Tour Down Under 2016: Caleb Ewan wins final stage, Simon Gerrans secures fourth overall title - Road Cycling UK

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Tour Down Under 2016: Caleb Ewan wins final stage, Simon Gerrans secures fourth overall title

35-year-old seals fourth overall victory as team-mate Caleb Ewan wins stage six

Simon Gerrans sealed his fourth Tour Down Under title and team-mate Caleb Ewan won the final stage in Adelaide to cap a great race for Orica-GreenEDGE.

The Australian team won four of the six stages in their ‘home’ WorldTour race, and Gerrans also took home the GC and points jersey to prove he is right back in form.

Simon Gerrans celebrates his fourth Tour Down Under victory on the podium (pic: Sirotti)

Boasting a nine-second advantage on the final day, the 35-year-old stayed safe in the bunch – ultimately finishing 11th on the stage as Ewan bagged his second victory of the race.

As ever on the Adelaide circuit, the race was always set up for a sprint finish despite Astana duo Laurens de Vreese and Lieuwe Westra joining a five-man break which formed early on.

Carlos Verona (Etixx-QuickStep), George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Adam Phelan (Drapac) helped opened up a 20-second gap but the move did not last beyond the fifth lap.

Instead, Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Maarten Tjallingii (LottoNL-Jumbo) jumped clear and had more luck staying there as they opened up a steady 30-second lead.

There was no shortage of teams willing to lend firepower to the chase though, with Trek-Segafredo, UniSA-Australia and IAM Cycling all appearing on the front.

De Vreese and Westra, fresh from their earlier attack, then attacked the peloton again after Tjallingii crested Montefiore in the lead and rode away from De Gendt.

The two were reunited as the laps ticked down, but inevitably the race came back together to take the bell with Team Sky and Dimension Data among those taking charge for their lead-outs.

Ewan started several wheels back, but Orica-GreenEDGE placed him on the back of the Sky train and once he kicked – as had been the case on stage one – he could not be stopped.

Once again it was Mark Renshaw (Dimension Data) but once again the distance between him and his young Australian compatriot was several bike lengths.

Caleb Ewan’s second sprint victory of the race was every bit as convincing as his stage one success (pic: Sirotti)

Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) rounded out the top three, with Briatin’s Adam Blythe (Tinkoff) just missing out in fourth.

With no dramas, meanwhile, Gerrans crossed the line in 11th place on the day, to add the 2016 Tour Down Under to his victories in 2006, 2012 and 2014.

Sergio Henao (Team Sky) claimed the King of the Mountains title and Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff) was crowned Best Young Rider but the race belonged to Orica-GreenEDGE and Gerrans in particular.

Tour Down Under 2016: stage six – result

1) Caleb Ewan (AUS) – Orica-GreenEDGE – 1.55.02hrs
2) Mark Renshaw (AUS) – Team Dimension Data – ST
3) Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA) – Trek-Segafredo
4) Adam Blythe (GBR) – Tinkoff
5) Alexey Tsatevich (RUS) – Katusha
6) Ben Swift (GBR) – Team Sky
7) Marko Kump (SLO) – Lampre-Merida
8) Davide Martinelli (ITA) – Etixx-QuickStep
9) Leigh Howard (AUS) – IAM Cycling
10) Wouter Wippert (NED) – Cannondale

General classification

1) Simon Gerrans (AUS) – Orica-GreenEDGE – 19.11.33hrs
2) Richie Porte (AUS) – BMC Racing +9”
3) Sergio Henao (COL) – Team Sky +11”
4) Jay McCarthy (AUS) – Tinkoff +20”
5) Michael Woods (CAN) – Cannondale – ST
6) Ruben Fernandez (ESP) – Movistar +28”
7) Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale – ST
8) Rafael Valls (ESP) – Lotto-Soudal +36”
9) Steve Morabito (SUI) – FDJ +49”
10) Patrick Bevin (NZL) – Cannondale +50”

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