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2nd stage win for Ben Swift (Team Sky) and the overall for Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Cervélo) in the Santos Tour Down Under 2011

Added: sunday 23 January 2011 at 11:46:00
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    2nd stage win for Ben Swift (Team Sky) and the overall for Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Cervélo) in the Santos Tour Down Under 2011The final of the last stage of the Santos Tour Down Under 2011 was like a remake of last year's. Ben Swift (Team Sky) won the sprint ahead of his team mate Greg Henderson and Matt Goss (HTC-Highroad) finished third.

    What's usually said about the leader of the general classification after the Willunga stage (that he'll win the Tour Down Under) has once again been verified because Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Cervélo) remains the leader of the general classifications, only 2 seconds (with the different bonus seconds being awarded) ahead of Matt Goss (HTC-Highroad).

    The summary of the 6th stage of the Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide

    The last stage of the Santos Tour Down Under 2011 took place, as usual, on a city circuit which is nicknamed the Champs-Elysées of Adelaide (at the end of the circuit there's a 180 degrees round turn similar to the one in front of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris). 20 laps on the 4.5 km long circuit gave a total distance of 90 kilometers for this stage.

    Cameron MeyerWith the bonus seconds which were awarded at the two intermediate sprints and on the finish line, this Santos Tour Down Under 2011 more or less ended in a battle between Matt Goss (HTC-Highroad), who wore the first ochre jersey, and Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Cervélo) who was leading the general classification with only 8 seconds on Goss.

    The first lap immediately saw the first attack, by Matthew Wilson (Garmin-Cervélo) who was joined by Stuart O'Grady (Leopard-Trek) and also Iñaki Isasi (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Dimitri Champion (AG2R La Mondiale). Luke Durbridge (UniSA-Australia) joins the breakaway in the second lap.

    Stuart O'GradyFollowing an attack by O'Grady in the 7th lap, the breakaway fell apart and O'Grady seemed to be the only one who wanted to stay ahead. Not for a long tiome though because at the end of this tour he also decided to get back to the peloton.

    In the 8th lap, where the riders could took additional points and bonus seconds in the first intermediate sprint, several Garmin-Cervélo riders attacked in order to prevent Matt Goss from taking some seconds to catch up with Cameron Meyer. This strategy didn't really work out because before the sprint all riders had been taken back and Michael Matthews (Rabobank) won it ahead of Matt Goss and André Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto). Matthews, maybe *the* sprint revelation of this Santos Tour Down Under 2011, thus took 3 seconds for the general classification (which allowed him to theoretically being able to win it if he'd won the stage and neither Meyer nor Goss finished among the 3rd first stage finishers) while Matthew Goss saw his gap with Meyer decrease with 2 seconds.

    In preparation of the 10th climb of Montefiore Hill which awarded points for the King of the Mountain classification, Juan Horrach (Katusha Team) attacked in the 9th lap. The leader of this classification, Luke Roberts joined him however, just like Bruno Pires (Leopard-Trek). The Australian rider Roberts than showed he really deserved the white jersey of this classification because he arrived first on top and thus took 16 additional points, making him unbeatable by his first competitor, Ben Hermans (Team Radioshack).

    After the climb, Alfredo Balloni (Lampre-ISD) and David Tanner (Saxo Bank-Sungard) attacked from the peloton and joined the 3 others in the leading group. In the 12th lap however, BMC Racing Team, Astana and HTC-Highroad speeded up the peloton to get back on these 5 riders.

    The second intermediate sprint was a little bit unorganised and the riders who took the points were thus not necessarily the sprinters who planned to take them. Jos van Emden won it ahead of his team mate Tom Leezer (Rabobank) and Allan Davis (Astana).

    Stuart O'Grady2 laps further, a new leading group was formed, this time with 7 riders: again Stuart O'Grady (Leopard-Trek), who was awarded the title of most aggressive rider for his attacks, Nicki Sörensen and David Tanner (Saxo Bank-Sungard), Francesco Reda (Quick Step), Alessandro Spezialetti (Lampre-ISD), Mitchell Docker (UniSA-Australia) and Simon Zahner (BMC Racing Team). The last points of the KOM classification were thus awarded to riders among this group (Roberts was the unattainable leader of this classification anyway) with Mitchell Docker arriving first on top, ahead of Reda et Zahner.

    Following a new attack by O'Grady in the 18th lap, the leading group got reduced to the Australian rider and Zahner and Sörensen. In the following lap, O'Grady paid the price of his repeated attacks because when Sörensen attacked only Zahner was able to follow him. As usual, the peloton got back together in the last lap and a bunch sprint was thus being prepared.
    Quickly it becomes clear that Team Sky ticked this stage because their lead-out train got formed at the front of the peloton and Ben Swift, who already won the 2nd stage, won it, ahead of his team mate Greg Henderson and Matthew Goss (HTC-Highroad).

    Goss thus took 4 additional bonus seconds but this wasn't enough for him to beat Cameron Meyer. Indeed, after the 2 seconds he took in the first sprint the gap was down to only 6 seconds and at the finish only ... 2 seconds thus remained!
    Ben Swift - © Tour Down Under / John Veage

    The video of the 6th stage of the Santos Tour Down Under 2011

    Ben Swift's comments after his second stage victory in the 2011 Santos Tour Down Under

    PodiumAfter having crossed the finish line, Ben Swift (Team Sky) declared: I was struggling about half way through the stage after my efforts on Willunga Hill yesterday but my team did an absolutely perfect job for me. It was straight out of the book of how to do a lead-out and all I had to do then was finish it off.

    Mathew Hayman had been protecting me the whole day and practically did a lap on the front by himself before we made our move up the outside. I couldn't have done this without the rest of the guys either and those final laps were just unbelievable.
    .

    The final classifications of the 2011 Santos Tour Down Under

    The classification of the 6th and last stage

    Here's the top 10 of the last stage of the Santos Tour Down Under 2011 :

    1/ Ben Swift (Team Sky) - 1h53'47"
    2/ Greg Henderson (Team Sky)
    3/ Matthew Goss (HTC-Highroad)
    4/ Robbie McEwen (Team Radioshack)
    5/ Juan José Haedo (Saxo Bank-Sungard)
    6/ Allan Davis (Astana)
    7/ André Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto)
    8/ Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)
    9/ Davide Viganò (Leopard-Trek)
    10/ Jonathan Cantwell (UniSA-Australia)

    The overall general classification of the 2011 Santos Tour Down Under

    Cameron MeyerHere's the final top 10 of the Santos Tour Down Under 2011:

    1/ Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Cervélo) - 17h54'27"
    2/ Matthew Goss (HTC-Highroad) - +0'02"
    3/ Ben Swift (Team Sky) - +0'08"
    4/ Michael Matthews (Rabobank) - +0'09"
    5/ Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank) - +0'10"
    6/ Francisco Ventoso (Movistar Team) - +0'17"
    7/ André Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) - +0'26"
    8/ Blel Kadri (AG2R La Mondiale)
    9/ Allan Davis (Astana) - +0'27"
    10/ Luke Roberts (UniSA-Australia) - +0'28"

    >> Check out the full classifications after the 6th and final stage of the 2011 Santos Tour Down Under

    All photos in this article are © Santos Tour Down Under / John Veage and have been used with permission.

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Tour Down Under| Tour Down Under 2011 | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati

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