Gerrans Wins The Santos Tour Down Under

Last updated : 22 January 2012 By Kev Monks

Simon Gerrans won the Tour Down Under on a day where Andre Greipel won the final stage.

Greenedge's Simon Gerrans had led the General Classification on countback from Movistar's Alejandro Valverde going into the final stage which was twenty laps around the streets of Adelaide in Australia.

Eleven riders got away on the first lap but Lotto pulled them back. There were more attacks until lap eight when the first sprint of the day came and saw five points for Lampre's Davide Cimolai. 

Two laps later saw  the first King of The Mountains climb and BMC's Greg Van Avermaet was first for that one.

On a glorious day, the race moved to the second sprint and this time, Radioshack-Nissan rider Jan Bakelants took the full compliment of points.

Bakelants could only finish third in the final King Of The Mountains climb to Greenedge's Cameron Mayer as Greenedge in their first race looked to get their main up there for a victory.

Mayer ploughed a lone furrow off the front but with half a lap to go, the peloton caught up with the escapers to set up a bunch sprint.

Lotto's Andre Greipel has been in fine form this week, and he won his third stage of the race in a time of 1.56,48 ahead of Mark Renshaw and Pettachi.

Britains Andrew Fenn finished 20th which saw him finish third in the Young Riders Classification, Adam Blythe was 49th, Geraint Thomas 66th, Alex Dowett 81st and Matt Brammier 98th.

As for the leader, Simon Gerrans. He shadowed Valverde all day and finished two places behind the Spaniard in 27th place to ensure that he won the race and the ocre jersey.

"It’s just fantastic," said Gerrans to

"I can’t thank my team mates enough. I was pleasantly surprised when I was told I had the lead [yesterday]. It’s such a fantastic victory for GreenEDGE. We couldn’t ask for a more perfect way to start the season."

"It’s an even sweeter victory than my first one here in 2006. It gives me the opportunity to thank for the first time the Ryan family and Shayne Bannan for putting this team together. It couldn’t be a better start for us."

British and Irish riders final placings; Geraint Thomas 46th, Andrew Fenn 75th, Matt Brammier 95th, Adam Blythe 121st, Alex Dowsett 124th.

Team Sky took the team prize with Edvald Boason Hagen taking the Young Riders jersey