As the Tour Down Under heads into the final stages and leads are set for the other general contenders to chase, Gerrans wins his second stage in the 2016 TDU setting himself 14 seconds clear of young Jay McCarthy (TNK) and last years Tour Down Under winner Rohan Dennis (BMC) in the General Classification.
The race was followed by full clouds that were ready to burst at any moment, lucky they only saw a trickle of rain coming into Victory Harbor over the Crows Nest KOM.
During the day there were a number of breaks that weren’t sustained for too long as the dominate teams of BMC Racing, Orica-GreenEdge and Tinkoff did the work to catch them up again.
Astana’s Lieuwe Westra went solo up the Norton Summit climb from kilometre 1 but by the 15th kilometre the field was back together.
Orica-GreenEdge got Gerrans in the right spot to claim a few more seconds of time on the first iiNet intermediate sprint at the 27.6km mark and hold off previous ochre jersey wearer Jay McCarthy (TNK).
Opportunists Pat Shaw (UNA), Frenchman Alexis Gougeard (ALM) and Aussie David Tanner (IAM) made a break and contested the second iiNet intermediate sprint in that order before being caught by the tempo set by Orica.
As it come down to it, Sergio Luis Henao (SKY) went over the KOM line first again for his second KOM win making him 14 points clear of Canadian Michael Woods (CPT) and Richie Porte (BMC) who are both on 12 points in the mountains classification. Porte, Lucas Hamilton (UNA) and Daryl Impey (OGE) made up the 4 places on the KOM today.
As the bunch headed over the climb the pace began to rise into the finish, navigating the descent and sharp city corners before rounding the straight for the finish. Gerrans had Impey leading him out and Geraint Thomas towing Ben Swift (SKY), Jay McCarthy sat on Trek-Segafredo rider Giacomo Nizzolo’s wheel after receiving a bump from both Gerrans and Nizzolo whilst sprinting for the line it went Gerrans, Swift, McCarthy and Leigh Howard (IAM).
Gerrans thanked the efforts of his team after the race today, he said he couldn’t have done it without them. “A lot of people would be surprised, myself included, that I can beat some top sprinters and get a back-to-back victory at the Santos Tour Down Under.” But riders need to be attentive at tomorrow’s Willunga Hill stage.