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 11
th 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.