TDU Adelaide City Council Circuit, 50mi

TDU Adelaide City Council Circuit, 50mi

After a week of strong sprint finishes at the 2009 Tour Down Under, it was most fitting that the final day played right into the hands of the fast men once again. Liquigas rider Francesco Chicchi roared down the finishing straight and blew past Graeme Brown (Rabobank) to secure the final victory on Sunday’s closed circuit race. Claiming second was Robbie McEwen (Katusha) with Brown in third. After racing in all eleven editions of his national tour, Allan Davis (Quick-Step) at last claimed the overall title in addition to three stages along the way with a margin of 25 seconds over Stuart O’Grady (Saxo Bank), making it two Aussies on the podium after a strong showing all week of the home-country favorites.
Riding in mild temperatures on a basically flat circuit, the 122 remaining riders completed the 18 laps in 1 hour 42 minutes. Big crowds greeted the riders for the final day of competition and the peloton did not disappoint those who came for a good show. An early break of 13 riders of course included the week’s grittiest up-and-comer Jack Bobridge (UniSA) and the ever-popular Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) as well. When their gap went to over one minute, Davis’ Quick-Step team went to the front and drilled awhile to settle the gap at under one minute.
Near the end of the race Team Astana’s Lance Armstrong moved to the front of the chasing peloton and attacked to join the back of the lead group. But soon enough Team Columbia pushed the pace to bring it all together and the stage was set for the final sprint. Brown looked good to take his second stage victory, but Chicchi sprinted up the middle and stole the win in his first victory in Australia.
With the exception of the earlier retirement of Michael Schar, the Team Astana boys in blue came in safely to complete the first Pro Tour race of the season. The team enjoyed their time in Australia and Lance’s much-anticipated comeback race can now be replaced with his next mission, to race the Amgen Tour of California for the first time. “California will be hard,” commented Armstrong. “(There are) longer climbs, steeper climbs, longer stages. Levi (Leipheimer) is clearly focused on it, training with a lot of intensity for the race. He won last year and wants to win again. He will be very, very hard to beat.” Armstrong continued, “We will have a great team there between Levi, Chechu, Popo, Horner, myself and Brajkovic…strong guys.”
On February 1st team camp begins in Santa Rosa, with demanding training rides on tap as the team prepares to begin the full schedule of 2009 races. Thank you for joining us in Australia and see you in California! Congratulations to Allan Davis for his dominating performance in Adelaide.
G’day mates.
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Top 10 Results
1 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas 1.42.00
2 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha
3 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank
4 Gregory Henderson (NZl) Team Columbia – High Road
5 José Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
6 Tom Leezer (Ned) Rabobank
7 Willem Stroetinga (Ned) Team Milram
8 Jacopo Guanieri (Ita) Liquigas
9 Guillaume Blot (Fra) Cofidis
10 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
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GC after Stage 6
1 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step 19.26.59
2 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Saxo Bank 0.25
3 José Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 0.30
4 Martin Elmiger (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
5 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Française Des Jeux 0.37
6 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Columbia – High Road 0.38
7 Matthew Wilson (Aus) UniSA 0.39
8 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Lampre – N.G.C 0.40
9 Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française Des Jeux
10 Mickaël Chérel (Fra) Française Des Jeux
29 Lance Armstrong (USA) Team Astana
(By Cathy Mehl; Source: www.astana-cyclingteam.com)

 

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