By Jean-François Quénet in Adelaide, Australia
A very stylish rider appeared at the head of the race during the last stage of the Tour Down Under, Italy's Gianni Da Bos from Liquigas. He took part in the two breakaways of the day and wasn't afraid to challenge Jens Voigt in the first one and Lance Armstrong in the second one. He finished the race on a high note with the win of his teammate Francesco Chicchi.
"I'm delighted to conclude the Tour Down Under this way," Da Bos said. "I wanted to try and get away but also save some energy for the finish. It's incredible to have such a happy ending after so many efforts I had to do all week. I really struggled before today but the five days of racing have helped me find the right rhythm."
The 22-year-old from Pordenone is on a traveling mission with Liquigas, a team he signed for after three wins as an amateur and a trial as a stagiere at the end of last year.
"After the Tour Down Under, I have the Tour of Qatar and the Tour of California on my program," Da Bos said with a large smile. Being a young rookie, Da Bos is automatically designated for the exotic trips that not all of the old riders choose to do. "I love my sport, so it's not a problem for me to do it anywhere in the world," said the former track rider who's got the pedaling style and the profile of a future champion.