The final stage of the Santos Tour Down Under saw the riders take to the streets of Adelaide for a 90km circuit race comprising 20 laps of a 4.5km circuit. The course took the riders from the event village in Victoria Square over the River Torrens then into a short clockwise loop before heading down King William Road towards Victoria Square once more.

There was the usual flurry of breakaway attempts in the opening lap-and-a-half before five riders managed to get clear and start compiling an advantage. Greg Henderson (Lotto Soudal), Nathan Haas (Cannondale-Garmin), Calvin Watson (Trek Factory Racing), Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) had an advantage of 25 seconds by the start of the fourth lap while Orica-GreenEdge kept an eye on proceedings at the front of the peloton.

That 25-second lead was the most the five leaders would have with Orica-GreenEdge bringing it down to 10 seconds by the start of lap 8. On that lap Drapac fastman Wouter Wippert drifted to the back of the main field, seemingly with a mechanical. Wippert offered some clarification in his post-race interview.

“I was a bit tired,” Wippert said. “I decided to go back but a teammate of mine took me to the front again ahead of the final sprint.”

While Wippert was being paced back to the main field by his teammates, Orica-GreenEdge was making contact with the five leaders at the front of the main field just before the first intermediate sprint. The chase had worked for the Australian-registered team — Daryl Impey, in the red jersey of the points classification leader, was able to roll off the front and take out the intermediate sprint, ensuring he’d win the classification overall.

An easing of the pace after the sprint allowed another breakaway to get clear. It was Team Sky’s Peter Kennaugh that initiated the six-rider break, being joined by Manuele Boaro (in his second breakaway of the day), Lars Bak (Lotto Soudal), Alex Howes (Cannondale-Garmin), Chris Juul Jensen (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Lars Boom (Astana).

In the latter stages of lap 10 of 20 the six riders were 55 seconds ahead of the peloton. Boom, Kennaugh and Jensen took the KOM points on offer over Montefiore Hill but the result had no impact on the lead of jersey-wearer Jack Bobridge (UniSA-Australia).

On lap 11, with half the race completed, the six leaders had more than a minute’s advantage, prompting Jordan Kerby (Drapac) to come to the front to start pulling for Wouter Wippert. By the time the breakaway reached the second intermediate sprint, after 12 laps, the gap had grown to its maximum of 1:15. Bak took out the sprint, Howes was second and Boom was third.

With 14 laps complete the gap was down to 1:00 thanks to a sense of greater urgency in the peloton. Boom, Bak and Kennaugh crossed the KOM line in that order on lap 15 but again there was no change in the KOM classification.

After 15 laps, and with just five remaining, the gap was down to 50 seconds. A nasty crash on a left-hand bend the following lap saw Lampre-Merida’s Manuele Mori withdraw from the race. Meanwhile, the six leaders’ advantage was gradually coming down.

TDU_2015_Stage_6_Map

In lap 17 it was down to 30 seconds and one lap later it was within 10 seconds. Just as the break was about to be caught, at the start of the penultimate lap, Manuele Boaro punched clear of the lead group in a bid for solo glory. With Etixx-Quick-Step doing most of the chasing in the main field and Sky lurking just behind, a crash in the middle of the peloton caused a significant split.

The GC contenders were on the right side of the split and were able to continue with the lead group, while Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) was among the riders to be caught out and would lose his chance at victory.

By the end of lap 19 Boaro had been reeled in by the Sky-led main field of roughly 40 riders. IAM soon took up the charge as the race entered the final 4km, while Lampre-Merida was well placed in support of the team’s young sprinter Niccolo Bonifazio. As the finish line approached Drapac, Orica-GreenEdge and Etixx-Quick-Step made their presence felt by bringing their sprint trains to the front.

Orica-GreenEdge led the bunch into the final straight as the sprinters waited for their opportunity to pounce. Wouter Wippert made his move on the left-hand side of the road, squeezing through a small gap along the barriers to hit the front with roughly 200m to the line. Heinrich Haussler, wearing the green and gold jersey of the Australia national road race champion, was in the Dutchman’s slipstream but was unable to come around him in the lunge for the line.

For Wouter Wippert and his Australian Drapac team it was the perfect way to finish a week that had been full of just-abouts. After finishing third in the People’s Choice Classic last Sunday, Wippert also took third on stage 4 after hitting the front just a fraction too early.

For BMC it was a case of job done. Rohan Dennis had negotiated the final stage without incident, finishing on bunch time in 28th place; enough to maintain his two-second lead over Richie Porte and win the 2015 Santos Tour Down Under.

“It’s an incredible feeling to win the Santos Tour Down Under,” Dennis said after the stage. “Doing it with Cadel during his last WorldTour race took a lot of pressure off me but I was not comfortable at all in this last stage.

“I was following Richie Porte in the sprints in case he’d go for the (time) bonus but I didn’t have to worry because my team rode awesome.”

Daryl Impey took a comfortable win in the points classification, Jack Bobridge was crowned the winner of the KOM classification, and Movistar wrapped up the teams classification. And Rohan Dennis added to his prize haul with a win in the best young rider classification.

Click the links below for reports from previous stages of the 2015 Santos Tour Down Under.

Photo gallery

Race results

Santos Tour Down Under

Stage 6

: Adelaide > Adelaide

Sunday 25th January (2015)

Classification: 2.UWT

Category: Int. Men

Distance: 90km


Stage Result

1. nl
WIPPERT Wouter
Drapac Professional Cycling
01:56:09
2. au
HAUSSLER Heinrich
IAM Cycling
-
3. be
VALLéE Boris
Lotto Soudal
-
4. ru
BRUTT Pavel
Tinkoff - Saxo
-
5. za
IMPEY Daryl
Orica GreenEDGE
-
6. it
BONIFAZIO Niccolo
Lampre - Merida
-
7. au
VON HOFF Steele
NFTO
-
8. kz
TLEUBAYEV Ruslan
Astana Pro Team
-
9. de
SELIG Rüdiger
Team Katusha
-
10. fr
CHAVANEL Sébastien
FDJ
-
11. be
MEERSMAN Gianni
Etixx - Quick Step
-
12. it
NIZZOLO Giacomo
Trek Factory Racing
-
13. nl
DUMOULIN Tom
Team Giant - Alpecin
-
14. co
PANTANO GOMEZ Jarlinson
IAM Cycling
-
15. ch
SCHAR Michael
BMC Racing Team
-
16. es
SANZ Enrique
Movistar Team
-
17. it
POZZOVIVO Domenico
AG2R La Mondiale
-
18. es
IZAGIRRE Gorka
Movistar Team
-
19. ru
TSATEVICH Alexey
Team Katusha
-
20. es
FERNáNDEZ Rubén
Movistar Team
-
21. au
EVANS Cadel
BMC Racing Team
-
22. be
LAMPAERT Yves
Etixx - Quick Step
-
23. fr
BéRARD Julien
AG2R La Mondiale
-
24. au
PORTE Richie
Team Sky
-
25. au
RENSHAW Mark
Etixx - Quick Step
-
26. nz
BENNETT George
Team LottoNL-Jumbo
-
27. de
KLUGE Roger
IAM Cycling
-
28. au
DENNIS Rohan
BMC Racing Team
-
29. et
GRMAY Tsgabu
Lampre - Merida
-
30. au
SUTTON Chris
Team Sky
-
31. be
DOCKX Gert
Lotto Soudal
-
32. nz
HENDERSON Gregory
Lotto Soudal
-
33. fr
ROY Jérémy
FDJ
-
34. ch
DILLIER Silvan
BMC Racing Team
-
35. ch
WYSS Danilo
BMC Racing Team
-
36. fr
BOUET Maxime
Etixx - Quick Step
-
37. nl
DE KORT Koen
Team Giant - Alpecin
-
38. sk
VELITS Martin
Etixx - Quick Step
-
39. nl
CLEMENT Stef
IAM Cycling
-
40. ch
ELMIGER Martin
IAM Cycling
-
41. ch
KOHLER Martin
Drapac Professional Cycling
0:05
42. de
GESCHKE Simon
Team Giant - Alpecin
-
43. fr
PINEAU Cédric
FDJ
-
44. au
HAYMAN Mathew
Orica GreenEDGE
0:09
45. es
REYNES MIMO Vicente
IAM Cycling
0:20
46. gb
THOMAS Geraint
Team Sky
0:22
47. it
PUCCIO Salvatore
Team Sky
-
48. au
HEPBURN Michael
Orica GreenEDGE
0:29
49. gb
ROWE Luke
Team Sky
0:32
50. nz
BEWLEY Sam
Orica GreenEDGE
0:36
51. be
SERRY Pieter
Etixx - Quick Step
0:44
52. au
MEYER Cameron
Orica GreenEDGE
0:45
53. au
HANSEN Adam
Lotto Soudal
0:50
54. lu
DIDIER Laurent
Trek Factory Racing
-
55. nl
KEIZER Martijn
Team LottoNL-Jumbo
-
56. it
MOSER Moreno
Team Cannondale - Garmin
-
57. es
SANCHEZ Luis Leon
Astana Pro Team
-
58. gb
STANNARD Ian
Team Sky
-
59. it
ALAFACI Eugenio
Trek Factory Racing
0:56
60. it
CIMOLAI Davide
Lampre - Merida
1:01
61. au
BROWN Graeme
Drapac Professional Cycling
1:06
62. dk
BAK Lars Ytting
Lotto Soudal
-
63. dk
HANSEN Jesper
Tinkoff - Saxo
1:14
64. au
ROGERS Michael
Tinkoff - Saxo
-
65. dk
NORMAN HANSEN Lasse
Team Cannondale - Garmin
-
66. au
HAIG Jack
-
67. be
DE GENDT Thomas
Lotto Soudal
-
68. pt
MACHADO Tiago
Team Katusha
-
69. es
DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO David
Etixx - Quick Step
-
70. au
MC CONNELL Daniel
Trek Factory Racing
-
71. nz
ROULSTON Hayden
Trek Factory Racing
-
72. it
VILLELLA Davide
Team Cannondale - Garmin
-
73. es
LASTRAS Pablo
Movistar Team
-
74. ru
LAGUTIN Sergey
Team Katusha
-
75. au
KERBY Jordan
Drapac Professional Cycling
1:21
76. au
CLARKE William
Drapac Professional Cycling
-
77. au
EDMONDSON Alexander
1:25
78. it
FERRARI Roberto
Lampre - Merida
-
79. it
BOARO Manuele
Tinkoff - Saxo
-
80. fr
GOUGEARD Alexis
AG2R La Mondiale
1:46
81. fr
DUMOULIN Samuel
AG2R La Mondiale
-
82. fr
RIBLON Christophe
AG2R La Mondiale
-
83. us
STETINA Peter
BMC Racing Team
-
84. fr
DOMONT Axel
AG2R La Mondiale
2:36
85. au
TANNER David
IAM Cycling
3:03
86. it
MALACARNE Davide
Astana Pro Team
3:22
87. au
BOBRIDGE Jack
Team Budget Forklifts
3:29
88. au
ROE Thimothy
Drapac Professional Cycling
-
89. nl
MARKUS Barry
Team LottoNL-Jumbo
-
90. nl
LINDEMAN Bert-Jan
Team LottoNL-Jumbo
-
91. au
POWER Robert
-
92. au
SCOTSON Miles
-
93. ch
ZAUGG Oliver
Tinkoff - Saxo
-
94. nl
FLENS Rick
Team LottoNL-Jumbo
-
95. au
HAAS Nathan
Team Cannondale - Garmin
-
96. ca
HESJEDAL Ryder
Team Cannondale - Garmin
-
97. us
HOWES Alex
Team Cannondale - Garmin
-
98. hr
DURASEK Kristijan
Lampre - Merida
-
99. au
WATSON Calvin
Trek Factory Racing
-
100. nl
BOOM Lars
Astana Pro Team
4:01
101. de
KITTEL Marcel
Team Giant - Alpecin
4:11
102. nl
TIMMER Albert
Team Giant - Alpecin
-
103. fr
KADRI Blel
AG2R La Mondiale
-
104. us
HAGA Chad
Team Giant - Alpecin
4:28
105. gb
KENNAUGH Peter
Team Sky
-
106. dk
JUUL-JENSEN Christopher
Tinkoff - Saxo
-
107. it
BONO Matteo
Lampre - Merida
-
108. it
CARUSO Giampaolo
Team Katusha
-
109. ru
BELKOV Maxim
Team Katusha
-
110. es
HERRADA José
Movistar Team
5:47
111. it
CATALDO Dario
Astana Pro Team
-
112. es
LOBATO Juan José
Movistar Team
-
113. it
CAPECCHI Eros
Movistar Team
-
114. au
DURBRIDGE Luke
Orica GreenEDGE
-
115. au
VAN DER PLOEG Neil
Avanti Racing Team
-
116. be
DE VREESE Laurens
Astana Pro Team
-
117. nl
WESTRA Lieuwe
Astana Pro Team
-
118. ru
ISAYCHEV Vladimir
Team Katusha
-
119. nl
ROOSEN Timo
Team LottoNL-Jumbo
-
120. au
CLARKE Simon
Orica GreenEDGE
-
121. fi
VEIKKANEN Jussi
FDJ
-
DNF. it
MORI Manuele
Lampre - Merida
-
DNF. fr
JEANNESSON Arnold
FDJ
-
DNF. it
COLEDAN Marco
Trek Factory Racing
-
DNF. nz
BAUER Jack
Team Cannondale - Garmin
-