Gerrans claims Tour Down Under
24 January 2016
ROAD CYCLING: Australian Simon Gerrans has been crowned Tour Down Under champion for a record fourth time with Orica GreenEdge celebrating double success after Caleb Ewan sprinted home to win the final stage.
“It's certainly a dream result and we couldn't have asked for more,” said Gerrans, 25, who also won two individual stages and the sprint title.
Gerrans was overjoyed to reclaim the crown he also won in 2006, 2012 and 2014. He had a horror run of injury in 2015 but arrived in Adelaide in top form and ready to race.
“We are so lucky to have this race here in Australia,” said Gerrans who claimed his victory in front of 97 thousand fans. “It's fantastic to race the Tour Down Under with Orica-Greenedge, an Aussie team winning a WorldTour race in Australia, it's just awesome.
“The boys did a sensational job today, they kept me at the front, out of trouble and delivered Caleb (Ewan) as close to the line as possible,” said Gerrans. “What a fantastic week it's been for us.”
His young teammate Ewan, 21, reinforced his sprinting credentials and repaid his team’s backing to win today’s stage by more than a bike length from Mark Renshaw with Giacomo Nizzoli third.
“Obviously it wasn’t just a great week for me, the team showed that this week they are by far the strongest,” said Ewan.
“It was always going to be hard to come to this race and chase both stages (wins) and overall victory,” said Ewan who, although he also won the opening stage, knew the team’s priority was for Gerrans to win the title. “I’m so happy that we came away with four stages and the overall.
“I actually got caught behind on the way down to the finish line (today) and I was way back in the bunch and I had go back to the front,” he explained. “Luckily my team-mates brought me up to where I wanted to be for sprinting and it all went well.”