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.”
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.