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Santos Tour Down Under 2016: Stage 6

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Hello and welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the Tour Down Under's final stage for 2016. Today's 91km Adelaide city circuit is one for the sprinters with Simon Gerrans defending a nine-second lead over Richie Porte, all but assured of winning a fourth title.

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Geraint Thomas' 2016 Team Sky Pinarello Dogma F8
Vote for your favourite WorldTour jersey of 2016

Hello and welcome to live coverage for the final stage of the 2016 Tour Down Under. Racing starts in just over one hour's time 

Over in Argentina, Maxi Lopez of Astana held off the Quintana brothers to win stage 7 of the race. To read the race report, click here

 

There was some bad news this morning with Giant-Alpecin riders hit head on while out for a training ride in Spain. Six-riders were injured in the crash, leaving the entire team in shock. To read team manager Iwan Spekenbrink's comments on the incident, click here

 

With one stage to go at the Tour de San Luis, it's a Quintana leading the race but probably not the one you are thinking about. Dayer, not Nairo, lead the race with just one stage to come. To read about the younger of the Colombian brothers, click here

 

We had a look at the Pinarello Dogma F8 of Geraint Thomas earlier this week. To have a closer look at the bike and how Thomas likes his set up, click here

 

Our man in the blimp, Brett Dutscke, has the weather forecast for today. Here's what to expect for stage 6

Adelaide summary - Dry. Sunshine peaking through high clouds and getting stronger as cloud thins out. Warming from 26 degrees to 28 degrees. Southerly winds increasing to 20-25 km/h (a fair bit of sheltering from trees and buildings apart from possibly King William St where tall buildings may provide a funnel or wind-tunnel effect).

 

Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida) has penned his second blog for Cyclingnews from the Tour Down Under. To read what he made of yesterday's Willunga Hill stage, click here

 

If you haven't yet caught up on yesterday's stage, click here for the report

 

And to see the video highlights of the stage, click here to watch

 

BMC's Marcus Burghardt is out of action for six weeks after elbow fracture at the Tour Down Under. To find out more about his recovery, click here

 

Just a little over 20 minutes until racing gets underway

 

Down to just a tad over five minutes until we start racing now

 

Caleb Ewan is the man to beat today but he will face challenges from the likes of Wouter Wippert, who won this stage last year, Steele von Hoff, Giacomo Nizzolo and Marko Kump

 

As it stands, Simon Gerrans leads the overall classification and points classification. Jay McCarthy leads the young rider classification and Sergio Henao leads the KOM classification 

 

Stage 6 is underway!

 

Here's what Orica-GreenEdge sports director Matt White has to say about today's stage

"It can either be a pretty straight forward sprint stage or it can be an extremely nail biting day. With two intermediate sprints worth valuable seconds it could be the difference between winning or losing the tour. Our plan for the day will be determined by our general classification goals. We could still be chasing vital seconds on that stage but if GC is sorted, it's a pure sprinters stage and the sprinter's teams will control it for a bunch sprint."

 

There are a few early attacks on the first lap as the breakaway tries to get established for the day

 

Drapac, Astana, Lotto Jumbo, and Etixx-Quick Step are represented in this early move

 

Laurens De Vreese (Astana), Lieuwe Westra (Astana), Carlos Verona (Etixx-Quick Step), George Bennett (Lotto Jumbo) and Adam Phelan (Drapac) are the breakaway riders.

 

On Lap 2 of 20, it's Orica-GreenEdge controlling the tempo in the peloton

 

The average speed of the first lap was 44km/h for the peloton

 

Here is today's stage map and profile for you

 

Simon Gerrans' first Tour Down Under victory came in 2006, winning the title seven seconds ahead of Luis Leon Sanchez. In 2012, Gerrans won the race on placings ahead of Alejandro Valverde with 2014 another tight affair, winning the race one second ahead of Cadel Evans. As it stands now, Gerrans' winning margin in 2016 will be his biggest yet as he leads Richie Porte by nine seconds

 

The breakaway has 18 seconds on the peloton now the riders are on to lap 3 of the 20

 

80km remaining from 90km

Luke Dubridge is leading the Orica-greenEdge controlled peloton at the moment

 

80km remaining from 90km

Durbridge's work has trimmed the lead to 10 seconds

 

Orica-GreenEdge are riding for Calen Ewan today with the 21-year-old sitting in last wheel, just tucked in behind race leader Simon Gerrans

 

Coming through the start/finish arch, the peloton very much has the breakaway in its sights.

 

The peloton is strung out in one long line with the breakaway's advantage down to 11 seconds

 

The Australians are five from five at the Tour Down Under so fat this year, will the locals make it a perfect six?

 

The first intermediate sprint point comes on lap 8, 36km, today

 

75km remaining from 90km

The gap is dropping down to a mere five seconds now

 

Tinkoff, BMC and Astana are behind Orica-GreenEdge in the chasing peloton

 

There are two KOM's on the course today, both featuring on Montefiore Hill at 43.6km then 66.3km 

 

Lap 5 and the break has been caught

 

Thomas De Gent (Lotto Soudal) and Maarten Tjallingii (Lotto Jumbo) have counter atacked

 

Sam Spokes is trying to join the two-leaders

 

Thomas De Gent (Lotto Soudal) and Maarten Tjallingii (Lotto Jumbo) sit 20 seconds ahead on the road now

 

Thomas De Gendt and Maarten Tjallingii have 20 seconds on the peloton

 

Lap 6 and De Gendt and Tjallingii have been brought back by the peloton

Last year's winner on this stage Wouter Wippert had a few words on the start line this afternoon

"I won here last year and I have good memories. It would be great to win today to finish what's been a great week. My team is doing a great job setting me up for the sprints. I hope I will have the legs."

 

Lap 8 sees the first intermediate sprint point with three bonus seconds on the line for first, two seconds for second, and one second for third

 

Nathan Earle is the Drapac rider trying to make the catch of the two leaders at the moment 

Lithe climber Lucas Hamilton (UniSA-Australia) has had a dig to try and bridge across the gap to the leaders

 

The Tinkoff team and Cannondale are moving their riders forward in anticipation of the sprint point in one lap's time. Michael Woods and Jay McCarthy are on the same time at the moment

 

It's just De Gendt and Tjallingii out in front with Earle and Hamilton back in the bunch around 25 seconds behind

 

Trek Segafredo also have a rider sitting in second wheel as the peloton look to set it up for the sprint point

 

The two leaders have 34 seconds on the bunch who are setting up for the sprint point and one bonus second on the line

 

Daryl Impey plays the spoiling role to nip and take third place at the sprint point ahead of McCarthy

 

Maarten Tjallingi took the maximum sprint points without contest

 

Following the fast sprint, the breakaway is now at 23 seconds on lap 9

 

FDJ are looking to ensure Steve Morabito retains his ninth place overall today, Anthony Roux explained the team's approach for the stage today.

"It's a short race but we actually have a lot of work to do to protect Steve Morabito's ninth place, which means scoring World Tour points for FDJ. Patrick Bevin is only three seconds behind him. We know he's fast in addition to being a climber and a time trialist. The finale is also a question of avoiding splits in the bunch since a lot of riders let it go after preparing the sprint for their leader."

 

We are getting close to the half-way mark of the race today

 

Have you voted for your favourite WorldTour jersey of 2016 in our poll? You could win gift cards worth $300 (1), $500 (1) $1,000 (1) in cycling kit from Alé. Click here to vote!

 

So onto Lap 10 now and the two leaders are at 20 seconds

 

The first KOM of the stage features on this lap

 

Floris Gerts has had a crash at the back of the peloton

 

Thomas De Gendt claims the first KOM points on offer today

 

Going over the KOM, the two-leaders now have 28 seconds over the peloton

 

The second sprint point for today comes on lap 12 and McCarthy is likely to challenge for the points and bonus seconds once again

 

44km remaining from 90km

It's the biggest advantage so far today with the breakaway at 35 seconds

 

Trek-Segafredo and UniSA-Australia have placed riders on the front of the peloton at the moment

 

Next time through the finish/start line will be for the second intermediate sprint point of the stage

 

IAM Cycling are moving forward to help keep the speed high with Leigh Howard their man for the sprint

 

It's a fast opening hour today with 46.6kmh the average speed

 

40km remaining from 90km

We are approaching the sprint point now

 

Johan Le Bon from FDJ rider has launched an attack to try and make the bridge to the leaders

 

Thomas De Gendt rolled over the intermediate sprint point in first place, ahead of Tjallingii and Le Bon

 

Two Colombian climbers are driving the peloton now with Julián Arredondo (Trek-Segafredo) and Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling)

 

Trek-Segafredo are working for Giacomo Nizzolo today. The Italian sprinter is looking to claim the sprint win as he explained;

"I came here for winning a stage so today is my last chance. I'm 100% focused on that last stage. We'll go full gas."

 

The breakaway's advantage has dropped and is hovering around 20 seconds now on lap 14

 

Cannondale will look to claim the stage today with Wouter Wippert and the man behind the team's successful week of racing is new signing Simon Clarke. Click here to read Clarke's take on the race and his debut in argyle

 

Orica-GreenEdge have hardly been seen in the last few laps, letting the likes of IAM Cycling and Trek-Segafredo control the pace on lap 14

 

The leaders have just 15 seconds on the peloton in the early stages of lap 15

 

Maarten Tjallingii takes out the sixth and final most combative award of this year's race

 

Maarten Tjallingii also picked up the second KOM with the peloton rolling through 30 seconds later

 

Astana are attacking with De Vresse and Westra

 

 Laurens De Vreese and Westra attack the peloton for Astana

Tjallingii has dropped De Gendt and has gone solo

 

It's De Vreese and Westra in pursuit of Tjallingii

 

Lieuwe Westra and Tjallingii are now the two leaders on the road

 

The two leaders have 14 seconds on the Drapac controlled peloton on lap 17

 

Dimension Data are moving forward now

 

On lap 18 Tinkoff are joining Dimension Data to control the peloton

 

The gap is 12 seconds to the leaders now

 

The breakaway has now been caught on lap 19 and the peloton is ready for the sprint finish

 

Sergio Henao is doing some work for team Sky now who are riding for Ben Swift

 

The average speed of the first 18 laps was 46.5kmh

 

Second last time over Montefiore Hill

 

Although the sprinters are lining it up, a late attack is always possible so watch for moves into the final 5km

 

Final lap!

 

Tinkoff leading at the start of lap 20

 

The average speed is 49km/h

 

Team Sky are riding hard!

 

Dimension Data are also at the front riding hard and fast

 

Orica GreenEdge are sitting up there in the front but its not a train like Sky and Dimension Data

Luke Durbridge winding up for the climb and now its a fast run in to the line. Can Ewan finish the job?

 

Team Sky are leading the race at the moment with orica GreenEdge in behind

 

Here comes Trek Segefredo

 

Caleb Ewan goes long and fast to simply blast away the other rivals and claim his second stage win of the race

 

Caleb Ewan wins Orica-GreenEdge's fourth stage of the week sprinting to the win ahead of Mark Renshaw

 

There was no change to the to the top ten on GC as Gerrans crossed the line to ensure he is the 2016 winner of the Tour Down Under. His fourth win at the Australian race

 

Stay tuned as we'll bring you a full race report, results, photos, video highlights and news from today's final stage of the Tour Down Under

 

Thanks for joining us this week for live coverage of all six stages of this year's Tour Down Under!

 

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