Tom Jelte Slagter of Blanco Pro Cycling, who took his first pro win on Thursday, has secured the overall title in the Santos Tour Down Under, while Lotto Belisol’s André Greipel has made it 100 wins as a professional in Adelaide today, 14 of them coming in this race. After losing the overall lead to Slagter yesterday, Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas targeted the points jersey today – and won that, as well as the day’s combativity prize and a podium place on GC.
It was a convincing win again by Greipel, his third of this year’s race. On the 20th and final lap of the 4.5 kilometre circuit in the South Australian capital, his Lotto-Belisol team were in control at the front of the race, Sky being the only team to have men in numbers.
The pace being forced by Lotto inside the final kilometre meant the peloton behind was starting to break up, but suddenly Mark Renshaw of Blanco Pro Cycling burst through a gap in a bid to take the stage win.
Greipel, the most successful sprinter in the history of this race, simply switched the afterburners on and overhauled him, with Team Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen third.
“He surprised me a little bit,” said Greipel of Renshaw afterwards. “ I was also planning to kick but yeah he started early and so I had a bit more slip stream. He did a really good sprint but I had some power left."
Geraint Thomas, who had held the race leader’s jersey since winning Stage 2 but surrendered it yesterday to Slagter, finished sixth and won two of today’s intermediate sprints, placing third in the other to take the points jersey – what’s more, the bonus seconds he won took him to third overall.
"Yesterday was very disappointing, and we looked at the results and we realised there was still a chance of getting third," he explained afterwards Thomas. "We didn't want to just give up and throw it away. There was still one more day today and we were up for it, balls to the wall.
"They [the team] did that for me," he said. "It was unbelievable how they rode and the lead-outs. I am not the best sprinter in the world, punch-wise, especially when I am tired and don't have much kick. I just followed Edvald (and nabbed the points on the line. It was a perfect day for us."
The 23-year-old Slagter extended his lead at the top of the general classification from 13 seconds to 17 seconds, as he finished in the group of 15 riders that crossed the line ahead of the rest of the peloton.
"I’m not looking at my age, we’re all in the same peloton where more and more young riders are performing," commented Slagter, who had made his race-winning attack on the summit finish at Old Willunga Hill yesterday.
"Today I’m not thinking that I’m young but that I have won the Santos Tour Down Under and that’s a wonderful feeling! I’m really proud of what the Blanco team has done all week," he added. "It’s really nice here. For sure I’ll come back to Adelaide. I want to have the same start to the season in the future."
Movistar’s Javier Moreno, who finished second overall, took the mountains jersey while RadioShack-Loepard won the team prize.
Santos Tour Down Under Stage 6 result 1 GREIPEL, André Lotto Belisol 1:52:59 2 RENSHAW, Mark Blanco st 3 BOASSON HAGEN, Edvald Sky Procycling st 4 GOSS, Matthew ORICA GreenEDGE st 5 FARRAR, Tyler Garmin Sharp st 6 THOMAS, Geraint Sky Procycling st 7 LODEWYCK, Klaas BMC st 8 MARKUS, Barry Vacansoleil-DCM st 9 HUTAROVICH, Yauheni AG2R La Mondiale st 10 van HUMMEL, Kenny Vacansoleil-DCM st 11 ROJAS GIL, Jose Joaquin Movistar st 12 FENN, Andrew Omega Pharma-Quick-Step st 13 SUTTON, Christopher Sky Procycling st 14 SLAGTER, Tom Jelte Blanco st 15 FERRARI, Roberto Lampre-Merida st 16 DEMPSTER, Zakkari UNI SA - Australia 0:04 17 APPOLLONIO, Davide AG2R La Mondiale st 18 DE KORT, Koen Argos-Shimano st 19 HENDERSON, Greg Lotto Belisol st 20 IZAGIRRE, Gorka Euskaltel Euskadi st Final Overall Standings 1 SLAGTER, Tom Jelte Blanco 18:28:32 2 MORENO BAZAN, Javier Movistar 0:17 3 THOMAS, Geraint Sky Procycling 0:25 4 IZAGIRRE, Ion Euskaltel Euskadi 0:32 5 HERMANS, Ben Radioshack Leopard 0:34 6 KELDERMAN, Wilco Blanco st 7 IZAGIRRE, Gorka Euskaltel Euskadi 0:36 8 PIETROPOLLI, Daniele Lampre-Merida st 9 MACHADO, Tiago Radioshack Leopard 0:38 10 VEIKKANEN, Jussi FDJ 0:41
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.