Simon Gerrans was crowned winner of the Santos Tour Down Under today for the third time in his career following a spectacular street race in the Adelaide CBD.
Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) won the race with blistering pace down the home straight to take his Tour Down Under career stage victory tally to 16.
With two intermediate sprint bonuses on offer before the finish there was some chance that Cadel Evans, who was only a single second behind Gerrans on the GC, could regain the lead.
But it was not to be. With the Orice-GreenEDGE team safely delivering Gerrans to the line. Simon said after the race: [quote_center]“It’s a huge honour to win the Tour Down Under, and that it’s happened on Australia Day as well and with an Australian team is so much better.”[/quote_center]
Will Clarke (Drapac) Julien Berard (AG2R) and Maxim Belkov (Katusha) established the break of the day, giving the fledgling Aussie team some well deserved limelight, running out to a lead of one minute and 30 seconds.
Belkov’s Russian team-mate Egor Silin and French rider Angelo Tulik (Europcar) initially went clear with Clarke, but they crashed early.
Clarke punctured midway through the race but he was able to stay clear of the peloton and rejoin Belkov and Berard.
The leading three riders took all the intermediate sprint time bonuses before the peloton swallowed up the trio on the penultimate lap, to set the race up for a final sprint.
Gerrans became the first rider in Tour’s 16-year history to win three overall titles, while Evans stayed in second place overall and Italian Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) claimed third.