Wouter Wippert (Drapac) out-kicked Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) to take the final win of the Tour Down Under Sunday in Adelaide. Rohan Dennis finished safely in the field and took home the final ochre jersey of the overall winner for BMC. Richie Porte (Team Sky) also finished in the front bunch after a late crash split the peloton with Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpcein) getting caught out. Cadel Evans (BMC) also finished in the front group to secure third place overall in his final WorldTour race.
"It was a really nervous race today," Wippert said immediately following the stage. "The team were all day on the front, but after a few laps I was tired and I went to the back. Then near the end of the race one of my teammates came back and brought me up."
"It's fantastic to win here being part of an Australian team in Australia for a WorldTour race."
The win is the first at the race for Drapac and the 100th of the race's history since it started in 1999.
Winning the overall sees Dennis become the third South Australian to win the race and first since Pat Jonker in 2004. Post-race, Dennis thanked his teammates for looking after him, praising their work for the week and ensuring he was never caught up in crashes or caught out by splits in the peloton.
"I had to make sure that I kept within distance of Richie and especially after that little spill on about two-and-a half to go.," Dennis said of the stage. "It’s just about following him [Porte] and making sure that if there was a split it wasn’t too hard to just jump across and make sure there were no splits in the finish. They [the team] rode awesomely again. I could fault them, they sat at the front, they made sure I was out of the wind – even when I got pushed back, someone always jumped back and pulled me back forward.
"Hats off to them again, they really helped me win this and made it look a lot easier."
Dennis added that the experience of Evans was also crucial to him maintaining his slender lead over Porte at the end of the sixth stage.
"Basically [Evans] he just said follow me," Dennis said. "He said 'just keep following me'. He took me and obviously he was staying close to Richie as well as making sure that he held time. I have all the faith in the world in him – he’s the most experienced rider in this bunch, I think.
"When we go down the street for a coffee everyone harasses him and makes it a lot easier for me. There’s a lot of less pressure. In general, even if I was leading the race, they still wanted to talk to him – so I could just walk around in the background and not have too much pressure which was absolutely perfect for me."
Katusha's Tiago Machado was caught up the crash and as a result slipped down the standings to finish in 13th place. Ruben Fernandez remained in fifth place, helping Movistar claim the team prize, while there also no change to Tom Dumoulin's (Giant-Alpecin) fourth place overall.
How it unfolded
Sunday's final stage took place on the familiar roads of Adelaide's northern city centre with a slight change for the 2015 route.The riders circled a 4.5km urban course 20 times for a total of 90km.
A breakaway of five that got away on the second of 20 laps animated the race's early going. Greg Henderson (Lotto-Soudal), Nathan Haas (Cannondale-Garmin), Calvin Watson (Trek), Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) built a workable gap over the 4.5km laps.
Orica-GreenEdge soon picked up the chase on behalf of the peloton, and the green-and-blue squad kept the escapees in check with a gap that never got above 25 seconds.
The run-up to the first intermediate sprint of the day on lap right doomed the break, and the field made the catch just before the line. Orica's Daryl Impey took the sprint and its three-second time bonus.
After a moment's reshuffling following the sprint, another group of adventurers took off the front. This time the six-man group included Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky), Lars Ytting Bak (Lotto-Soudal), Alex Howes (Cannondale-Garmin), Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo), Christopher Juul Jensen (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Lars Boom (Astana).
The new group found more success off the front than their predecessors, and the gap ballooned up to 1:15 on the 12h of the 20 laps.
The breakaways were, of course, good news for Rohan Dennis (BMC), whose thing two second margin over team Sky's Richie Porte as long as other riders were up the road gobbling up the time bonuses and denying them from Porte.
With six laps remaining, Giant-Alpecin picked up the chase in hopes that Marcel Kittel could bring home his second win of the week. Etixx-quickStep and Orica added to the effort, and soon the gap was below a minute again as the leaders hit five laps to go. The gap was down to 30 seconds on lap 17.
Drapac went to the front, looking to drop off Wouter Wippert for the win, but Lampre-Merida also had designs on the stage win for Niccolò Bonifazio or Roberto Ferrari.
The breakaway finally succumbed to the chase as they went under the banner with two laps to go, and the sprinters' teams kept the field mostly under control for the final 9km.
A large crash about 30 riders deep early in the penultimate lap split the field, and Team Sky immediately drove the pace. Kittel was caught out in the crash, among others, ending his hopes for a stage win. IAM took over the pacemaking after things settled back down in the field, followed by Lampre, Drapac and Orica.
In the final lap it was IAM Cycling leading into the finishing straight which Wippert took advantage of, jumping out from behind Haussler's wheel to claim the biggest win of his career.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac Professional Cycling||1:56:09|
|2||Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling||Row 1 - Cell 2|
|3||Boris Vallée (Bel) Lotto Soudal||Row 2 - Cell 2|
|4||Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo||Row 3 - Cell 2|
|5||Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge||Row 4 - Cell 2|
|6||Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida||Row 5 - Cell 2|
|7||Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-Australia||Row 6 - Cell 2|
|8||Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team||Row 7 - Cell 2|
|9||Rudiger Selig (Ger) Team Katusha||Row 8 - Cell 2|
|10||Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) FDJ.fr||Row 9 - Cell 2|
|11||Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step||Row 10 - Cell 2|
|12||Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing||Row 11 - Cell 2|
|13||Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin||Row 12 - Cell 2|
|14||Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling||Row 13 - Cell 2|
|15||Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team||Row 14 - Cell 2|
|16||Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar Team||Row 15 - Cell 2|
|17||Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 16 - Cell 2|
|18||Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team||Row 17 - Cell 2|
|19||Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Team Katusha||Row 18 - Cell 2|
|20||Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team||Row 19 - Cell 2|
|21||Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team||Row 20 - Cell 2|
|22||Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step||Row 21 - Cell 2|
|23||Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 22 - Cell 2|
|24||Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky||Row 23 - Cell 2|
|25||Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx - Quick-Step||Row 24 - Cell 2|
|26||George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNL-Jumbo||Row 25 - Cell 2|
|27||Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling||Row 26 - Cell 2|
|28||Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team||Row 27 - Cell 2|
|29||Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Lampre-Merida||Row 28 - Cell 2|
|30||Christopher Sutton (Aus) Team Sky||Row 29 - Cell 2|
|31||Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Soudal||Row 30 - Cell 2|
|32||Gregory Henderson (NZl) Lotto Soudal||Row 31 - Cell 2|
|33||Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.fr||Row 32 - Cell 2|
|34||Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing Team||Row 33 - Cell 2|
|35||Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team||Row 34 - Cell 2|
|36||Maxime Bouet (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step||Row 35 - Cell 2|
|37||Koen de Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin||Row 36 - Cell 2|
|38||Martin Velits (Svk) Etixx - Quick-Step||Row 37 - Cell 2|
|39||Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling||Row 38 - Cell 2|
|40||Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling||Row 39 - Cell 2|
|41||Martin Kohler (Swi) Drapac Professional Cycling||0:00:05|
|42||Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin||Row 41 - Cell 2|
|43||Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.fr||Row 42 - Cell 2|
|44||Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica GreenEdge||0:00:09|
|45||Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) IAM Cycling||0:00:20|
|46||Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky||0:00:22|
|47||Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky||Row 46 - Cell 2|
|48||Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdge||0:00:29|
|49||Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky||0:00:32|
|50||Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica GreenEdge||0:00:36|
|51||Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step||0:00:44|
|52||Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica GreenEdge||0:00:45|
|53||Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal||0:00:50|
|54||Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing||Row 53 - Cell 2|
|55||Martijn Keizer (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo||Row 54 - Cell 2|
|56||Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team||Row 55 - Cell 2|
|57||Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Astana Pro Team||Row 56 - Cell 2|
|58||Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky||Row 57 - Cell 2|
|59||Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek Factory Racing||0:00:56|
|60||Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida||0:01:01|
|61||Graeme Brown (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling||0:01:06|
|62||Lars Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal||Row 61 - Cell 2|
|63||Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo||0:01:14|
|64||Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo||Row 63 - Cell 2|
|65||Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team||Row 64 - Cell 2|
|66||Jack Haig (Aus) UniSA-Australia||Row 65 - Cell 2|
|67||Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal||Row 66 - Cell 2|
|68||Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha||Row 67 - Cell 2|
|69||David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step||Row 68 - Cell 2|
|70||Daniel McConnell (Aus) Trek Factory Racing||Row 69 - Cell 2|
|71||Hayden Roulston (NZl) Trek Factory Racing||Row 70 - Cell 2|
|72||Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team||Row 71 - Cell 2|
|73||Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team||Row 72 - Cell 2|
|74||Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Team Katusha||Row 73 - Cell 2|
|75||Jordan Kerby (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling||0:01:21|
|76||William Clarke (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling||Row 75 - Cell 2|
|77||Alex Edmondson (Aus) UniSA-Australia||0:01:25|
|78||Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida||Row 77 - Cell 2|
|79||Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo||Row 78 - Cell 2|
|80||Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||0:01:46|
|81||Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 80 - Cell 2|
|82||Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 81 - Cell 2|
|83||Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing Team||Row 82 - Cell 2|
|84||Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||0:02:36|
|85||David Tanner (Aus) IAM Cycling||0:03:03|
|86||Davide Malacarne (Ita) Astana Pro Team||0:03:22|
|87||Jack Bobridge (Aus) UniSA-Australia||0:03:29|
|88||Timothy Roe (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling||Row 87 - Cell 2|
|89||Barry Markus (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo||Row 88 - Cell 2|
|90||Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo||Row 89 - Cell 2|
|91||Robert Power (Aus) UniSA-Australia||Row 90 - Cell 2|
|92||Miles Scotson (Aus) UniSA-Australia||Row 91 - Cell 2|
|93||Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Tinkoff-Saxo||Row 92 - Cell 2|
|94||Rick Flens (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo||Row 93 - Cell 2|
|95||Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team||Row 94 - Cell 2|
|96||Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team||Row 95 - Cell 2|
|97||Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team||Row 96 - Cell 2|
|98||Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida||Row 97 - Cell 2|
|99||Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing||Row 98 - Cell 2|
|100||Lars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro Team||0:04:01|
|101||Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin||0:04:11|
|102||Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin||Row 101 - Cell 2|
|103||Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||Row 102 - Cell 2|
|104||Jack Bauer (NZl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team||0:04:15|
|105||Chad Haga (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin||0:04:28|
|106||Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky||Row 105 - Cell 2|
|107||Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo||Row 106 - Cell 2|
|108||Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida||Row 107 - Cell 2|
|109||Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha||Row 108 - Cell 2|
|110||Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team Katusha||Row 109 - Cell 2|
|111||José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team||0:05:47|
|112||Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team||Row 111 - Cell 2|
|113||Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team||Row 112 - Cell 2|
|114||Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar Team||Row 113 - Cell 2|
|115||Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge||Row 114 - Cell 2|
|116||Neil van der Ploeg (Aus) UniSA-Australia||Row 115 - Cell 2|
|117||Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team||Row 116 - Cell 2|