Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) sealed his first Tour Down Under victory as Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) sprinted to victory on stage six in Adelaide.

Impey led overall going into the final stage but only on countback from stage five winner Richie Porte (BMC Racing), however the ochre jersey was never really threatened on the short, fast final stage.

Instead it was all eyes on the sprinters, and Greipel – who also won stage one – outsprinted stage two winner Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) to claim his 18th career stage win in the race.

World champion Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) was third, ensuring his first points classification win of the 2018 season.

Andre Greipel, Lotto-Soudal, sprint, Tour Down Under, 2018 (Pic: Tour Down Under/John Veage)

The stage was animated by a series of attacks, most of which centred on Logan Owen (EF-Drapac), with his most successful move coming alongside Dimension Data’s Ben O’Connor.

With the peloton happy to ease up, their lead stretched beyond the two-minute mark but there was never any real threat to the sprinters once the laps began to count down.

O’Connor was the first to drop back, and Owen’s time up the road also came to an end with two laps still to raise.

No riders took advantage of the lull in proceedings that followed, allowing the sprint trains to form with Lotto-Soudal, Sunweb, Mitchelton-Scott, QuickStep Floors and Bora-hansgrohe all in the mix for their respective fast men.

Ewan opened up his sprint first, and looked well-placed to charge to victory, but Griepel’s response was perfectly timed – the German charging around Ewan in the final few metres to move onto 149 pro wins.

Impey, Porte and third-placed Tom-Jelte Slagter (Dimension Data) – another former winner – were all in the bunch further back, ensuring no change to the overall podium.

Daryl Impey, ochre jersey, podium, Mitchelton-Scott, Tour Down Under, 2018 (Pic: Tour Down Under/John Veage)

Team Sky debutant Egan Arley Bernal was also in the bunch, sealing the youth classification and sixth place overall at 20 seconds.

And Scott Davies (Dimension Data) also completed a successful UCI WorldTour debut – the Welshman’s 23rd place, at 45 seconds, ensuring he finished as Britain’s highest-placed rider.

Tour Down Under 2018: stage six – result

1) Andre Greipel (GER) – Lotto-Soudal – 2.01.19hrs

2) Caleb Ewan (AUS) – Mitchelton-Scott – ST

3) Peter Sagan (SVK) – Bora-hansgrohe

4) Phil Bauhaus (GER) – Team Sunweb

5) Elia Viviani (ITA) – QuickStep Floors

6) Steele von Hoff (AUS) – UniSA-Australia

7) Simone Consonni (ITA) – UAE Team Emirates

8) Mads Pedersen (DEN) – Trek-Segafredo

9) Carlos Barbero (ESP) – Movistar

10) Mads Wurtz Schmidt (DEN) – Katusha-Alpecin

General classification

1) Daryl Impey (RSA) – Mitchelton-Scott – 20.03.34hrs

2) Richie Porte (AUS) – BMC Racing – ST

3) Tom-Jelte Slagter (NED) – Dimension Data +16"

4) Diego Ulissi (ITA) – UAE Team Emirates +20"

5) Dries Devenyns (BEL) – QuickStep Floors – ST

6) Egan Arley Bernal (COL) – Team Sky

7) Gorka Izagirre (ESP) – Bahrain-Merida

8) Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP) – Astana +23"

9) Ruben Guerreiro (POR) – Trek-Segafredo – ST

10) Robert Gesink (NED) – LottoNL-Jumbo +24"