The unstoppable force that is Orica-GreenEdge cleans up at the 2016 Santos Tour Down Under proving they are the strongest team on the WorldTour circuit right now.
Caleb Ewan took the stage win with a perfectly timed attack that no one could match as he sprinted up to the line on King Williams Street in Adelaide. Slipping between the cracks in the riders as he is so well practiced he took line honors and protected his team mate Simon Gerrans who has taken the General Classification win and his fourth Tour Down Under win.
In the opening laps of stage 6 attacks come thick and fast, with Astana having a two riders in the first break, Laurens De Vreese and Lieuwe Westra making the attack with Carlos Verona (EQS) George Bennett (TLJ) and Adam Phelan of Drapac but were caught on lap 4.
A counter attack made by Maarten Tjallingii of Team LottoNL-Jumbo and Thomas De Gendt of Lotto-Soudal then broke from the peloton and held a lead of about 30 seconds through both iiNet intermediate sprint points, taking the points away from those who needed it. Even Jay McCarthy was robbed in the first sprint by Daryl Impey from Orica-GreenEdge in order to protect his team mate Simon Gerrans’ lead.
Nathan Earle (Drapac) and young-gun Lucas Hamilton (UniSA) each made solo chase and got stuck in between the break and the peloton before they were caught again.
Both Subaru KOM points were also taken by the De Gendt and Tjallingii partnership with Jarlinson Pantano (IAM) going third over the hill each time in the peloton.
Lieuwe Westra and Laurens De Vreese again made a break and raised the pace of the bunch one last time before they all came together for the final 3 laps.
Tinkoff looked strong on the front of the peloton trying to get Jay McCarthy in the perfect position but Team Sky was also pushing Henao closer to the front.
Mark Renshaw and his team Dimension Data also had high hopes for the end of the day.
Coming into the final straight up toward the line Orica-GreenEdge was working really hard and set Ewan up perfectly.
As it stood, Simon Gerrans lead was not touched and he has come out the overall winner of the six stage race.
Gerrans thanked his team at the finish line for a great week and their support.
Ewan told of how the sprint to the line went down, “Yeah I actually got caught a fair way back coming back here, I ideally wanted to be in the first 8 wheels but I was way back in the bunch, I dived into the inside of the corner and I locked up a few times and it was a bit sketchy. “Luckily I got to the front position where I wanted to and my team came up in the end to help me and positioned me behind Sky.”
Here are today’s finishing results:
1: Caleb Ewan (AUS) – OGE
2: Mark Renshaw (AUS) – DDD
3: Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA) – TFR
4: Adam Blythe (GBR) – TNK
5: Peter Velits (SVK) – BMC
6: Ben Swift (GBR) – SKY
7: Marko Kump (SLO) – LAM
8: Davide Martinelli (ITA) – EQS
9: Leigh Howard (AUS) – IAM
10: Wouter Wippert (NED) – CPT
Here is the General Classification run down:
1:Simon Gerrans (AUS) – OGE
2: Richie Porte (AUS) – BMC @9
3: Sergio Henao (COL) – SKY @11
4: Jay McCarthy (AUS) – TNK @ 20
5: Michael Woods (CAN) – CPT @ 20
6: Ruben Fernandez Andujar (ESP) – MOV @28
7: Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) – ALM @28
8: Rafael Valls Ferri (ESP) – LTS @28
9: Steve Morabito (SUI) – FDJ @49
10: Patrick Bevin (NZL) – CPT @50
View all the results here at the Santos Tour Down Under wesbite.