Wouter Wippet (Drapac) won the Stage, but the home fans had the most reason to celebrate with the final standings seeing an Australian trifecta in the Santos Tour Down Under.
Adelaide born and bred rider Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) held on to his slender lead to win the 2015 Santos Tour Down Under, with Tasmanian Richie Porte (Team Sky) finishing 2nd overall and Victorian Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) third.
After crossing the line as champion, Dennis paid tribute to his teammates for their hard work during this Tour.
“It’s an incredible feeling to win the Santos Tour Down Under,” Dennis said. “Doing it with Cadel during his last World Tour 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.
“I couldn’t fault them, they sat at the front and made sure I was out of the wind,” said Dennis. “Even when I got pushed back someone always dropped back and pulled forward.
“They have really helped me win this and made it a lot easier.”
BMC Racing General Manager Jim Ochowicz paid tribute to Dennis and suggested he is a rider for the future. Ochowicz said “We came here for Cadel, he tried, he got third, but Rohan was just better.”
While speaking of Evans, Ochowicz added “Cadel is so happy to end his career like this, it’s a great end to a great career.”
The Be Safe, Be Seen MAC Stage 6 took riders for 20 laps around the 4.5 kilometre circuit of Adelaide and was expected to result in a bunch sprint and a chance for Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) to win his first stage, but a nasty crash on the 2nd last lap took the big German out of calculations and left a group of about 50 riders to fight out the stage.
Drapac’s Wouter Wippert showed that he is a sprinter of the future as he was able to leave Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) and Boris Vallee (Lotto-Soudal) in his wake and claim the Stage win.
“It was a really nervous race,” said Wippert. “The team rode all day in the front (but) I was a bit tired and I decided to go back but a teammate of mine took me to the front again ahead of the final sprint.
“I saw a crash happening but not much because the race was so fast,” Wippert said. “It’s fantastic to win here, being part of an Australian team in Australia for a World Tour race.”
Another local lad, Jack Bobridge (Uni SA) was confirmed as the winner of the Subaru King of the Mountain but despite his elation at winning the category, was disappointed he got caught up in the crash as he’d hoped to help von Hoff try for the stage win.
“I didn’t crash but I was caught behind the crash. It’s just bad because I wanted to help Steele von Hoff in the final sprint.
But the whole week has been fantastic and I couldn’t ask for much more” said Bobridge.
Darryl Impey (Orica-GreenEDGE) made sure that he would win the iiNET Sprint Classification by joining the early break and winning the first of two intermediate sprints.
That win gave Impey an unassailable lead in the race for the Sprinters jersey.
Movistar claimed the Team Classification, narrowly edging out BMC racing with Lotto-Soudal third.
Stage 6 Top 10: Adelaide, 90km
1 Wouter Wippert (NED) Drapac 1hr 56min 09sec
2 Heinrich Haussler (AUS) IAM Cycling
3 Boris Vallée (BEL) Lotto Soudal
4 Pavel Brutt (RUS) Tinkoff-Saxo
5 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge
6 Niccolò Bonifazio (ITA) Lampre-Merida
7 Steele von Hoff (AUS) UniSA-Australia
8 Ruslan Tleubayev (KAZ) Astana Pro Team
9 Rudiger Selig (GER) Team Katusha
10 Sébastien Chavanel (FRA) FDJ.fr
General Classification Top 10
1 Rohan Dennis (AUS) BMC Racing Team 19hr 15min 18sec
2 Richie Porte (AUS) Team Sky 0:00:02
3 Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC Racing Team 0:00:20
4 Tom Dumoulin (NED) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:22
5 Rubén Fernandez (ESP) Movistar Team 0:00:24
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:31
7 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge 0:00:35
8 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (ESP) Movistar Team 0:00:52
9 Jarlinson Pantano (COL) IAM Cycling 0:00:53
10 George Bennett (NZL) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:00:57