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Santos Tour Down Under 2014: Stage 6

Hello and welcome to the final stage of the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under to take place on the streets of Adelaide's CBD on Australia Day.

Henk Vogels (Drapac DS):

The general classification race may be over but for WorldTour teams and every other team that starts this race (Drapac included) will want to win a stage. There will be a lot of tired boys in the peloton by this point and with the hot weather racing, that's only intensified. It's not an easy circuit and it will hurt at 85km.

 

With just 85km left to race of the 2014 Tour Down Under, click here to see the 4.7km circuit the riders will tackle 18 times today

 

While Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) has just a one second lead over Cadel Evans (BMC) the racing will be tense as Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) could also take out the win with 19 bonus seconds on offer.

Gerrans will be confident that he can become the first rider to win the race three times as he defended a lead that was less than one second in 2012 on the final day. His team is the most equipped to defend the lead but Evans will give it best to try to snatch the win

 

The riders are out reconning today's stage which while flat has some testing corners on the new city circuit and a small break may just be able to take the win with a late attack before the sprint trains are organised for Andre Geipel and Marcel Kittel

 

If you're looking to catch up on yesterday's stage which was won by Richie Porte (Sky). Click here to see the stage highlights.

 

 Its half an hour until racing starts here today

On three occasions the race the race has come down to the final day but only once has the lead changed. That was in 2001 when Stuart O'Grady claimed a time bonus to claim the win by seconds ahead of Kai Hundertmark

 

In 2006 Simon Gerrans won the race by seven seconds. In 2012 he won by less than a second and today Gerrans holds a one second lead over Cadel Evans.

 

Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) is an outside chance for the win today who only needs five seconds to claim the win and so far has beaten Gerrans on the sprint for the win on Stage 2 and also for the sprint yesterday to take second on Willunga Hill

 

Light winds compared to the last few days but pretty hot and sunny. NNE winds 15km/h for the start easing below 10km/h during the race.

It will be sunny and fairly hot, about 30 degrees for the start, reaching about 33 degrees by the finish, getting a bit hotter later in the afternoon for the festivities with a sea breeze in the evening to cool the city to about 26 degrees by 9pm.

 

Caleb Ewan (UniSA)  was third in the People's Choice Classic but a crash and the longer road stages have dented is opportunities to contest for stage wins but today will suit the 19-year-old who could claim a surprise win over the likes of Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel

 

Today there are 19 bonus seconds on offer. 10 for the stage winner and three seconds at the intermediate sprint points on Lap 5, 10 and 15

Caleb Ewan (UniSA):

It's been really hard this week, but it's been an awesome experience. It's been great racing against these pros. I've learned a lot. Today will suit Greipel and Kittel better than me. It will be hard to beat them, especially with a downhill sprint. It will be really quick. Hopefully they will go early, I can sit in, and try to sneak around them.

 

Just around 5 minutes until we start racing today. Will the Italian Ulissi upset Gerrans?

We we soon know who is chasing the win with the first bonus seconds on offer after just five laps

 

Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge):

It's always better to go into the final stage with a lead. We only have one second, so we have to race hard today. From Day 1, I said this race always come down to seconds, so I had to take advantage of every opportunity we had. We'll have to pay attention today, with the intermediate sprints and the bonuses on the line.

 

Frank Schleck (Trek Factory Racing):

It's been a good week here. Maybe a little harder than I expected, but it was good to race again. This is a great way to start the season. The race is well-organized, they really take care of you here. And the fans are as big as we see in any race. Today will be a big sprint, so I will just try to stay out of trouble.

 

Last year it was Andre Greipel who won the final day sprint. Can he do it again to make it three in a row?

 

National anthem time on Australia day as the riders are just about ready to roll

 

85km remaining from 85km

The riders are off and racing

 

Diego Ulissi (Lampre Ulissi):

I’ll ride in a quiet way. I’m happy where I stand. I’m racing to keep my third place overall.

 

Drapac are looking very active on the front of the race trying to get two riders away

 

Its Drapac, Katusha and Europcar with riders in thefirst break of the day

 

84km remaining from 85km

Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge):

I have a bigger job today than just sprint for myself: to get Simon Gerrans across the line. We’ll look after him and try to keep him at the front of the race, avoid mishaps and splits in the bunch. We’ve worked so hard all week, we don’t want to lose the race now.

 

Julien Berard (Ag2r) is chasing the three leaders

 

Steele von Hoff (Garmin-Sharp):

I’ll race as a team-mate today, not as a criterium champion. Nathan (Haas) is in a great position on GC (5th). Our priority is to keep this. If he’s safe, I’ll do the last sprint for myself.

 

The break have taken themselves down and there is a crash

 

80km remaining from 85km

Will Clarke is now the leader on the road with Angelo Tulik having lost his front wheel on the corner

 

Maxim Belkov (Katusha) was the other man in that break but is now trying to catch Clarke who is out on his own

 

80km remaining from 85km

The peloton which is being lead around by GreenEdge are 45 seconds down on Clarke

 

79km remaining from 85km

With the break up ahead, Gerrans will be happy to know that Ulissi and Evans will be unable to sprint for bonus seconds at the first intermediate sprint point

 

William Clarke (Drapac) has 10 secs on Julien Berard (Ag2r) with Maxim Belkov (Katusha) five seconds back

The three leaders have passed through that corner where the crash happened on Lap 1. Clarke has been caught so its Julien Berard (Ag2r) and Maxim Belkov (Katusha) with him and they have around 50 seconds on the bunch 

 

On Lap 3 the three riders are still out in front and we will soon see if BMC or Lampre are serious about trying to get bonus seconds on Lap 5

 

Team Sky are now driving the chase in hope of getting Porte onto the final podium today

 

The riders come around for Lap 4 and its all strung out here as Sky are really putting the hammer down with Deigan on the front

 

75km remaining from 85km

The leaders have 1:14 on the peloton

 

As the peloton crossed the finish line to start Lap 5, the three leaders had 1:35

 

72km remaining from 85km

With Gerrans leading both the points and overall classification, its Ulissi wearing the blue while Gerrans is in Ochre

 

Will Clarke (Drapac), Julien Berard (Ag2r) and Maxim Belkov (Katusha) have 1:48 on the peloton

 

 

Behind Team Sky its GreenEdge with Gerrans looked relaxed

 

BMC have also decided to move up and join the chase of the leaders who have a lead of 1:40 

 

The average speed so far is 44km/h and there is no real change to the leaders gap with Sky trying to chase them down

 

Mark Renshaw (Omega Pharma-Quick Step):

The circuit suits us well as a team. Hopefully it will be a bunch sprint. We haven't had the results this week that we'd hope for. Today we'll work for Andrew Fenn. Hopefully I can put him in the right spot. It's not an easy sprint. It's left, right, then slightly downhill, slightly uphill. It will be a tough sprint. It's hard to judge. I think guys who sit on the wheel long enough will have the best run for the win.

 

68km remaining from 85km

The leaders are holding steady with BMC now on the front

 

Richie Porte (Sky):

I'm happy with how the week went. I didn't quite have the legs on the Corkscrew, but to win up Willunga was amazing. I've raced the Tour, with Alpe d'Huez and Mont Ventoux, and there were just as big of crowds up there yesterday. It will make for some exciting racing today with the top-3 so close. I am happy with where I am right now. I don't see any chance to move up today, so I will tighten the seatbelt and watch the race unfold.

 

The bell has been rung for the three leaders letting them know that next time around, they'll be sprinting for bonus seconds

 

The leaders gap is still around the 1:30 mark as Sky again are on the front trying to bring it back

 

Will Clarke has a rear wheel flat

 

65km remaining from 85km

Julien Berard (Ag2r) and Maxim Belkov (Katusha) are now the leaders on the road after Clarke's flat

Belkov is looking over his shoulder to see where Clarke is and if he can come back to the front

 

62km remaining from 85km

The peloton won't catch this break before the sprint point now

 

No contest for the bonus seconds there and Clarke has almost caught the duo now as he is 18 seconds back

 

62km remaining from 85km

Julien Berard (Ag2r) then Maxim Belkov (Katusha) took out the points with Clarke third across the line

 

62km remaining from 85km

Sky, Garmin and GreenEdge are all at the front of main bunch at the moment

 

Clarke is about to rejoin the leaders who know that they are better off with Clarke in the group

 

Belkov leads the group over the line for the seventh time

 

There is no threat to the overall standings by these three leaders as Julien Berard is 8:23 off Gerrans

 

The leaders now have 2:00 on the peloton who are taking on water with the weather heating up

 

50km remaining from 85km

Some glass on the road caused Clarke to puncture 

 

Lotto-Belisol and a Giant-Shimano rider are now on the front of the bunch as the race about to reach the half way mark

 

48km remaining from 85km

The leading three have a gap of 1:50

 

Julien Berard (Ag2r) then Maxim Belkov (Katusha) with Will Clarke (Drapac) have gone under the finish line gantry again

 

42km remaining from 85km

The leaders are onto Lap 10 and the second sprint point isn't too far which Gerrans will be happy about as the lead is remaining steady and Ulissi and Evans' hope of winning are disappearing

 

The lead has gone down slightly to 1:30

 

Lap 10/18: GreenEdge are driving the chase now

 

Lap 10/18: Tucked into the GreenEdge train is a Giant-Shimano rider and Lotto are just in behind the Australians

 

Lap 11/18: Jens Voigt (Trek) didn't make the break today but is now on the front on his farewell stage of the Tour Down Under

 

Lap 11/18: The three riders are still working well together and have extended their lead by a few seconds

 

Lap 11/18: Both Clarke (Drapac) and Julien Berard (Ag2r) are in skinsuits today

 

Lap 12/18: No urgency from the peloton yet as the leaders are maintaining a steady lead of around 1:30

 

lap 12/18: the bell has gone for the second intermediate sprint point

 

Lap 12/18: the gap is at 1:35 now who are about to go through and claim the bonus points for sprint point two

 

Lap 12/18: The race is playing into Gerrans' hand here with no attempt by Evans or Ulissi to chase the bonus seconds on offer

 

27km remaining from 85km

The leaders are cruising along here and it appears the peloton is happy for them to stay away before the sprinters team decide to reel them in

 

Lap 13/18: Trek are now on the front of the main bunch and may just be thinking about setting up Danny van Poppel for the win

 

Sprint point two: 1: Maxim Belkov (Katusha), 2: Julien Berard (Ag2r), 3: William Clarke (Drapac)

 

Lap 13/18: Trek and GreenEdge are leading the bunch around now with Gerrans safety protected by his teammates

 

The gap is at 1:35 and the leaders are happy to keep on working together

 

22km remaining from 85km

Just a tick over 63km has been covered to far with the riders on Lap 14 of 18

 

Maxime Daniel  is having a slight seat height adjustment at the back of the bunch

 

Lap 14/18: The average speed of the peloton on the last lap was 47km/h

 

Trek continues to lead the chase which is now down to 40 seconds after the effort on lap 13. The sprinters teams are looking to make the catch and get ready for some fast final laps before the sprint

 

18km remaining from 85km

Lap 15/18: With just 40 seconds lead, the break could be caught this lap with Trek really ramping up the pace

 

 

Lap 15/18: The peloton with Lotto now are trying to make this catch happen as soon as possible

16km remaining from 85km

Andre Greipel is looking very active today, is he using too much energy before the sprint?

 

Just 20 seconds advantage for the leading three and watch for any counter-attacks when the break is caught

 

Lap 15/18: The peloton can see the three riders out in front now on Flinders St

 

For the third time in the race this year, Will Clarke (Drapac) is the most competitive to cap off a good week for his team's debut Tour Down Under

 

Lap 16/18: Julien Berard drops back to the peloton to leave Clarke and Belkov out in front 

 

Lap 16/18: GreenEdge are driving the bunch now and looking to make the catch as the leaders are only 100m or so in front now

 

Lap 16/18: The catch has happened now with Clarke and Belkov looking over their shoulders and seeing GreenEdge on the front of the peloton who quickly sweep them up

 

Lap 16/18: The peloton is all back together now and GreenEdge have their whole team on the front as they try to deliver Gerrans to the overall title and stop BMC from gaining any bonus seconds

Lotto and Giant-Shimano will soon be looking to move forward with their sprinters but for now GreenEdge are keeping the pace high

 

8km remaining from 85km

Lap 17/18: Its a high pace and the bunch is strung out now with a speed of 44km/h

 

Lap 17/18: The Giant-Shimano train is getting itself ready and is sitting in just behind GreenEdge as Cadel Evans moves onto Gerrans' rear wheel

 

 Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Cannondale are moving their trains forward as well

4km remaining from 85km

Last lap now

 

There is only 4km left in the Tour Down Under

 

A touch of wheels by Impey there on Adam Hansen

 

Trek, Cannondale and Lotto are at the front now

 

Last Lap: all the riders are getting into position now

 

Quick Step are moving up and are now leading the race to the line

 

Rider are being dropped now with the high pace that Quick Step are setting

 

3km remaining from 85km

Everyone is trying to keep position as Quick Step still lead

 

1km remaining from 85km

Giant-Shimano have moved forward and Lotto are moving forward

 

1km remaining from 85km

Lotto are leading and setting it up for Greipel

 

Andre Greipel takes the win in the end

 

That is three wins in a  row on the final day for Greipel and Simon Gerrans claims the overall

 

In the finale it was Andre Greipel, Mark Renshaw and Andrew Fenn

 

Simon Gerrans seals his third Tour Down Under victory and Greipel claimed his third consecutive win on the last day of the Australian race. Check back toy our Tour Down Under page for a full final wrap of the race. Thanks for joining us for the first WorldTour race of 2014

 

Stage 6 result
1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol 1:55:16
2 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling 
3 Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling 
4 Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano
5 Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling
6 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica Greenedge
7 Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin Sharp
8 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol
9 Michal Kolár (Svk) Tinkoff-Saxo
10 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica Greenedge

 

Final overall classification

1 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica Greenedge 19:57:35
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:05
3 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:00:05
4 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 0:00:14
5 Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin Sharp 0:00:27
6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 0:00:30
7 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica Greenedge 0:00:34
8 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:37
9 Egor Silin (Rus) Team Katusha 0:00:47
10 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:00

 

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