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Santos Tour Down Under 2011: Stage 6


Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coevrage of stage six at the 2011 Santos Tour Down Under from Adelaide's North Terrace... We have Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Cervelo) in the ochre leader's jersey, although HTC-Highroad's Matthew Goss is breathing down his neck, only eight seconds in arrears. With two intermediate sprints on offer and the associated bonus seconds, it's going to be a crazy ride!

We're away in stage six of the 2011 Santos Tour Down Under, a 90km journey around Adelaide's North Terrace...

89km remaining from 90km

We already have a crash, as several riders have been caught up in the barriers...Come on boys, get it together!

Matthew Wilson is already up the road in an attemtpt to get a breakaway going that will take points away from Matt Goss and HTC-Highroad...

88km remaining from 90km

Defending champion Andre Greipel was involved in that first-lap bingle but he's getting back onto the bunch, sitting on the back of the Omega Pharma-Lotto car

Wilson has been joined by Stuart O'Grady (LEOpard-Trek), Dimitri Champion (Ag2R-La Mondiale) and Inaki Isasi (Euskaltel-Euskadi)...

85km remaining from 90km

This is a pwoerful break and as they pass the finish line for the first time, it's HTC-Highroad in pursuit...

84km remaining from 90km

There's a group of three chasing the leaders up Montefiore Hill - we'll get you the names of these riders shortly...

One of the UniSA-Australia boys is coming across to the leaders - it's Luke Durbridge with a powerful display at the front.

81km remaining from 90km

It's now a group of five at the front, with plenty of horsepower driving towards the first intermediate sprint.

The gap is unofficially 12 seconds...

78km remaining from 90km

The break remains off the front with a gap of around 10 seconds with 24km before the first intermediate sprint - can it stay away and snare the bonus seconds?

76km remaining from 90km

The gap is unofficially 18 seconds, although Cyclingnews is today working off Citizen timing (insert advertising slogan here)

As the peloton takes on the fourth lap, HTC-Highroad is still stretched out at the front in pursuit of the leading quintet

72km remaining from 90km

The break has 14 seconds according to Cyclingnews timing - Marco Bandiera gets a wheel change and is getting a ride back onto the bunch via the team cars...

70km remaining from 90km

The leading quintet is working well together, with the combined horsepower maintaining the gap, which is in excess of 10 seconds despite the work of HTC-Highroad in pulling it back. There's about 16km to the first intermediate sprint...

67km remaining from 90km

The gap has stayed at 14 seconds and doesn't look like coming down too soon

63km remaining from 90km

The peloton, still led by HTC-Highroad, has taken back three seconds and the gap now sits at 11 seconds as the race enters its seventh of 20 laps.

With Garmin-Cervelo's Matthew Wilson up the road he's undertaking the plan devised by the team at the start of the day - to take as many available seconds off Matt Goss as possible.

O'Grady attacks from the leading quintet, which has become three as Matt Wilson doesn't appear to be in the group

O'Grady is joined by Durbridge but the pair has been caught as they approach the finish line to begin the eighth lap

58km remaining from 90km

Travis Meyer is the next Garmin-Cervelo rider to have a dig off the front of the field, attacking as the peloton started the eighth lap

The next time the peloton hits the finish line there will be an intermediate sprints, with vital bonus seconds on offer - HTC-Highroad will be gunning to get Matt Goss up for the time on offer

Now Brett Lancaster goes off the front to prevent Goss from getting maximum bonifications...

Goss takes second in the first intermediate sprint and now trails Cam Meyer by six seconds although Michael Matthews took first and is now nine seconds down on Meyer in the race for the overall classification

52km remaining from 90km

The race for the overall title has got even tighter...

49km remaining from 90km

As the riders begin lap 10, Luke Roberts gets a little gap with Bruno Pires (LEOpard-Trek) to go for the KOM points, which are on offer at the 42.5km mark

47km remaining from 90km

Luke Roberts (UniSA-Australia) takes another 16 points towards the Skoda King of the Mountains classification

45km remaining from 90km

David Tanner (Saxo Bank), Bruno Pires (LEOpard-Trek), Juan Horrach (Katusha) and Luke Roberts (UniSA-Australia) are off the front and have been together for the last two kilometres. They have 18 seconds on the peloton, still led by HTC-Highroad

40km remaining from 90km

We're over halfway through the race and we have a group of four away, with the second intermediate sprint just over five kilometres away. The gap to the escapees is seven seconds away...

As the peloton heads into its 12th lap, HTC-Highroad is massing at the front to take Matt Goss to the front for the intermediate sprint

The break's been caught and it's time for another sprint, folks... be prepared for fireworks!

No points for Goss as Graeme Brown, Jos Van Leijin and Allan Davis take the bonus seconds on offer

Before the start, Travis Meyer spoke with Cyclingnews and explained the tactics for Garmin-Cervelo today, saying, "Our role is very important today - we want to keep Cam in the jersey. It's really difficult because Gossy is sprinting really well. If we can get a group away it will put the pressure on Goss to take the time bonuses on offer and that's where Tyler comes into play."

27km remaining from 90km

A group of seven has been off the front since lap 13 and includes Jack Bobridge (Garmin-Cervelo), Francesco Reda (Quick Step), Nicki Sorensen (Saxo Bank), Mitchell Docker (UniSA) and Stuart O'Grady (LEOpard-Trek), with an advantage of 21 seconds at the start of the 15th lap..

22km remaining from 90km

BMC Racing's Simon Zahner is also in the lead group, which has a 13-second advantage

We've had a pileup near the back of the field which has meant Jose Joaquin Rojas is waiting for a new bike...

The winner of the corresponding stage in last year's Santos Tour Down Under, Chris Sutton, is hanging out with Cyclingnews for today's stage, obviously disappointed not to be out there racing due to injuries suffered in a crash during stage two in Mannum. We hope the Team Sky Aussie gets better soon...

18km remaining from 90km

22 seconds

The most experienced man in this breakaway, Stuart O'Grady, told reporters before today's stage: "I am not really here to win all the races anymore; more for experience and to help young guys out. It’s a different challenge and I am really enjoying it..."

13km remaining from 90km

That group of seven is: Jack Bobridge (Garmin-Cervelo), Francesco Reda (Quick Step), Nicki Sorensen (Saxo Bank), Mitchell Docker (UniSA) and Stuart O'Grady (LEOpard-Trek and Simon Zahner (BMC Racing), Alessandro Spezialetti (Lampre-ISD), David Tanner (Saxo Bank) and has a lead of 14 seconds heading into the 18th lap

Stuart O'Grady is riding with the strength of 10 men as he has joined two other riders in a counter attack: his former teammate Nicki Sorensen and Simon Zahner

At the start of the 19th lap, the trio of O'Grady, Sorensen and Zahner has seven seconds

Zahner and Sorensen go it along on the penultimate lap...

4km remaining from 90km

The peloton has caught the remnants of the break heading into the final lap

2km remaining from 90km

Team Sky has gathered at the front to try and replicate the finish of last year's final stage at the Tour Down Under

1km remaining from 90km

Goss is sitting in 12th wheel with a kilometre to go...

Andre Greipel's moving up into the closing metres...

Around the final bend...

Ben Swift takes the victory!!!

Sky teammate Greg Henderson second and Matthew Goss (HTC-Highroad) takes third

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