Four stage wins, second overall & sprint title for ORICA-SCOTT at Tour Down UnderSun 22 Jan 2017
ORICA-SCOTT have capped off the 2017 Tour Down Under with four stage wins, second overall and the sprint jersey following the final stage in Adelaide this afternoon.
22-year-old Caleb Ewan sprinted to victory on the city-center circuit, ahead of world champion Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe) and Marko Kump (UAE Abu Dhabi), for his fourth stage win and to secure the sprint jersey by a convincing 12points.
“I actually joked with my girlfriend at the start of the week that I would go for four stages but I didn’t actually think it was going to be possible,” Ewan said of his success at the 2017 Tour Down Under.
“I kept backing up and feeling good every day, the team backed me 100% on the days that could have gone either way and I really have them to thank.
“I felt like the pressure got more as I won more. It’s not usual that you get lucky enough to win all of the sprints in one race and I was just waiting for something bad to happen because there’s a whole lot of luck that goes into winning a race.”
In what was a dramatic final battle for the overall podium, Colombian climber Esteban Chaves safely secured second overall behind winner Richie Porte (BMC Racing Team). Jay McCarthy (Bora Hansgrohe) moved himself into third place thanks to a strategic intermediate sprint.
Chaves, who has started his 2017 season earlier than in previous years, said he is looking forward to building on the form already shown in the past week of racing.
“We are really really happy, not just me but all the team,” Chaves said. “We won four stages, the (People’s Choice) criterium and second in overall so this is a beautiful form for starting the season.”
“Richie started very well here. He showed a really good performance and on the two climbs he had no contenders.
“We came here for the summer because the other seasons, for me, start super hard in the beginning, in March or April when it’s cold, and it’s not really good. So we tried something different, we started early, so we will see. It’s one experiment.”
How it happened:
There was plenty to play for on the final day of the Tour Down Under, despite Porte having a stranglehold on the overall title.
Chaves started the day in second place on the general classification but a narrow three second margin to Nathan Haas (Dimension Data) meant that bonus seconds could see a shift in the podium.
The racing didn't disappoint, with the first intermediate sprint hotly contested and won by McCarthy who moved himself within three seconds of Chaves and into second overall by countback.
A bigger breakaway group then formed, easing the pressure as they swept up the second intermediate sprint points with no threat to the overall contenders.
Racing calmed down in the build up to the crucial final sprint which would determine the last stage victor and overall podium.
Ewan again showed he was the fastest rider in field to claim his fourth stage, whilst the minor placings eliminated any threat to Chaves' overall standing.
ORICA-SCOTT now travel to Victoria for Race Melbourne and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race.
Tour Down Under – Stage 6
1. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-SCOTT) 1:55:28
2. Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe) ST
3. Marko Kump (UAE Abu Dhabi) ST
Tour Down Under – Final General Classification
1. Richie Porte (BMC Racing Team) 19:55:49
2. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-SCOTT) 0:48
3. Jay McCarthy (Bora Hansgrohe) 0:51