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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

5th Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under - 2.3

Australia, January 21-26, 2003

Home    Live report    Results    Previous Stage

Stage 6: Sunday Jan 26, Adelaide City Council circuit, 90km

Astarloza hangs on, O'Grady goes down firing, Brown takes finale

"The only thing that has changed is that I believe in myself now"

By Jeff Jones in Adelaide

Astarloza hangs on
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

23 year old Mikel Astarloza (Ag2r-Prevoyance) has won his first ever professional race, taking out the fifth edition of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under in a thrilling nail-biting finale. Astarloza's success was brought about by some excellent work from his Ag2r teammates, with Jaan Kirsipuu, Erki Putsep, Andy Flickinger and Mark Scanlon all playing key roles in today's 90 km Adelaide city circuit race. The Ag2r sprinters swallowed up the valuable bonus seconds that were on offer, preventing Lennie Kristensen (CSC, 2nd) and Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole, 3rd) from closing the gap to Astarloza.

"The most important thing with this victory is that it was a race of the team," the yellow clad Astarloza said moments after crossing the line. "They did a great job and I really owe it to them."

"I'm 23 years old and this is my first race win. I had my first ride as a pro in the Tour Down Under and to come back and win is fantastic. The only thing I hoped to do coming into this race was to try and ride well, but I didn't dream of winning. The only thing that has changed is that I believe in myself now."

Astarloza moved into the lead in yesterday's decisive stage 5, where he made the 10 man break over Willunga Hill and finished with them at the end. He was tied with CSC's Lennie Kristensen on time after that stage, but the Dane admitted to Cyclingnews before the start today that it would be very hard to get past Astarloza, and that proved to be the case.

Stuey gave it everything
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

Home town favourite Stuart O'Grady was also poised to challenge Astarloza today, needing 5 seconds to overhaul the Basque rider. But he only managed a single second, and finished in third on GC. "I gave it everything I had today," said Stuey. "I got pretty close but unfortunately not close enough."

The winner of the final stage was a very satisfied Graeme Brown (Panaria), who put everything together to cross the line well ahead of Baden Cooke (FDJeux.com) and Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2r) and confirming his status as one of Australia's top sprinters.

"I was disappointed from the first day, and then I got so close and yet so far the next few days," Brown told the media afterwards. "Today it's good to go out on a high note."

"It was a bit chaotic [at the finish]...FDJeux was working well for Baden Cooke. He's effectively had two stage wins and he's always going to be up there. I had Brett Lancaster - he couldn't quite get to the front, but he did his job right and did what was required. It's not the way we've been doing it but it worked so it doesn't really matter."

Although clearly the fastest today, Brown was denied the opportunity to beat arch-rival Robbie McEwen, who abandoned due to a knee injury yesterday. "I'm very disappointed he's not here actually because I wanted to beat him," said Brown. "I believed I could, and my team thought I could. I beat him on the first day [but was relegated], but I made a mistake when he beat my by less than a centimetre in stage 3. I'm very disappointed that he's not here, but it's in his best interests that he's not, so his knee gets better. We all want him in the Tour."

How it unfolded

Team tactics
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

A massive crowd, estimated at 60,000 people, turned out on Australia Day to watch the final stage of the 2003 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under. The weather was appreciably cooler and more humid than yesterday, with temperatures 'only' reaching 30 degrees. The riders had to complete 20 laps of a 4.5 km circuit situated next to Adelaide's River Torrens. Each lap the short climb of Montefiore Hill had to be tackled, with KOM sprints on the 10th and 16th laps. More important were the two intermediate sprints on laps 8 and 12, worth 3, 2 and 1 seconds for a top three placing.

Prior to the start, Cadel Evans told Cyclingnews that "it's going to be in AG2R's advantage to take the bonus sprints...and for Stuart to win it's easier said than done. I think we're in for probably the most exciting day's racing in the five years of the race."

Jaan Kirsipuu remained tightlipped at the start, not wanting to reveal the team plans, however, team director Laurent Biondi told Cyclingnews (via visiting French journalist Jeff Quenet) that the team plan was "to let any breaks go with more than three riders. It's possible that you may see AG2R riders create a break and then we'll certainly be part of it."

He was not expecting any co-operation from other teams in the final stage, but he was "confident in my team because they are very strong and we had six out of our eight riders finishing in the first two groups yesterday. But I can imagine the Australian riders will be co-operating" to assist Stuart O'Grady secure the overall win via the bonus sprints.

Home town advantage
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

O'Grady said before the start he "wasn't sure" if he could count on support from the other Australian riders, but as the race went on it was clear that some of his fellow countrymen were working for a win for the local hero.

One person who did have some background knowledge as to O'Grady's chances prior to the stage was his former coach from track racing days with the AIS, Charlie Walsh. "It's very tight, isn't it?" Walsh said prior to the stage.

"I think he (O'Grady) will be giving it a real good crack. To win today he's got to have a real good, dinkum go at it. You just need that ounce of luck, good team riding and it is possible."

The opening laps were very fast, with Credit Agricole and the Australian team United Water working hard to keep the tempo high. No one could escape with the average speed almost 50 km/h, and it was clear that the first bonus sprint on Lap 8 would be contested by a compact peloton.

As they charged up the finishing straight, the orange figure of Graeme Brown was clearly visible at the front with O'Grady on his wheel, trying to lead him out for the three seconds. But Ag2r's Jaan Kirsipuu and Erki Putsep combined to roll O'Grady on the line, relegating the Aussie champion to third place, gaining just one bonus second.

Australia Day
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

After that first sprint, a dangerous 12 man move went clear on Lap 9 containing (among others) Fabio Sacchi (Saeco), Andy Flickinger (Ag2r), Paolo Lanfranchi (Panaria) and David Canada (Quick Step). All were within a handful of seconds on GC, and worked hard to establish a 30 second lead. The momentum from behind was too great however, and they were swallowed up by the end of Lap 11.

That set things up for another bunch sprint at the end of lap 12, and again it was Graeme Brown in front with 500m to go trying to get O'Grady across the line first. But O'Grady didn't have the legs and finished 4th, out of the bonus seconds, which were taken by Kirsipuu, Mark Scanlon and Paolo Lanfranchi.

Brown made no secret of the fact that he was leading O'Grady out, saying that "It's good to have an Australian to win. It's good for the sport here. The fans prefer an Australian winner, especially a local winner to keep the crowds flocking down here. The crowd here is unbelievable as it is and if it gets better it's going to be awesome."

"I wasn't originally going to lead him out but at the last minute I thought if I've got good legs and if I can help an Aussie out, I will help him out."

Mark Scanlon
Photo: © CN
Click for larger image

On the other side of the coin, one of Ag2r's key protagonists in the bonus sprints was neo-pro Mark Scanlon, the young Irish rider in his first stage race with the French team. He told Cyclingnews their plan was to try to stop O'Grady winning any of the intermediate sprints. "The whole idea was that we wanted to get Credit Agricole to do the riding (at the front), not for us to do the riding."

Did he detect any support for O'Grady from the other Australian teams? "I believe they were," he said with wry understatement. "I know that Graeme Brown definitely was."

The situation with eight laps to go was that O'Grady had to win or finish second in the stage to finish on top of the overall classification, and that was looking increasingly unlikely. Despite several attempts by individual riders to escape in the closing laps, a bunch sprint was inevitable with the FDJeux.com, Quick Step, Ag2r and Panaria teams massing at the front for the final lap.

Gettin' in among the crowd
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

FDJeux.com had strength in numbers, and was hoping to deliver Baden Cooke to the line for this third stage win, but Brown was well positioned and very hungry. The sprint gathered momentum at the bottom corner with 500m to go, and despite some jostling there were no incidents this time. Cooke, Brown, and Kirsipuu hit out for the line with 200m to go, but Brown in the middle was too strong for them, winning by nearly a bike length, pumping his arms several times in triumph. Cooke finished just behind in second, with an impressive Kirsipuu holding on for third in front of O'Grady.

So ended the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under for another year, with Ag2r's Mikel Astarloza clinching the yellow jersey, Andrea Tafi (CSC) the sprints, Cadel Evans (Telekom) the mountains, Gene Bates (UniSA) the U23, ONCE the teams classification, and Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) winning a special award for the best placed South Australian rider, in memory of former South Australian cycling journalist Tanya Denver.

With 465,000 people watching the event on the roads over the last six days, the JCTDU looks to be here to stay. Its future has been assured until at least 2009, and who knows how big it could be then?


Images by www.tombalks.com

Images by Gerard Knapp/Cyclingnews.com


1 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria Fiordo                  1.52.09 (48.1 km/h)
2 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com
3 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est)  Ag2R
4 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole
5 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon
6 Nicola Gavazzi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
7 Stefan Schumacher (Ger)  Telekom
8 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) FDJeux.com
9 Julian Dean (NZl) CSC
10 Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA
11 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo
12 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski
13 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water
14 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R
15 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Lotto Domo
16 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Ag2R
17 Erki Putsep (Est) Ag2R
18 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2R
19 Arvis Piziks (Lat) CSC
20 David Canada (Spa) Quickstep-Davitamon
21 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
22 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA
23 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R
24 Stefen Wesemann (Ger) Telekom
25 Bobby Julich (USA)  Telekom
26 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski
27 Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom
28 Angel Vicioso (Spa) ONCE Eroski
29 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC
30 Brad McGee (Aus) FDJeux.com
31 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Lotto Domo
32 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC
33 Christopher Jenner (NZl) Credit Agricole
34 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quickstep-Davitamon
35 Christian Werner (Ger)  Telekom
36 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon
37 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) CSC
38 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R
39 Patrick Jonker (Aus) UniSA
40 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
41 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom
42 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2R
43 Kai Hundertmarck (Ger)  Telekom
44 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC
45 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole
46 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA
47 Alvaro Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski
48 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Domo
49 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE Eroski
50 Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski          0.17
51 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Panaria Fiordo
52 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto Domo
53 Dirk Reichl (Ger) Telekom
54 David Betts (Aus) United Water
55 Stephen Cunningham (Aus) UniSA
56 Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole
57 Glenn d'Hollander (Bel) Lotto Domo
58 Brendan Cato (Aus) United Water
59 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water
60 Ashley Hutchinson (Aus) United Water
61 Nick Gates (Aus) Lotto Domo
62 Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den) CSC
63 Dario Pieri (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
64 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Lotto Domo
65 Allan Davis (Aus) ONCE Eroski                        0.23
66 Joerg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco-Longoni Sport
67 Aaron Kemps (Aus) United Water                       0.26
68 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Credit Agricole                   0.32
69 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport              0.38
70 Davide Bramati (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon             0.40
71 Jacky Durand (Fra) FDJeux.com                        0.42
72 Matt Wilson (Aus) FDJeux.com                         0.45
73 Mickael Pichon (Fra) FDJeux.com                      1.26
74 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA                           1.42
75 Regis Lhuillier (Fra) FDJeux.com                     1.44
76 Jakob Piil (Den) CSC                                 1.52
77 Scott Davis (Aus) Panaria Fiordo                     2.42
78 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon               3.00
DNF Sergey Matveyev (Ukr) Panaria Fiordo
DNF Christophe Moreau (Fra) Credit Agricole
DNF Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Credit Agricole
DNF Christian Pepoli (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
DNF Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Mex) Panaria Fiordo
DNF Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) United Water
DNF Juan Fuentes (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport
DNF Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJeux.com
DNF Filippo Perfetto (Ita) Panaria Fiordo
DNF Ruben Bongiorno (Arg) Panaria Fiordo
Finish Arch, King William Rd - Lap 8 - 36 km
1 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est)  Ag2R                                6  3 pts/secs
2 Erki Putsep (Est) Ag2R                                   4  2
3 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole                     2  1
Finish Arch, King William Rd - Lap 12 - 54 km
1 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est)  Ag2R                                6  3 pts/secs
2 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2R                                  4  2
3 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo                    2  1
Finish Arch, King William Rd - Lap 20 - 90 km - FINISH
1 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria Fiordo                        8  6 pts/secs
2 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com                             6  4
3 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est)  Ag2R                                4  2
Montefiore Hill - Lap 10 - 42.5 Km
1 Glenn d'Hollander (Bel) Lotto Domo
2 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo
3 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R
4 Alvaro Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski
5 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
Montefiore Hill - Lap 15 - 64.0 Km
1 Alvaro Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski
2 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Lotto Domo
3 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R
4 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2R
5 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R
Most aggressive rider
1 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom
Final general classification
1 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Ag2R                        17.17.45
2 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC
3 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole                  0.04
4 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski
5 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo                 0.06
6 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski                    0.07
7 Patrick Jonker (Aus) UniSA                            0.09
8 David Canada (Spa) Quickstep-Davitamon                0.13
9 Stefen Wesemann (Ger) Telekom                         0.15
10 Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom
11 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport               0.16
12 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R                           0.32
13 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA                         0.39
14 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom                       0.43
15 Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA                             0.44
16 Angel Vicioso (Spa) ONCE Eroski                      0.45
17 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quickstep-Davitamon
18 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) CSC
19 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA
20 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2R                              0.47
21 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon         0.49
22 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R
23 Brad McGee (Aus) FDJeux.com                          0.58
24 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R                            2.17
25 Bobby Julich (USA)  Telekom                          2.21
26 Christopher Jenner (NZl) Credit Agricole
27 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2R
28 Christian Werner (Ger)  Telekom
29 Kai Hundertmarck (Ger)  Telekom                      2.31
30 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC                                5.54
31 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon                 6.06
32 Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole                   6.45
33 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Lotto Domo                     6.58
34 Dirk Reichl (Ger) Telekom                            7.41
35 Joerg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco-Longoni Sport              7.45
36 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport              9.35
37 Glenn d'Hollander (Bel) Lotto Domo                  11.22
38 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC                           11.58
39 Allan Davis (Aus) ONCE Eroski                       12.13
40 Brendan Cato (Aus) United Water                     12.15
41 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) FDJeux.com                     12.23
42 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon              12.36
43 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com                        13.24
44 Erki Putsep (Est) Ag2R                              13.32
45 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE Eroski                 13.34
46 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Domo                     13.45
47 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water                     13.47
48 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria Fiordo                   13.50
49 Regis Lhuillier (Fra) FDJeux.com                    15.34
50 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole                    15.47
51 Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den) CSC                      16.02
52 Alvaro Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski       16.15
53 Stefan Schumacher (Ger)  Telekom                    16.53
54 David Betts (Aus) United Water                      18.35
55 Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski         18.50
56 Scott Davis (Aus) Panaria Fiordo                    20.03
57 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Lotto Domo                     22.18
58 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est)  Ag2R                           22.55
59 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water                     23.03
60 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport            24.45
61 Davide Bramati (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon            24.51
62 Arvis Piziks (Lat) CSC                              24.58
63 Stephen Cunningham (Aus) UniSA                      27.06
64 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Panaria Fiordo                27.07
65 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Credit Agricole                  27.22
66 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Lotto Domo                     28.02
67 Mickael Pichon (Fra) FDJeux.com                     31.44
68 Matt Wilson (Aus) FDJeux.com                        32.14
69 Nicola Gavazzi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport            33.02
70 Dario Pieri (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport               34.31
71 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA                          51.07
72 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto Domo                   53.25
73 Ashley Hutchinson (Aus) United Water                53.36
74 Julian Dean (NZl) CSC                               57.08
75 Aaron Kemps (Aus) United Water                      57.52
76 Nick Gates (Aus) Lotto Domo                       1.00.53
77 Jacky Durand (Fra) FDJeux.com                     1.01.18
78 Jakob Piil (Den) CSC                              1.02.28
1 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC                                   34 pts
2 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com                            22
3 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est)  Ag2R                               16
4 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski                      14
5 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport                  12
6 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria Fiordo                       12
7 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA                            12
8 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA                              12
9 Matt Wilson (Aus) FDJeux.com                            12
10 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole                   10
11 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R                              8
12 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R                               8
13 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo                   6
14 Stefen Wesemann (Ger) Telekom                           6
15 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski                      4
16 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom                          4
17 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2R                                 4
18 Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole                      4
19 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon                  4
20 Erki Putsep (Est) Ag2R                                  4
21 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole                        4
22 Ashley Hutchinson (Aus) United Water                    4
23 Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA                                2
24 Stephen Cunningham (Aus) UniSA                          2
Mountains classification
1 Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom                               44 pts
2 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC                             44
3 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo                   36
4 Alvaro Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski           22
5 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA                            16
6 Glenn d'Hollander (Bel) Lotto Domo                      16
7 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R                              16
8 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski                      12
9 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R                              12
10 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Lotto Domo                        12
11 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport                  8
12 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport                 8
13 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski                      6
14 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2R                                 6
15 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon            6
16 Brad McGee (Aus) FDJeux.com                             6
17 Regis Lhuillier (Fra) FDJeux.com                        6
U23 classification
1 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA                            17.18.30
2 Dirk Reichl (Ger) Telekom                             6.56
3 Brendan Cato (Aus) United Water                      11.30
4 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) FDJeux.com                      11.38
5 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water                      13.02
6 Stefan Schumacher (Ger)  Telekom                     16.08
7 David Betts (Aus) United Water                       17.50
8 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water                      22.18
9 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Lotto Domo                      27.17
10 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA                          50.22
11 Aaron Kemps (Aus) United Water                      57.07
Best South Australian rider (Tanya Denver award)
1 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole 

Teams classification
1 ONCE-Eroski                                       51.54.22
2 Team Telekom                                          0.12
3 Ag2r Prevoyance                                       0.18
4 Credit Agricole                                       0.27
5 UniSA                                                 0.32
6 Quick Step-Davitamon                                  0.40
7 Team CSC                                              4.08
8 Saeco-Longoni Sport                                   9.53
9 Lotto-Domo                                           16.29
10 FDJeux.com                                          25.24
11 Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo                            30.14
12 United Water                                        31.23