10th Tour Down Under - ProT
Australia, January 20-27, 2008
Results & report
Stage 6 - Sunday, January 27: Adelaide East End Circuit, 88 km
Complete live report
Please join us at 14.30 CDT Australia
for the sixth and final stage of the Tour Down Under, an 88km race around the
streets of Adelaide. The riders will face 16 laps of the tight and twisty 5.5km
city circuit and with Andre Greipel of Team High Road holding down a 7 second
lead on GC, it promises to be an exciting race.
Graeme Brown (Rabobank) Photo ©: Cyclingnews
The riders are lined up Photo ©: Cyclingnews
Good afternoon and welcome back to sunny Adelaide for the sixth and final stage
of the 10th Tour Down Under. As mentioned previously, today there is an 88km circuit
race around the streets of Adelaide - 16 laps of the tight and twisty 5.5km city
circuit. With Andre Greipel of Team High Road holding down a 7 second lead on
GC, it would seem the German revelation has a pretty secure hold on theleader's
ochre jersey, but Allan 'Alby' Davis of UniSA - australia is not going tohhand
it to him on a platter. Yesterday he told reporters, "We've got 88km to go yet
and we'll be fighting for the last centimetre. Another day to go and we're not
going to stop fighting. Seven seconds, it's winable, we can win it from there.
There are 3-2-1 bonus sprints, plus a 10-6-4 sprint at the end. There's more than
seven seconds to gain there. As long as we go down fighting, we're all happy."
To quote the old cliche, it's the
not the size of the dog in the fight, etc, as Davis certainly gives a lot away
in size to Greipel, who's been called 'gorilla' since his dominant performance
here in Adelaide. The thing that both UniSa - Australia and Team High Road share
is a 'nothing-to-lose' attitude. UniSa because it's made of riders from other
teams who are keen to make an impression - especially the still uncontracted
Davis - while Team High road is keen to atttract a full naming rights sponsor,
since T-Mobile withdrew late last year.
So the riders have assembled at the start line in Rundle Road and they face light
to moderate winds out on the course, although the temperatures are a civilised
26 degrees, which should make for attacking riding.
Photo ©: Cyclingnews
14:39 CST 3km/85km to go
And they're away! And
immediately a rider from FDJ has attacked and he's been joined by three others
and they have a 50 metre gap .... but not for long. The peloton is not letting
14:45 CST 4km/84km to go
A Quick Step rider,
Leonardo Scarselli (Ita), has now attacked and going hard. They're still on
the first lap. We spoke to Stuart O'Grady of Team CSC before the start, "we
are having a good time, all of the crowds have been great". Last night at the
TDU 'Legends Dinner' Stuey made the winning bid of AUD$12K for an orginal jersey
owned by Miguel Indurain, which he dontedt to a charity auction to benefit the
Amy gillett Foundation. "Miguel's jersey will look good and the money goes to
the Amy Gillet Foundation". Fellow Australian but rival, Nick Gates of Silence
- Lotto, said, " my role will be to work for Robbie (McEwen) in the sprint finish".
Of the current race leader, Andre Greipel, he said, "He is a pretty scary dude
... looking at him he looks like The Hulk."
14:46 CST 6km/82km to go
They have come through
for the first lap without incident. Huge crowds line the course, as the mild
conditions have really brought out the fans. Team CSC is on the front.
14:48 CST 9km/79km to go
We also spoke to big
Dave Sanders, the wily manager of UniSA who will be hoping to direct alby Davis
to the upset win. "It will be on. He can definetely do it - we haven't got anything
to lose. The big boy (Greipel) has got some horsepower but he tends to get lost
in the sprint and this track isn't that wide. We will target him for the first
sprint them probably sit back until the finish. I'm confident."
14:49 CST 10km/78km to go
Yoann Offredo (Fra)
of FDJ has a go - these young French riders have been awesome in this year's
TDU - always on the attack. He's got 50 metres.
14:51 CST 11km/77km to go
OK so that's two laps
down and 14 to go. Rabobank's hope for the sprint is Australian Graeme Brown,
who told us, "Yesterday we had another setback, but today we will try once again.
We have five guys here, so it could be tough. It's a headwind down the straight
so we will give it our best".
14:53 CST 13km/75km to go
Team High Road manager
Alan Peiper said "We will be defending today. We don't really have to do anything
other than that. There are bonus seconds available so if it comes down to that
he will have to go for that. It's really up to UniSA to control the race. We
are soberly confident, it is only 7 seconds, and anything can happen. we will
see. Greipel is a bit nervous, obviously. He will be following Alby today."
Out on the course, the pace is high, too high for an atttack to go clear.
14:56 CST 14km/74km to go
Meanwhile, the challenger,
Allan Davis, said just before the start, "We will do our best, this team has
been riding like a big professional outfit even though we have only been together
for a few days. I would just like to thank my team, without them I would never
have been were I am now." Alby also has some big motors on his team and a fair
bit of experience, too, with Karl Menzies, Luke Roberts - one of the fastest
men in the world over 4km - and the highly experienced Matt Wilson.
14:57 CST 17km/71km to go
So there are 13 laps
to go and we've got two more before the first intermediate sprint. It's a high
pace and the peloton is altogether.
14:58 CST 18km/70km to go
Alby's brother, Scott
Davis, is a key rider on Team High Road. Any brotherly conflict? Not really,
his job is to protect Andre Greipel. "Well it must be tough for him, but I think
his professionalism will shine through," he said of the big sprinter.
15:00 CST 19km/69km to go
Team CSC has an emerging
young rider in the Tasmanian, Matt Goss, who's been gradually building his form
during the TDU. "I am feeling good, yesterday hurt a bit but I will go for it
today. See how Stuey is feeling before we decide who we will get up there for
the sprint". And then afterwards? "I am looking forward to the bbq tonight,
it will be a bit of fun and relaxing." But before that, he's got 60km of suffering
15:01 CST 20km/68km to go
The Dutch rider, Koen
De Kort of Astana, told us, "I like this race, the weather has been great. I
have been here in Australia for the past four months staying in Bundaberg (home
town of the Davis brothers), so I feel a little like a local".
15:04 CST 22km/66km to go
Andre Greiepl has really
been a revelation this year. Nick Gates of Silence - Lotto, apart from comparing
Andre to a Marvel Comics creation, said, "He has obvouisly been training hard
through November and December, so it's good for Team High Road after what happened
over the winter", referring to its sponsorship woes. So we've got 12 to go and
next up is the first all-important intermediate sprint.
15:06 CST 23km/65km to go
We've got UniSA and
Team CSC on the front with the field altogether as they crank it up for the
15:08 CST 24km/64km to go
They're still together
as the sprinters' teams control the front, with Team High Road in close attendance.
A minor subtext to tday's battle for GC is the points competition, as Davis,
Greipel and Credit Agricole's Mark Renshaw are all locked on 24 points in the
points competition, but it's of minor consequence compared to the overall.
15:13 CST 28km/60km to go
We also spoke to Brett
Lancaster from Team Milram, "Today I'll see how the hip is and if it's alright
I'll give it a go at the finish". And Koen de Kort from Astana had also said
he's hoping to set up Aaron Kemps for the sprint, too. The field hits the line
for the first intermediate sprint and Alby gets it! Amazingly, it looked like
Greg Henderson from Team High Road in second and then Stuey in third! Where's
15:15 CST 29km/59km to go
So it looks like Allan
Davis has just knocked 3 seconds off Greipel's lead - 5 more to go to secure
15:19 CST 32km/56km to go
Coming up for 10 to
go and the field is together. Great work before by UniSA although it looks like
big Karl Menzies may have impeded - ever so slightly - big Andre's run to the
line as High Road did a three-man lead-out, but still Alby got through and came
off Henderson's wheel. Behind the field, 'Burt' Lancaster has abandoned.
15:21 CST 34km/54km to go
Mauro Da Dalto (Ita)
of Liquigas has attacked the field and has made 100 metres, while behind UniSa
and CSC lead the peloton.
15:22 CST 36km/52km to go
And like hungry cattledogs
they chase him down. The pace is really high as there are some quality riders
working hard on the front and the field is being strung out - very hard work
for those riders at the back of the field when it goes through the tight 180-dgree
15:27 CST 39km/49km to go
And Benoit Joachim
from Astana has attacked and opened up a gap of about 100 metres. Nothing too
serious yet but UniSa would want to contest out every sprint if Davis is going
to overcome the German powerhouse. And it looks like a Quick Step rider is going
across to join Joachim.
15:29 CST 42km/46km to go
So the field has two
more laps before the next intermediate sprint and the chasing has brought back
Joachim and the Quick Step rider, whose time off the front was so short we didn't
even get his number.
15:35 CST 45km/43km to go
And with 8 laps to
go the field is still all together. CSC has really been active on the front
as it's working towards some ProTour points and wants its place in this finale,
so it seems. As they say at many an Australian cycling event, 'welcome to the
business end of the bike race'; in this case a six-day Tour.
15:38 CST 48km/40km to go
The pace is really
on but an attack has been launched from a Silence - Lotto rider and he's got
about 80 metres. It looks like Matt Lloyd ... he's a climber!
15:40 CST 52km/36km to go
There are 6 CSC riders
on the front of the peloton, while Graeme Brown of Rabobank and Karl Menzies
of UniSa are in close attendance. The field just got the bell for the next intermediate
sprint, and with 7 laps to go.
15:45 CST 54km/34km to go
And the field remains
together as Team High Road gets up the front to reserve some space for Big Andre.
So Davis has taken a few seconds off him ...
15:49 CST 56km/32km to go
And Big Andre gets
the next intermediate sprint from Davis, he's taken back a second and in third
was Michael Albasini (Swi) of Liquigas. So we're set up for the grand finale.
15:51 CST 59km/29km to go
We've now got five
laps to go and it looks like Davis will have to win the final sprint and Greipel
will have to be out of the points for Davis to secure the overall win on GC.
If Andre comes second to Alby he still gets the overall, and if he's third it
looks like it'll be another dead heat on time, and then the winner will be determined
on a countback.
15:53 CST 62km/26km to go
So with five to go
and in that last sprint, with a clear run to the line Greipel outsprinted Alby
by a bike-length. This German rider is really fast in this year's TDU.
15:57 CST 64km/24km to go
There are tens of thousands
of people lining today's street circuit. Once again present in the crowd are
fans with a banner in support of Robbie McEwen and thanking the UCI for giving
the race ProTour status - this group has now been at every stage of the event.
And nobody is leaving their spot at the barricades.
16:02 CST 67km/21km to go
A group of five riders
has got away and built a small gap; it includes Koen De Kort (Ned) of Astana,
Caisse D'Epargne's Nicolas Portal (Fra) and Wim Vansevenant (Bel) of Silence
- Lotto. The peloton is being led by UniSA.
16:04 CST 70km/18km to go
So with four laps to
go this group has a lead of about 250 metres while UniSa stays on the front
of the main field.
16:06 CST 72km/16km to go
UniSa is working hard
on the front and keeping the gap to about 300 metres or 11 seconds. There are
now three laps to go.
Almost all the UniSA team was on the
front as they went past the start finish line to signify three laps to go. The
leaders have about 13 seconds on the main field. The riders in the break include
Koen De Kort (Ned) of Astana, Caisse D'Epargne's Nicolas Portal (Fra) and Luis
Leon sanchez, as well as Wim Vansevenant (Bel) of Silence - Lotto and Francesco
Gavazzi (Ita) of Lampre.
16:15 CST 77km/11km to go
With two laps to go
the gap is down to 10 seconds, while UniSa leads the chase and CSC is starting
to help, as well as a few Credit Agricole riders. Stuey O'Grady can be seen
up the front, while McEwen can't be seen, but as we all know, that doesn't mean
anything as he can always materialise in the last 200 metres.
16:17 CST 79km/9km to go
Got 'em - the peloton
is back together and now the jostling for the final sprint begins. UniSa can't
relax too much to save its strength for the final lead-out as any lull in the
pace will only result in a counter-attack.
16:19 CST 80km/8km to go
There are several crashes
being called out in the peloton, riders from Ag2r and Euskaltel falling, injuries
16:21 CST 83km/5km to go
And there goes the bell
to signify one lap to go, McEwen has materialised while CSC cranks away on the
16:23 CST 85km/3km to go
It's pretty hectic in
the peloton as it's being led by CSC and Credit Agricole. Nick Gates has put
McEwen into a good spot, and there is Graeme Brown, too. High Road getting in
to position and even Philippe Gilbert of FDJ, the KoM jersey wearer, also present.
16:24 CST 86km/1km to go
Gilbert is second wheel
and now he goes but doesn't get far.
It's High Road to the front as this
team lifts the pace - the best form of defence, etc.
16:25 CST 87km/1km to go
Greipel is at 10th wheel
in the final kilometre with Renshaw on Davis' wheel ...
16:27 CST 88km/0km to go
Brownie is going hard
and leads the sprint, but there's Greipel and he gets a clear run to the line
16:27 CST 88km/0km to go
And he gets it! Our
unofficial winner of the 10th Tour Down Under is andre Greipel of Team High
Road after he took out the final stage in a full-on sprint finish.
Greipel got it by half-a-wheel to
a Gerosteiner rider, possibly Forster who took over the lead-out from Brownie,
who got third and it looks like Rojas from Caisse D'Epargne in fourth, and then
possibly McEwen in fourth. Davis was out of this one.
Greipel says on the finish line, "I'm
really proud of it and I had thebest support in this race. My team-mates were
talking to me all the time and I had the best support throughout". He says that
Menzies did impede his progress in the first intermdiate sprint, "but in the
end the best rider won".
Postscript: Cyclingnews spoke to the chief commissaire after the race
and he said he was perfectly happy with the first sprint and that no action
could or would be taken.
By Gerard Knapp
The field was greeted by 26 degree temperatures and a moderate breeeze in otherwise
perfect racing conditions on Sunday afternoon in Adelaide. It was frantic from
the gun and while riders tried, none could get away.
They had to complete 16 laps of the 5.5km city circuit to make up the 88km
stage around the streets of Adelaide. After the first five laps, Allan Davis
from UniSA took out the first intermediate sprint, while Andre Greipel took
out the second to even the score. With just under five laps to go a group of
five riders had opened up a 13 second lead. It included Koen De Kort (Ned) of
Astana, Caisse D'Epargne's Nicolas Portal (Fra) and Luis Leon Sanchez, as well
as Wim Vansevenant (Bel) of Silence - Lotto and Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) of Lampre.
However, with less than two laps to go, the UniSA boys had brought them back,
with some help from CSC. In the final mad dash for the line, Andre Greipel showed
his pure strength to take the final sprint and with it, the overall classification
of the 10th Tour Down Under.
After the finish, Greipel said, "I'm really proud of it and I had the best
support in this race. My team-mates were talking to me all the time and I had
the best support throughout". He says that UniSA's Karl Menzies did impede his
progress in the first intermdiate sprint, "but in the end the best rider won".
Indeed he did, as it was Greipel's third stage win in a row, his fourth in the
TDU and fifth this week, as he also took out the Down Under Classic last Sunday.
He's arrived in emphatic fashion.
Provisional results of stage 6, Tour Down Under, January 27, 2008
1 Andre Greipel (Ger) Team High Road 1.15.13
2 Jan Robert Forster (Ger) st
3 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank
4 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne
5 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Rabobank
6 Aurelien Clerc (Swi) Bouygues Telecom
7 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre
8 Allan Davis (Aus) UniSA - Australia
9 Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) Liquigas
10 Davide Vigano (Ita) Quick Step
Provisional General Classification after Stage 6
1 Andre Greipel (Ger) Team High Road 18.46.03
2 Allan Davis (Aus) UniSA - Australia .15
3 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne .48
4 Mickael Delage (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux .52
5 Mickael Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone st
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