Australaian Simon Gerrans has recorded the biggest triumph of his career by taking out the Tour Down Under event on Sunday. Gerrans finished the 81km final stage in the main bunch which was good enough for the overall win in the Tour, while compatriot Allan Davis out-sprinted another Australian, Robbie McEwen to record victory in the stage.
The performances of Gerrans and Davis are encouraging ahead of the Commonwealth Games, where McEwen and other top Australian cyclists will be absent with European professional team commitments. Gerrans was in a relaxed mood after the win, dryly declaring his optimism for selection in the road-race at the Games. “This should do my Commonwealth Games selection a lot of good,” he said.
He is the first winner in the Tour’s eight-year history to keep the overall lead from stage one, while his Ag2r team completed a record third success in the event. His French Ag2r team is also the first to win the Tour three times.
“I’ve given myself a bit of a surprise this week,” Gerrans said. “Actually, if someone had told me I would lead the Tour from start to finish last week, I wouldn’t have believed it at all.” Gerrans set up the result by winning the first stage and was never headed during the other four stages.
“My team-mates rode a fantastic race, they’ve backed me since the first day, they’ve protected me every stage, there’s no way I could have done it without them.” The 25-year-old held his seven-second lead over last year’s Tour winner Luis Sanchez of Spain.