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Tour Down Under 2018: Stage 6

Hello and welcome to our live coverage from this year's Tour Down Under - a stage in the city of Adelaide with the sprinters set to shine. 

Coming into the final stage, here's how things stand on GC:

 

General classification after stage 5
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott 18:02:15
2 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team
3 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data 0:00:16
4 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:20
5 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
6 Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Team Sky
7 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
8 Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:00:24
9 George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo
10 Jon Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Bahrain-Merida

 

Now, Impey should see this one out. He's leading Porte on countback but it's unlikely that BMC will even try and attack and take on the South African. That said, Impey has to remain full concentrated. Any mistakes or bad luck and he could be in trouble. Especially as there are bonus seconds up for grabs. 

In terms of sprinters, we have Ewan, Viviani, Greipel, Sagan and Bennett are all here. The riders are now on the startline and we should be underway very shortly. 

 

And we are off. And right from the flag we have an attack, and it's from AG2R. A huge acceleration and although the bunch is strung out, they're all wise to the move. There's a pause. And now more attacks.

 

The first sprint is at 36km and AG2R are attacking because they want to see Latour try and wrestle the white jersey from Bernal. The Frenchman needs four seconds. 

 

Astana are the next team to take things up and they fire a rider off the front. There's a long drag on the lap and the riders are trying to use that to their advantage. A few more riders attack but at the moment nothing is sticking.

 

While we wait for something to actually happen, why not listen to, download the CN podcast. We've a brand new page - new sponsors in Prendas Ciclismo and Pinarello - and loads of exclusive interviews. You can find all our 2018 podcast, right here.

 

In other news UCI President David Lappartient has been asked about Chris Froome and Team Sky. It doesn't make for pretty reading for the British team. Lappartient has said Team Sky's behaviour has caused problems for cycling, and his remarks on Dave Brailsford are interesting to say the least. You can read the full story, right here.

 

Back to the crit and eight riders have gone clear of the main field. No time gaps just yet and we're on lap 3. Lotto Soudal are chasing this down, with De Gendt on the front.

That move didn't work but instantly another five riders have gone clear. The bunch think about their next move and then start to chase again.

 

That move didn't work but instantly another five riders have gone clear. The bunch think about their next move and then start to chase again.

 

Dennis has a flat, Cherel attacks.

You can find our complete coverage from this year's race right here. Our hub page is packed with news, results, reports, photos, videos and podcasts. Check it out.

 

 

 

Meanwhile at the race more attacks are going off the front and now Astana go again. Nothing has stuck so far though. All together, and about a quarter of the way through the race. 

 

Sagan, Viviani, Ewan and Greipel have all won stages in the race this year. One each, in fact, as we see that seven riders are off the front. Cherel is there again, so is Boara, Earle and de Kort. We'll bring you the rest of the names as soon as we have them. We're just stating lap 5 of 20.

 

There leaders have the first significant gap of the day. It's just 16 seconds but that's the best that we've had so far in the stage. The bunch are lining out though, so they're starting to respond. the gap is down to 8 seconds. 

 

The gap has gone back out to 25 seconds and it looks like we have the main break of the day. We'll have the full list of names shortly.

 

No chasing from Mitchelton and Impey. They'll want to ensure that the bonus seconds are swallowed up by the break instead of being out there for BMC to play with. The gap to the break is now out to 52 seconds. The bunch has sat up. 

It's three leaders out front. The group have dropped in numbers and the three riders Owen, Korsaeth and Didier.They have 1'02 on the main field, and we're on lap 6/20. Still a long way to go but the GC riders and the sprinters will be happy with the situation at the moment - nice and calm. 

 

Lotto Soudal are just tapping away at the front and setting a steady tempo. A few more leadout trains are sitting back and allowing the Belgian team to do most of the work. The leaders, meanwhile, have 1'17 on the bunch. 

 

The UniSA team are now controlling the main field. They're doing a decent job too, and keep the leading three at 1'06. We're on lap 7. 

The three leaders share a few words between them. A reminder they're Owen, Korsaeth and Didier. No threat on GC, if you were wondering. 

 

Impey and his team are near the front but just keeping out of trouble for now. They'll wind things up for Ewan later in the race, no doubt about that. He'll want his second stage win of the race. Tune in later in the week for an exclusive interview with Ewan. 

 

Didier is on the radio to his team car.. probably asking if the bunch are chasing. Well, they are and the gap is down to 56 seconds. 

 

Massive acceleration from Trek and Owen has gone clear from the break. Didier has sat up and the Astana rider has a mechanical. Chaos. 

 

Owen looks back but he still has 29 seconds on the main field. Owen takes the bonus. And it's Sanchez take second in the sprint. That is interesting. That's two seconds for Sanchez and he's moved into 8th on GC. Smart riding from Astana. 

 

Lap 9 and the race is back together again. 

 

Owen has gone again and he's been joined by Ben O'Connor from Dimension Data. We're on lap 10 of 20 so around half-way through the final stage of this year's Tour Down Under.

 

Lap 11 of 20 and the two leaders have 1'24 over the peloton. Nice little move from Owen and O'Connor from EF Education First - Drapac pb Cannondale and Dimension Data. 

 

At the start of lap 12 the two leaders have 1'35 over the peloton. We've one rider from FDJ who has just taken off and attacked from the bunch.

 

The FDJ rider is Antoine Duchesne. He's not going to bridge up to the two leaders on his own but he'll be hoping for a few riders to come across to him and help with the chase. 

 

The two leaders have two minutes. That's impressive at this stage of the race and these two continue to share the workload between them. 

 

Antoine Duchesne is acting as a marker now for the rest of the main now, nothing more. He has about 20 seconds on the peloton. 

 

2;24 now for the two leaders. The gap continues to go out as we start lap 13.

 

The gap has dropped as we see Lotto send more riders to the front and the two leaders have just over a minute. The local crowds are cheering them up but there's not much you can do when Thomas De Gendt is chasing you down relentlessly.

 

We're into the final five laps now as we see Owen attack at the top of the climb. O'Connor is fading as the EF rider goes clear. This is a really impressive ride from Owen.

 

And here come Mitchelton Scott., hitting the front for Impey and of course Ewan - the latter hunting for his second stage in this year's race. He won four stages in 2017 but this hasn't been a bad outing  for the 23-year-old Australian. A result today would be the perfect way for him and his team to end the race. 

 

De Gendt is still there though and setting the pace for the entire peloton. He's a machine. A man machine.*

 

 

* not a thing. 

 

And Ben O'Connor, no relation to Des O'Connor has sat up and has been gobbled up by De Gendt and the rest of the main field. Owen has 53 seconds on the main field with 4 laps to go. 

 

Sunweb have moved up now and they're leading out their sprinter too. From here on in it's all about positioning and making sure that you don't lose any ground on your rivals. The fight for the wheel is crucial but at the moment the sprinters are just concerned with following their respective trains. 

 

Viviani is up there too. He's probably got the best leadout he's ever had and he's used them to go affect in the race so far, winning a stage and featuring several times. He will need to follow Ewan, one thinks, and then look to exploit any weakness or mistake, as he did earlier the race when he won his stage. 

 

Owen completes another lap, and we've three more to go. Lotto Soudal and Mitchelton are doing most of the work at the moment but AG2R and a few other teams are also in the mix. There is Sagan, just to the far right hand side. Bora have been quiet so far but they have the world champion and Sam Bennett in their ranks. Both riders have the potential to win today. 

 

And Owen is struggling out there now and the bunch have caught him. Nice little ride from the American pro, that was, but it's all over and the bunch are back together again. UAE have moved up to the front but I'm sure that there will be some attacks in the closing kilometres. 

 

Two laps remaining now and not one single team is taking control at the moment. We'll have a huge acceleration in pace in the next few minutes though as we head towards the final lap of the race. 

 

And now it's Merida who hit the front with Impey's men trying to force their way up with Howson. Merida have all their riders on the front though, as they look to protect their GC riders. The pace has really shot up though in the last few minutes as riders are sprinting just to hold wheels. Sagan, he's just coasting around in the middle of the main field for now.

 

Sunweb hit the front and they have the bunch lined out. Cam Meyer checks them and with Hayman keeps Impey out of trouble. There was almost a fall there near the front of the peloton.

 

Here come LottoNL and Lotto Soudal as we start the final lap. Here come QuickStep too.

 

Astana have come to the fore too but there's still a long way to go for the leadout trains. And there's a crash and it's a LottoNL rider is down.

 

And here come Bora, hitting the front perfectly in unison. Impey is there but here come UAE and here comes Greipel - about 8 riders back.

Impey is going to lead out Ewan. 

 

QuickStep are fighting back as Impey leads Ewan. 

 

1km to go.

 

Rui Costa on the front.

 

Now Meyer accelerates. 

 

All the sprinters are still in contention but no leadout train can take control. 

 

And here we go with the sprint, around the final corner.

 

QuickStep lead. Viviani is third.

 

But Bora make a rush.

 

Ewan takes off!

 

Greipel is on his wheel. 

 

Can Ewan hold on? Can Viviani challenge?

 

Viviani fades.

 

Here comes Greipel. it's going to be close.

 

Greipel! The German takes it.

 

Ewan went first, and Greipel had to work really hard to get back on terms but the Lotto rider now has 18 wins in this race. 

Impey came over the line and wins the race overall.

 

 

Greipel and Impey both on the podium and both, you have to say, deserve to be their considering their performances this week. 


You can, meanwhile, find our report, results, photos, right here.

 

We now have images from today's action online. You can find our report here. Thanks for joining us throughout this week. We hope that you've enjoyed our coverage. 

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