Gallery: Fast and furious at the Tour Down Under

After the tough finish at Willunga on the penultimate stage, the sprinters had another chance to shine on the 90km criterium that brought the curtain down on the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide on Sunday.

With so many of the world’s top sprinters on show in Australia, including Alessandro Petacchi, Mark Renshaw, Matt Goss and Oscar Freire, it was always going to be tough for a plucky escapee like Cameron Meyer to stay clear of the baying peloton.

Adding to the intrigue of the final day was the tense battle for the ochre jersey of race winner, with Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge) entering the stage in the lead but locked on the same time as the threatening Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

In the event, Gerrans and GreenEdge successfully marked the controversial Spaniard to seal overall victory, while André Greipel roared to the stage win. In doing so, the German showed once again that he is a step ahead of the rest of the sprinting fraternity at this early juncture in the season.

Mark Gunter was on hand to record an eventful day’s racing for posterity and you can see his fine gallery of pictures here.

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