Gerrans Wins Tour Down Under 2014; Greipel Wins Final Stage
Simon Gerrans became the first three-time winner of the Tour Down Under, in front of a home crowd in Adelaide on Australia's national day. Gerrans went into the final stage with a lead of just one second over Cadel Evans (Team BMC Racing) and finished with the same narrow margin.
team mate's lost him in the peloton traffic.
"I am not sure what happened. I could not find Marcel Kittel in the end," said his team mate Koen de Kort who was fourth on the line. "He was on my wheel, it was a very hectic course, tight corners, long straights. Somewhere in the last lap, Marcel must have lost my wheel.
"I told me teammates to go find him, while I stayed in the front (but) he never got there. At about 600m to go, I heard through the radio, Koen, just sprint yourself.
"I don't sprint enough. I choose the wrong side of the wheel, then I had to restart again. I came through fourth. I don't have the experience in sprinting these days. I don't tend to do that anymore."
No climbs were contested today which means Australian Adam Hansen goes home with the Skoda King of the Mountain crown after amassing 28 points, including a win in the first category one climb of the race up Menglers Hill in the Barossa on Tuesday. That win ensured him overall climbing honours on a countback from Frenchman Axel Domont (AG2R - La Mondiale) who also finished on 28 points.
In the "Cycle Instead" Young Rider competition talented 20 year old Jack Haig claimed the honours. The 2013 under 23 Australian mountain bike champion made an impression especially in the climbing stages to finish 17th overall, 2:08 off Gerrans lead, and the top ranked under 23 year old. He was 1:09 clear of his nearest rival Carlos Verona from Spain (Omega Pharma - QuickStep).
"I definitely didn’t expect to ride the last stage of my first WorldTour race with the white jersey on my shoulders," said Haig. "I had enough time on Carlos (Verona) to not necessarily worry about it. I had a decent buffer.
"Had I been told one week ago that I’d be sitting in this winners’ room with these people who are among the world’s best cyclists, I wouldn’t have believed it. It’s amazing!" said Haig who hoped to gain Commonwealth Games selection for mountain bike. "I’ll become a full time road rider after that and I hope to join a professional team next year."