Mitchelton-Scott’s Daryl Impey has become the first man ever to win back-to-back editions of the Tour Down Under as the 21st edition of the race concluded today, with Richie Porte taking his first victory in Trek-Segafredo’s colours by clinching the final stage on Willunga Hill.
It’s Porte’s sixth successive victory on the climb that provides the toughest test in the race each year, and came as it featured on the closing stage for the first ever time.
His stage win saw him jump to second overall as overnight leader Patrick Bevan of CCC Team struggled as a result of the injuries he sustained in a horrific crash on Saturday.
Wout Poels of Team Sky completed the podium and had been the only rider able to follow Porte when the Australian made his stage-winning move, but was unable to hold his wheel as he rode away to victory.
“It’s a hard race for someone like me to win, one hilltop finish and that’s it,” said Porte. “”But we came here with Trek-Segafredo – my new team – and the boys were absolutely fantastic the whole week, and they put me in good position again today. Hats off to Daryl Impey for the win, but to win six times on Willunga is a great feeling.”
“I took the pressure but having the faith of the team goes a long way,” said Impey. “We saw the boys committed right to the end. I couldn’t believe they [Porte and Poels] were that close so I just dug deep and went for it.
“That’s special to go back to back. I never dreamed to come here and win twice in a row. Every year we come here with strong ambitions. I knew the competition is always tough. I just believed in myself, and it was just fantastic to pull it off.
“Yesterday we really dug deep, and we took some valuable seconds. We knew we had some seconds on the climbing group. The stage win gave us a lot of momentum, and we started to believe we had a chance to win the race. The whole team rode great. The guys picked me up during the week.
“Last year I was a lot more ecstatic because I felt like I made a big step,” he added. "I feel like I am maturing more as a rider, and that’s so exciting.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.