Orica-GreenEdge's maiden Tour de France last year may have been disappointing, but they're the talk of this year's Tour - first with the bus getting stuck on the finish line of Saturday's Stage 1, and now with Simon Gerrans following up yesterday's individual stage win with taking the maillot jaune today as the Australian WorldTour outfit won the team time trial in Nice.
Simon Gerrans, winner of yesterday's Stage 3 of the 100th Tour de France, is now in the maillot jaune as race leader after his Orica-GreenEdge team won the Stage 4 time trial in Nice. It was a tight batle, the Australian WorldTour outfit's time of 25 minutes 56 seconds just three quarters of a second faster than the benchmark set early on by Omega Pharma-Quick Step. Team Sky were third, just 3 seconds off Orica-GreenEdge's time.
The Tour de France's first ever visit to Corsica is now over, the riders having jetted across to Nice for tomorrow's Team Time Trial, while the rest of the race entourage follows on a ferry whose bar is likely to do record trade during the seven-hour crossing. Today's Stage 3 was spectacular and thrilling, Orica-GreenEdge's Simon Gerrans proving that homework is worthwhile as he pipped Cannondale's Peter Sagan to the stage win. Here's some reaction.
Orica-GreenEdge's Simon Gerrans took on sprinting duties today and pipped Cannondale's Peter Sagan by less than half a wheel to take the Australian outfit's first ever Tour de France stage win as a select bunch contested the finale of Stage 3 of the race in Calvi this afternoon. RadioShack –Leopard’s Jan Bakelants remains in the maillot jaune, leading the race by the single second by which he had held off Sagan and the chasing bunch in Ajaccio yesterday.
Tom-Jelte Slagter of Blanco Pro Cycling is set to win the Santos Tour Down Under after wresting the race lead from Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas on the penultimate stage’s summit finish at Old Willunga Hill. Orica-GreenEdge’s Simon Gerrans celebrated Australia Day by taking the stage win ahead of Slagter.
With a number of riders within striking distance of the race lead this morning, Edvald Boasson Hagen had made sure that Thomas remained in touch as several riders played their cards on the two ascents of Old WIllunga Hill.
Simon Gerrans of GreenEdge has succeeded Matt Goss, his team mate at Australia's GreenEdge, as winner of Milan-San Remo. The Australian champion, Fabian Cancellara of RadioShack-Nissan, and Vincenzo Nibali of Liquigas-Cannondale went over the top of the Poggio together to hold off a chasing pack including three-time winner Oscar Freire and Tom Boonen. Mark Cavendish, dropped on the earlier climb of Le Manie, tried desperately to rejoin the leaders, but it proved an impossible task.
Simon Gerrans has today joined GreenEdge team mate Stuart O’Grady and Lotto-Belisol’s André Greipel in winning the overall title in the Santos Tour Down Under. Greipel himself won today’s 90-kilometre street circuit race in Adelaide, while Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde, who had started the day on the same time overall as Gerrans, was unable to pick up even a single second in time bonuses that would have given him victory.
Alejandro Valverde, back in the peloton after serving a two-year doping ban, proved the strongest rider today as the Santos Tour Down Under saw its first ever summit finish on Old Willunga Hill, but it’s the man he pipped to the line, Simon Gerrans of GreenEdge, who tonight wears the race leader’s jersey.
Simon Gerrans of GreenEdge, the only Australian to have won a stage in each of cyling’s three Grand Tours, is the country’s new national road race champion. It is the first time that the 31-year-old former Team Sky rider has won the title.
Team Sky’s Simon Gerrans has been confirmed as the latest recruit to the new Australian team, GreenEdge, which is hoping to secure ProTeam status for the 2012 season.