The Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under finished in Adelaide yesterday with a second victory by Liberty Seguros' Australian sprinter Allan Davis. Race leader Simon Gerrans (AG2R Prevoyance) rolled across the line safe in the bunch and became the first rider ever to lead the race from start to finish.
A delighted Gerrans paid tribute to his team-mates for protecting the slender lead he established on the first stage. "I'm just absolutely rapt, I can't believe that I've had the lead from the first stage right through to today," he said after crossing the line. "It's just an incredible feeling.
"My team mates rode a fantastic race, they backed me since the first day and protected me on every stage and there's no way I could have done it without them."
The final stage panned out well for Gerrans with a small break away group getting away early but containing noone who posed a threat to the overall rankings. But he still took care to avoid any trouble.
"I didn't take any risks," said Gerrans. "I just did what I had to do and crossed the line.
"I've given myself a bit of a surprise this week... if someone had told me I would lead the tour from start to finish last week I wouldn't have believed it at all," Gerrans said. "I guess I've shown something to myself as well as everybody else this week and this should do my Commonwealth Games selection chances a lot of good."
In the last stage finale, the sprinters all knew that Robbie McEwen was the man to mark as his Davitamon-Lotto team upped the pace in second-last lap to try and position him for the win. But Allan Davis snatched a super-close victory, beating McEwen across the line by centimetres and getting congratulated by McEwen as they rolled into the finish area.
"I got on Robbie's wheel and just went from there," said Davis whose parents were trackside to cheer him on. "He gave me a good run into the finish. I've gradually progressed every year and maybe things are starting to pay off."
His Liberty Seguros-Wurth team was happy with Davis' second stage win, which also put him on top of the SA Lotteries Sprint Classification for the race but a little disappointed they weren't able to secure a back-to-back win for defending JCTDU champion, Luis Sanchez.
"I tried everything I could yesterday, as did the team, to help Luis - we basically laid it on the line for him," said Davis. "But Simon and the AG2R guys were too good. We have no excuses and we still came away with three stage wins [Carlos Barredo won Stage 3] and second overall."
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