to two seconds but, though he came in third on the stage behind Swift and his Sky Procycling teammate Greg Henderson of New Zealand, he couldn't close that gap.
"Unfortunately a couple of days of bad luck - a puncture at a bad time, getting caught up in a crash in stage two, maybe it was never meant to happen," Goss said.
British sprint star Mark Cavendish finished 129th and last of the riders who completed the Tour, 33 minutes, 51 seconds behind the winner. Cavendish, of the HTC-Highroad team, suffered cuts and abrasions when he crashed on the second stage and wasn't able to compete fully for the remainder of the race.
"Hopefully I'll start winning later in the year and get some stuff for the team," said Cavendish, a winner of 15 stages of the Tour de France.
"That (the Tour de France) is the biggest race of the year for the team and for the sponsors. I want to win everywhere but it's very important to win there."
Defending champion Andre Greipel (Team Omega Pharma - Lotto) of Germany, winner of the race is 2008 and 2010, finished 7th overall.
More than 772,000 fans watched the six stages of the Tour, a record for a sports event in South Aestralia, ensuring the continuing success of the race which is the first of the 2011 UCI WorldTour season.