Cycling: The Dutchman Wouter Wippert (DPC) won the last stage of the Tour Down Under last night. Local Hero Rohan Dennis managed to defend his 2 second lead in the GC and celebrated his first Pro-Tour victory. Jack Bobridge (UniSA) is on top of the Mountain classification while Daryl Impey (Orica GreenEdge) was this year’s best sprinter.
There were no real surprises during the 20 laps on the circuit North of Adelaide’s city center. Like every year, the GC contenders held back and left the show for the sprinters. After some breakaways, the riders from German Team Giant-Alpecin forced the last one to surrender 6 laps before the finish. They wanted to get Marcel Kittel into a good position for the bunch sprint in the end. Everything looked as if it was going according to plan – but it didn’t.
On the penultimate lap there one of the riders at the front of the peloton fell and several others with him. Everything got mixed up, Marcel Kittel managed to stay on his bike but was held back. Sky seized the opportunity to take control of the peloton and IAM Cycling tried to do the same. However, in the end it was the Dutchman Wouter Wippert of DPC who took the victory: He stayed on the back wheel of Haussler until the last couple of meters, when he pushed desperately and no one could catch him. It was certainly his biggest career success so far.
Rohan Dennis managed to defend his thin two second advantage on Richie Porte (Sky) and not only won the GC, but also the young riders’ classification. Daryl Impey from South Afrika (Orica GreenEdge) was on top of the sprinter classification while Australian Jack Bobridge of UniSA was the best climber. You can check out all the results on the official website. Even though Cadel Evans didn’t have any win to celebrate on his last ever pro-tour, he played an essential role in the victory of his team-mate Dennis. Once more, he proved to not only be an excellent leader, but also a teamplayer.
What the riders had to say:
Rohan Dennis (BMC): “They (the team) rode awesomely again. I couldn’t fault them. They sat at the front, they made sure I was out of the wind – even when I got pushed back, someone always jumped back and pulled me back forward. Hats off to them again, they really have helped me win this and made it a lot easier. Basically (Cadel Evans) he just said follow me. He said just keep following me. He took me and obviously he was staying close to Richard as well making sure that he held time. I have all the faith in the world in him – he’s the most experienced rider in this bunch, I think. When we go down the street for a coffee after dinner everyone harasses him (Cadel Evans) and makes it a lot easier for me. There’s a lot less pressure. In general, even if I was leading the race, they still wanted to talk to him – so I could just walk around in the background and not have too much pressure which was absolutely perfect for me.”
Wouter Wippert (DPC): “It was a really nervous race. The team rode all day in the front. I was a bit tired and I decided to go back but a teammate of mine took me to the front again ahead of the final sprint. I saw a crash happening but not much because the race was so fast. It’s fantastic to win here, being part of an Australian team in Australia for a World Tour race.”
Cadel Evans (BMC): “It’s all a bit hard to take in right now. it was a hard race. Crashes, same thing, stress, and everything like usual. To go out on the podium points, not quite the top top but I think it puts me in the number 3 rank in the world. To bow out of cycling at that level is certainly a little bit more than I hoped. Most of all I’ve been here I think, as an optimal teammate and to pass on the baton to the next generation of riders and to bring Rohan here in the jersey and into the lead and to the leader of the world rankings at this time of the season. I think I’ve always been a reasonable team leader and now I think that’s contributed to me also as a good teammate.”
Results Tour Down Under
|1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team||19:15:18|
|2. Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky||0:00:02|
|3. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team||0:00:20|
|4. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin||0:00:22|
|5. Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team||0:00:24|
|6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale||0:00:31|
|7. Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge||0:00:35|
|8. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team||0:00:52|
|9. Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling||0:00:53|
|10. George Bennett (NZI) Team LottoNL-Jumbo||0:00:57|