Tour Down Under: Wippert wins final stage in Adelaide

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. 

Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Stage 6 result
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac Professional Cycling1:56:09
2Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM CyclingRow 1 - Cell 2
3Boris Vallée (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 2 - Cell 2
4Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 3 - Cell 2
5Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdgeRow 4 - Cell 2
6Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 5 - Cell 2
7Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 6 - Cell 2
8Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Rudiger Selig (Ger) Team KatushaRow 8 - Cell 2
10Sébastien Chavanel (Fra) FDJ.frRow 9 - Cell 2
11Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 10 - Cell 2
12Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory RacingRow 11 - Cell 2
13Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 12 - Cell 2
14Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM CyclingRow 13 - Cell 2
15Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Enrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 15 - Cell 2
17Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 16 - Cell 2
18Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 17 - Cell 2
19Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Team KatushaRow 18 - Cell 2
20Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 19 - Cell 2
21Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Yves Lampaert (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 21 - Cell 2
23Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 22 - Cell 2
24Richie Porte (Aus) Team SkyRow 23 - Cell 2
25Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 24 - Cell 2
26George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 25 - Cell 2
27Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM CyclingRow 26 - Cell 2
28Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 27 - Cell 2
29Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Lampre-MeridaRow 28 - Cell 2
30Christopher Sutton (Aus) Team SkyRow 29 - Cell 2
31Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 30 - Cell 2
32Gregory Henderson (NZl) Lotto SoudalRow 31 - Cell 2
33Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.frRow 32 - Cell 2
34Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 34 - Cell 2
36Maxime Bouet (Fra) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 35 - Cell 2
37Koen de Kort (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 36 - Cell 2
38Martin Velits (Svk) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 37 - Cell 2
39Stef Clement (Ned) IAM CyclingRow 38 - Cell 2
40Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 39 - Cell 2
41Martin Kohler (Swi) Drapac Professional Cycling0:00:05
42Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 41 - Cell 2
43Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.frRow 42 - Cell 2
44Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica GreenEdge0:00:09
45Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) IAM Cycling0:00:20
46Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky0:00:22
47Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team SkyRow 46 - Cell 2
48Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdge0:00:29
49Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky0:00:32
50Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica GreenEdge0:00:36
51Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step0:00:44
52Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica GreenEdge0:00:45
53Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal0:00:50
54Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory RacingRow 53 - Cell 2
55Martijn Keizer (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 54 - Cell 2
56Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 56 - Cell 2
58Ian Stannard (GBr) Team SkyRow 57 - Cell 2
59Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek Factory Racing0:00:56
60Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:01:01
61Graeme Brown (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling0:01:06
62Lars Bak (Den) Lotto SoudalRow 61 - Cell 2
63Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo0:01:14
64Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 63 - Cell 2
65Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
66Jack Haig (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 65 - Cell 2
67Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 66 - Cell 2
68Tiago Machado (Por) Team KatushaRow 67 - Cell 2
69David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 68 - Cell 2
70Daniel McConnell (Aus) Trek Factory RacingRow 69 - Cell 2
71Hayden Roulston (NZl) Trek Factory RacingRow 70 - Cell 2
72Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 71 - Cell 2
73Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 72 - Cell 2
74Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Team KatushaRow 73 - Cell 2
75Jordan Kerby (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling0:01:21
76William Clarke (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 75 - Cell 2
77Alex Edmondson (Aus) UniSA-Australia0:01:25
78Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 77 - Cell 2
79Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 78 - Cell 2
80Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:46
81Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 80 - Cell 2
82Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 81 - Cell 2
83Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 82 - Cell 2
84Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:36
85David Tanner (Aus) IAM Cycling0:03:03
86Davide Malacarne (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:03:22
87Jack Bobridge (Aus) UniSA-Australia0:03:29
88Timothy Roe (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 87 - Cell 2
89Barry Markus (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 88 - Cell 2
90Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 89 - Cell 2
91Robert Power (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 90 - Cell 2
92Miles Scotson (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 91 - Cell 2
93Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 92 - Cell 2
94Rick Flens (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 93 - Cell 2
95Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 94 - Cell 2
96Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 95 - Cell 2
97Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 96 - Cell 2
98Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-MeridaRow 97 - Cell 2
99Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory RacingRow 98 - Cell 2
100Lars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro Team0:04:01
101Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin0:04:11
102Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 101 - Cell 2
103Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 102 - Cell 2
104Jack Bauer (NZl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:04:15
105Chad Haga (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin0:04:28
106Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team SkyRow 105 - Cell 2
107Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 106 - Cell 2
108Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 107 - Cell 2
109Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team KatushaRow 108 - Cell 2
110Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 109 - Cell 2
111José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team0:05:47
112Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 111 - Cell 2
113Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 112 - Cell 2
114Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar TeamRow 113 - Cell 2
115Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 114 - Cell 2
116Neil van der Ploeg (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 115 - Cell 2
117Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro TeamRow 116 - Cell 2