Gerrans wins second Tour Down Under title
Sun, 22 Jan 06:24:00 2012
Australian rider Simon Gerrans pipped Spaniard Alejandro Valverde on a countback to win his second Tour Down Under title.
German Andre Greipel won the final 90 km street dash around Elder Park on the outskirts of Adelaide, his third stage win of the event, while 2006 winner Gerrans finished safely in the pack to clinch the victory at 20hours, 46 minutes and 12 seconds.
"When I was told yesterday that I was getting the leader's jersey, I didn't feel any pressure at all, it was just a nice surprise," a jubilant Gerrans said.
"I knew it would give us a tough job for this last stage, but as it turns out, I can't be happier," said Gerrans, who two weeks ago won the elite men's road race crown at the nationals.
He joined team mate Stuart O'Grady and Lotto-Belisol's Greipel as the third rider in the event's 14-year history to win the trophy twice.
"We had a tough task today to control Alejandro Valverde, who is a classics rider. The last lap was very fast," Gerrans said.
Returning from a two-year doping ban, Valverde went into the final stage level on time with Gerrans but could not gain any bonuses in the two intermediate sprints or at the finish.
"I am very happy with finishing second in the Tour Down Under," Valverde said.
"The outcome is much better than I expected when I came to Australia. Today was a super fast stage with a bit of wind that made it even more difficult. I'm very happy."
Portuguese rider Tiago Machado (RadioShack), who was eight seconds back, finished third overall.
Gerrans wins Tour Down Under
Full stage result
1. Andre Greipel (Germany / Lotto) 1 hr 56mins 48 sec
2. Mark Renshaw (Australia / Rabobank) same time
3. Alessandro Petacchi (Italy / Lampre)
5. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spain / Movistar)
6. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway / Team Sky)
7. Romain Feillu (France / Vacansoleil)
8. Jonathan Cantwell (Australia / Saxo Bank)
9. Fabio Sabatini (Italy / Liquigas)
10. Manuel Belletti (Italy / AG2R)
11. Chris Sutton (Australia / Team Sky)
12. Kenny van Hummel (Netherlands / Vacansoleil)
13. Luca Paolini (Italy / Katusha)
14. Michael Rogers (Australia / Team Sky)
15. William Bonnet (France / FDJ)
16. Jack Bauer (New Zealand / Garmin)
17. Borut Bozic (Slovenia / Astana)
18. Gerald Ciolek (Germany / Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)
19. Julien Vermote (Belgium / Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)
20. Andrew Fenn (Britain / Omega Pharma - Quick-Step)
21. Greg Henderson (New Zealand / Lotto)
22. Robert Hunter (South Africa / Garmin)
23. Daniele Bennati (Italy / RadioShack)
24. Linus Gerdemann (Germany / RadioShack)
25. Alejandro Valverde (Spain / Movistar)
26. Robbie McEwen (Australia / GreenEdge)
27. Simon Gerrans (Australia / GreenEdge)
28. Michael Matthews (Australia / Rabobank)
29. Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Spain / Movistar)
30. Steele Von Hoff (Australia / Australia)Reuters