Santos Tour Down Under Overall WIn For Simon Gerrans

Kev Monks25 Jan 2016 09:42

Orica Green Edge Simon Gerran has won the Santos Tour Down Under.

The sixth and final stage was a 90km stage around down town Adelaide and saw Simon Gerrans of Orica Green Edge in the Ochre Jersey with a nine second lead over Richie Porte of BMC who had moved into second place with victory on Willunga Hill.

Laurens De Vreese (Astana), Lieuwe Westra (Astana), Carlos Verona (Etixx-Quick Step), George Bennett (Lotto Jumbo) and Adam Phelan (Drapac) got into a break on this twenty lap race and they were eighteen seconds clear on lap three.

Two laps later, they were caught and Thomas De Gendt and Maarten Tjallingii took over with De Gendt taking the first sprint of the day.

Tjallingii took the second sprint and on lap ten, KOM points were awarded which De Gendt took with Tjallingii taking the seocnd sprint and the most combative rider of the day away, when he dropped De Gendt and went off on his own.

He was joined by Lieuwe Westra and the pair had a lead of fourteen seconds on lap seventeen.

However, they were caught on lap nineteen and this set up the bunch sprint which Caleb Ewan of Orica GreenEdge won in a time of 1.55.02 ahead of Mark Tenshaw, Giacomo Nizzolo, Britain's Adam Blythe, Alexey Tsatevich and Ben Swift.

In came Simon Gerrans and he took the overall victory.

"We got a little bit swamped coming in to get the bell for the last lap,” Caleb Ewan said. “Then coming back down the hill past the finish line on the way back I had to dive bomb into the last corner but I got up to the place I wanted to be and once I was there I was fine.”

“A few of my teammates came back up to help me and they did a great job to put me on the wheels I needed to be on and from then on I was feeling alright.

“Obviously it gives me a lot of confidence going into the season. There’s not the best four or five sprinters in the world here but I felt like I was winning pretty convincingly. I’m another year stronger and I think I can get closer to those best guys now as well.”

Race winner Simon Gerrans said: “This one feels just as good as the first one did.

“I had to keep my wits about me, I was fully concentrated there for the full 90km but it certainly feels good now that it’s over and done with and I’ve secured the win.”

“It’s a race of such a high caliber these days and it feels like the level of racing increases every year. This fourth one, even though I think it was my largest winning margin, it was still less than ten seconds so it’s a closely fought race.

“Everyone really had to step up to the plate this week with two objectives in the race,” Gerrans said. “Often you see teams that want too much and come away with nothing so it was a bit of a risk but everyone did exactly what was asked of them, and then some.”

“We saw some fantastic riding by Heppy (Hepburn) and Durbo (Durbridge) on the front, Albasini as well. Mat Hayman was protecting us really well in the bunch and Daryl Impey was doing some sensational lead outs both on the hillier stages and on the flat stages.

“Everybody really lifted their game this week and it’s really nice to be able pay the guys work back with such a successful week.”