Tour Down Under Results - Stage 6
After 735 kilometres and six days of racing the outcome of the 2003 Jacob?s Creek Tour Down Under came down to the final, frantic sprint across the line in today?s stage over 90 kilometres of the four kilometre Adelaide City Council Circuit.
Seven of the remaining 88 riders in the field began the day within nine seconds of the overnight leader, Mikel ASTARLOZA (ESP - AG2R Prevoyance), forcing some of the most hotly contested sprinting in the history of the race as the fast men did battle for bonus seconds on offer in the SA Lotteries intermediate sprints and at the finish.
"It is amazing to think that these superb athletes could do battle day after day over hundreds of kilometres and go into the final stage with so little time separating them," said Ms Belinda DEWHIRST, General Manager, Australian Major Events. "They have turned on a fabulous show for the 465 thousand local, interstate and international fans who have lined the route this week to cheer them on."
"To have it all come down to the final day - we couldn't ask for a better end to one of the most successful Jacob?s Creek Tour Down Under events yet," said Ms DEWHIRST welcoming the announcement by the State Government that the event would be staged in South Australia until 2009 . "We look forward to more of the same in the coming years as the Tour continues to hold South Australia spellbound every January."
ASTARLOZA wore the leader?s yellow jersey after officials yesterday resorted to a count-back of previous stage places to split he and Denmark?s Lennie KRISTENSEN (CSC) who were tied on time after 645km of racing over five days. But breathing down their necks were Giampaolo CARUSO (ITA - ONCE Eroski) at four seconds, Stuart O'GRADY (AUS - Credit Agricole) at five seconds, Paolo LANFRANCHI (ITA - Ceramiche Panaria - Fiordo) at seven seconds, Xavier FLORENCIO (ESP - ONCE Eroski) at seven seconds and Patrick JONKER (AUS - UniSA) at nine seconds.
The AG2R team plan was to gobble up the bonus seconds to protect ASTARLOZA?s lead and they did it in style.
On the first sprint at the 36 kilometre mark ASTARLOZA?s team mate and three time Tour de France stage winner, Jaan KIRSIPUU, surged across the line with his Estonian compatriot and AG2R team mate Erki PUTSEP second. O'GRADY claimed third and a one second time bonus moving him ever closer to the leader.
"We really decided yesterday to go for it at any price," said KIRSIPUU after the stage. "Stuart (O'GRADY) was the real danger."
All eyes were waiting for the next sprint to see if home town hero O'GRADY could pull off a third fairytale win. He had done it before in 2001 when he went into the final stage equal on time with German Telekom rider Kai HUNDERTMARCK but trailing on a count back. On that day he claimed the bonuses needed to take the overall win by a mere two seconds.
Could he do it again? 60,000 fans lining today?s route were willing him on, hoping for another fairytale finish.
Under the start-finish arch at 54 kilometres on lap 12 it was again KIRSIPUU who did the job for his race leader but this time it was another of his team mates, reigning Irish road champion Mark SCANLON (AG2R), second across the line and LANFRANCHI picked up a valuable one second bonus for third. O'GRADY was fourth across the line and missed out on a bonus.
36 kilometres of racing remained and still five riders were in with a chance of overall honours depending on the placings across the line with 6, 4 and 2 second bonuses awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
"My team will get me up there and I just have to win - no pressure - with all those ?Stuey on a Stick" waving at me you have to," joked O'GRADY at last night?s Jacob?s Creek Tour Down Under 5th Anniversary Gala Dinner when asked about the pressure of riding in front of thousands of fans waving cut outs of his face from the side of the road.
As the finish approached the tension grew and the pressure on O'GRADY was intense. O'GRADY had to finish in the top two and ahead of the leading pair to be in the running. But it was not to be. The entire field wheeled in to the finishing straight in a furious sprint with the race fast men hunting stage honours.
Across the line it was Sydney?s Graeme BROWN (Ceramiche Panaria - Fiordo) who finally secured a stage win. He was relegated on Stage One to last place for dangerous sprinting and was beaten by a centimetre on the third stage by Robbie McEWEN (AUS - Lotto Domo).
"I wanted to beat him and I thought I could," said BROWN about McEWEN who pulled out with a knee injury during Stage Five. "I'm very disappointed he?s not here but it?s in his best interests that he?s not."
"We all want him in the Tour de France missing it up with the best," said BROWN. "It?s been so close but so far (in the earlier stages) but today it?s good to go out on a high note."
BROWN crossed the line in a winning time of 1hr52min09sec with Victorian Baden COOKE (FDJeux.com) second and KIRSIPUU third. O'GRADY crossed in fourth place.
The final standings in the race saw ASTARLOZA first in a time of 17hr17min45sec while KRISTENSEN remained equal on time but still second overall
"They (AG2R team mates) did a great job and I really owe it to them," said 23 year old ASTARLOZA. "Had my first ride as a professional here in the Jacob?s Creek Tour Down Under (2002) and to come back and win it is fantastic."
"This is my first race win and the only thing I really hoped to do coming into this race was to try and ride well but I didn't even dream of winning," said the new champion.
O'GRADY finished as the highest placed Australian four seconds back equal with CARUSO on time but once again ahead on a count back.
"Yesterday?s stage definitely took a lot out of me and it was a pretty big call to try and match it with the best sprinters after the last few days efforts," said O'GRADY. "I gave it everything and was only a couple of places off."
"I was just not quick enough today," said O'GRADY. "You dig deep some days and you're gonna pay for it on other days so on the whole I'm pretty happy."
Jersey Winners for the 2003 Jacob?s Creek Tour Down Under:
2003 Jacob?s Creek Tour Down Under champion - Mikel ASTARLOZA (ESP - AG2R Prevoyance)
SA Lotteries Sprint Classification - Andrea TAFI (ITA - CSC)
Laubman & Pank King of the Mountains - Cadel EVANS (AUS - Telekom)
Share the Road Best Young Rider U/23- Gene BATES (Aus - UniSA)
Monroe Winning Team - ONCE Eroski
Stage 6 - January 26, 2003: Adelaide City Council circuit, 90 km:
1 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria Fiordo 01:52:09 (48.1 km/h)2 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com3 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R4 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole5 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon6 Nicola Gavazzi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport7 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Telekom8 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) FDJeux.com9 Julian Dean (NZl) CSC10 Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA11 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo12 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski13 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water14 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R15 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Lotto Domo16 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Ag2R17 Erki Putsep (Est) Ag2R18 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2R19 Arvis Piziks (Lat) CSC20 David Canada (Spa) Quickstep-Davitamon21 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport22 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA23 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R24 Stefen Wesemann (Ger) Telekom25 Bobby Julich (USA) Telekom26 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski27 Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom28 Angel Vicioso (Spa) ONCE Eroski29 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC30 Brad McGee (Aus) FDJeux.com31 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Lotto Domo32 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC33 Christopher Jenner (NZl) Credit Agricole34 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quickstep-Davitamon35 Christian Werner (Ger) Telekom36 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon37 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) CSC38 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R39 Patrick Jonker (Aus) UniSA40 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport41 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom42 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2R43 Kai Hundertmarck (Ger) Telekom44 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC45 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole46 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA47 Alvaro Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski48 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Domo49 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE Eroski50 Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski 0.1751 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Panaria Fiordo52 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto Domo53 Dirk Reichl (Ger) Telekom54 David Betts (Aus) United Water55 Stephen Cunningham (Aus) UniSA56 Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole57 Glenn d'Hollander (Bel) Lotto Domo58 Brendan Cato (Aus) United Water59 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water60 Ashley Hutchinson (Aus) United Water61 Nick Gates (Aus) Lotto Domo62 Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den) CSC63 Dario Pieri (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport64 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Lotto Domo65 Allan Davis (Aus) ONCE Eroski 0.2366 Joerg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco-Longoni Sport67 Aaron Kemps (Aus) United Water 0.2668 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Credit Agricole 0.3269 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport 0.3870 Davide Bramati (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon 0.4071 Jacky Durand (Fra) FDJeux.com 0.4272 Matt Wilson (Aus) FDJeux.com 0.4573 Mickael Pichon (Fra) FDJeux.com 1.2674 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA 1.4275 Regis Lhuillier (Fra) FDJeux.com 1.4476 Jakob Piil (Den) CSC 1.5277 Scott Davis (Aus) Panaria Fiordo 2.4278 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon 3.00DNF Sergey Matveyev (Ukr) Panaria FiordoDNF Christophe Moreau (Fra) Credit AgricoleDNF Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Credit AgricoleDNF Christian Pepoli (Ita) Saeco-Longoni SportDNF Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Mex) Panaria FiordoDNF Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) United WaterDNF Juan Fuentes (Spa) Saeco-Longoni SportDNF Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJeux.comDNF Filippo Perfetto (Ita) Panaria FiordoDNF Ruben Bongiorno (Arg) Panaria Fiordo
Final rankings after stage 6:
1 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Ag2R 17:17:452 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC3 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole 0.044 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski5 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo 0.066 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski 0.077 Patrick Jonker (Aus) UniSA 0.098 David Canada (Spa) Quickstep-Davitamon 0.139 Stefen Wesemann (Ger) Telekom 0.1510 Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom11 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 0.1612 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R 0.3213 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA 0.3914 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom 0.4315 Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA 0.4416 Angel Vicioso (Spa) ONCE Eroski 0.4517 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quickstep-Davitamon18 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) CSC19 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA20 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2R 0.4721 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon 0.4922 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R23 Brad McGee (Aus) FDJeux.com 0.5824 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R 2.1725 Bobby Julich (USA) Telekom 2.2126 Christopher Jenner (NZl) Credit Agricole27 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2R28 Christian Werner (Ger) Telekom29 Kai Hundertmarck (Ger) Telekom 2.3130 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC 5.5431 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon 6.0632 Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole 6.4533 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Lotto Domo 6.5834 Dirk Reichl (Ger) Telekom 7.4135 Joerg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco-Longoni Sport 7.4536 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport 9.3537 Glenn d'Hollander (Bel) Lotto Domo 11.2238 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC 11.5839 Allan Davis (Aus) ONCE Eroski 12.1340 Brendan Cato (Aus) United Water 12.1541 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) FDJeux.com 12.2342 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon 12.3643 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com 13.2444 Erki Putsep (Est) Ag2R 13.3245 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE Eroski 13.3446 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Domo 13.4547 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water 13.4748 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria Fiordo 13.5049 Regis Lhuillier (Fra) FDJeux.com 15.3450 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole 15.4751 Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den) CSC 16.0252 Alvaro Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski 16.1553 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Telekom 16.5354 David Betts (Aus) United Water 18.3555 Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski 18.5056 Scott Davis (Aus) Panaria Fiordo 20.0357 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Lotto Domo 22.1858 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R 22.5559 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water 23.0360 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 24.4561 Davide Bramati (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon 24.5162 Arvis Piziks (Lat) CSC 24.5863 Stephen Cunningham (Aus) UniSA 27.0664 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Panaria Fiordo 27.0765 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Credit Agricole 27.2266 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Lotto Domo 28.0267 Mickael Pichon (Fra) FDJeux.com 31.4468 Matt Wilson (Aus) FDJeux.com 32.1469 Nicola Gavazzi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 33.0270 Dario Pieri (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 34.3171 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA 51.0772 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto Domo 53.2573 Ashley Hutchinson (Aus) United Water 53.3674 Julian Dean (NZl) CSC 57.0875 Aaron Kemps (Aus) United Water 57.5276 Nick Gates (Aus) Lotto Domo 1.00.5377 Jacky Durand (Fra) FDJeux.com 1.01.1878 Jakob Piil (Den) CSC 1.02.28