Davis wins Tour Down Under, Armstrong impresses in comeback

Sprinter becomes 9th Aussie to win home tour, Lance Armstrong finishes 29th overall

by Barney Fletcher   January 25, 2009  

Allan Davis at the 2009 TDU (pic courtesy Photosport International)

Quickstep rider Allan Davis and his team held off the challenge of fellow Aussie Robbie McEwen to claim the winner's ochre jersey in the year's Tour Down Under. Going in to the final stage, 18 laps of a 4.5Km street circuit, Davis held a 25 second advantage over McEwen, Lance Armstrong was a further 24 seconds down finishing 29th overall. Quickstep marked every move on the day to ensure there man came home first.

The final sprint finish went to the Italian Francesco Chicchi of Liquigas, but there was controversy at the end too when another Australian sprinter, Graeme Brown, veered off his line much to the consternation of McEwen who afterwards angrily claimed that it cost him the stage and handed the win to Chicchi. The race judges are looking at the incident – Brown's woes didn't end there, not only did he appear to break the rules by deviating from his line, but then his one of his shoe dis-engaged from the pedal just short of the line.

David headed the general classification from the second stage onwards, he had twice been runner up at the TDU and his pre-race ambitions for this year's edition ran to bagging a couple of stage wins afterwards he said:

"I've finally done it, I can't believe it… We just had to protect the jersey here today. I'd like to thank Quick Step and my team again. It's been an amazing week."

An amazing week for Armstrong too, his finish was a very creditable performance for a man who hasn't raced professionally for over three years. Armstrong even felt strong enough to give the 144,000 crowd something to cheer when he attacked and jumped across to a breakaway group on the penultimate lap. That of course spurred a counter-attack from the peloton which quickly reeled in the break.

"I can't lie. I felt pretty good today," said the 37-year-old American afterwards.

"It was a comfortable circuit and I gave it a little go with a couple of laps left but I needed to be with some more guys. I couldn't stay away from the charging field.

"It helps when you have good legs. I felt a lot better today, actually felt the best day of the entire week so when you feel good and you have good legs, you have to go for it don't you."

Lance Armstrongs participation in the Tour Down Under confirms if confirmation were needed the massive public and media interest his comeback has generated. Behind him in Australia he will leave some very grateful race organisers and a very happy South Australian Government which will no doubt be patting itself on the back that the reputed $1m appearance fee it paid Armstrong was money well spent in terms of the income generated for the local tourist economy and the massive amounts of media exposure received.

Next up for Armstrong is the Tour of California from 14-22 February.

Tour Down Under General Classification Final Placings
1 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step 19hrs 26mins 59secs


2 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank at 0.25


3 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at 0.30


4 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale at same time


5 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Francaise Des Jeux at 0.37


6 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Columbia - High Road at 0.38


7 Matthew Wilson (Aus) UniSA at 0.39


8 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C at 0.40


9 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Francaise Des Jeux at same time


10 Mickael Cherel (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux at same time


11 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Slipstream at same time


12 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at same time


13 George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia - High Road at same time


14 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale at 0.44


15 Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse d’Epargne at same time,

Tour Down Under Stage 6 result
1 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas 1hr 42mins


2 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha at same time


3 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank at same time


4 Gregory Henderson (Nzl) Team Columbia - High Road at same time


5 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at same time


6 Tom Leezer (Ned) Rabobank at same time


7 Willem Stroetinga (Ned) Team Milram at same time


8 Guillaume Blot (Fra) Cofidis at same time


9 Jacopo Guanieri (Ita) Liquigas at same time


10 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale at same time


11 Chris Sutton (Aus) Garmin-Slipstream at same time


12 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank at same time


13 Mathieu Drujon (Fra) Caisse d’Epargne at same time


14 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C at same time


15 Rony Martias (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom at same time


And if you missed the rest of the race here's what happened…

Stage 5 Result:
1 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step 3hrs 28mins 33secs


2 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at same time


3 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale at same time


4 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank at same time


5 Jeremy Roy (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux at same time


6 Laurent Lefevre (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom at same time


7 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Francaise Des Jeux at same time


8 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Slipstream at same time


9 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Silence - Lotto at same time


10 Julien El Fares (Fra) Cofidis at same time

Top 3 General Classification after Stage 5
1 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step 17hrs 44mins 59secs


2 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank at 0.25


3 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at 0.30

Stage 4 Result
1 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step 3hrs 29mins 35secs


2 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank at same time


3 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at same time


4 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank at same time


5 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Team Columbia - High Road at same time


6 Tom Leezer (Ned) Rabobank at same time


7 Davide Vigano (Ita) Fuji-Servetto at same time


8 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Francaise Des Jeux at same time


9 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha at same time


10 Sebastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale at same time

Top 3 General Classification after Stage 4
1 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step 14hrs 16mins 36secs


2 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank at 0.04


3 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank at 0.15

Stage 3 Result
1 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank 3hrs 15mins 35secs


2 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step at same time


3 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank at same time


4 George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia - High Road at same time


5 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at same time


6 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale at same time


7 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at same time


8 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom at same time


9 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C at same time


10 Mickael Cherel (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux at same time

Top 3 General Classification after Stage 3
1 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step 10hrs 47mins 11secs


2 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank at same time


3 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank at 0.05

Stage 2 Result
1 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step 3hrs 46mins 25secs


2 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank at same time


3 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale at 0.02


4 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank at same time


5 George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia - High Road at 0.04


6 José Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne at same time


7 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C at same time


8 Tom Leezer (Ned) Rabobank at same time


9 Mickael Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis at same time


10 Andre Greipel (Ger) Team Columbia - High Road at same time

Top 3 General Classification after Stage 2
1 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step 7hrs 31mins 42secs


2 André Greipel (Ger) Team Columbia - High Road at 0.03


3 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank at 0.04

Stage 1 result
1 Andre Greipel (Ger) Team Columbia - High Road 3hrs 45mins 27secs


2 Baden Cooke (Aus) UniSA at same time


3 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank at same time


4 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha at same time


5 Jacopo Guanieri (Ita) Liquigas at same time


6 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step at same time


7 Willem Stroetinga (Ned) Team Milram at same time


8 Timothy Gudsell (NZl) Francaise Des Jeux at same time


9 Luca Barla (Ita) Team Milram at same time


10 Andrea Grendene (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C at same time

General Classification after Stage 1
1 Andre Greipel (Ger) Team Columbia - High Road 3hrs 45mins 16secs


2 Baden Cooke (Aus) UniSA at 0.05


3 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Silence - Lotto at same time