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Sanchez wraps up Tour Down Under; McEwen scores another stage

Robbie McEwen likened the roar of the crowd in the home straight to that of a football grand final after charging home to win the final stage of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under on Sunday. Like he has done so many times in a star-studded career, McEwen, 32, timed his run perfectly down the 500-meter finishing straight to get over the top of Italian Paride Grillo (Ceramiche Panaria-Navigare) and Queenslander Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros).

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By Michael Stevens, in Adelaide, Australia

Photo: Graham Watson

Robbie McEwen likened the roar of the crowd in the home straight to that of a football grand final after charging home to win the final stage of the Jacob’s Creek Tour Down Under on Sunday.

Like he has done so many times in a star-studded career, McEwen, 32, timed his run perfectly down the 500-meter finishing straight to get over the top of Italian Paride Grillo (Ceramiche Panaria-Navigare) and Queenslander Allan Davis (Liberty Seguros).

It was the Davitamon-Lotto sprint star’s third Tour Down Under stage win of this race and the 11th he’s won over the course of event’s seven-year history.

But while McEwen was basking in the glory of another successful summer – he has also won the Jayco Bay Classic and Australian Open road championship this month – young Spaniard Luis Sanchez lived up to the hype surrounding him by duly defending the leader’s yellow jersey for the biggest win of his fledgling career.

Sanchez took a 35-second lead into Sunday’s final stage and with his Liberty Seguros teammates controlling proceedings at the front of the peloton throughout the 18 laps of a 4.5km circuit, the end result was never in doubt.

The 21-year-old Sanchez, from the Murcia region, has been touted as the latest successor to five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain, but the amiable Spaniard laughed at the suggestion.

“I would like and I’ve dreamt of having even one-half the quality and the capability that he had,” Sanchez said of Indurain through interpreter, Australian Neil Stephens.

Despite having a seemingly unassailable lead after he and teammate Alberto Contador blitzed Saturday’s stage by breaking clear to the top of Old Willunga Hill, Sanchez said he was still nervous coming into the Tour’s final stage.

“You all know on an open circuit, if they go really fast anything can happen, so I was really nervous,” he said.

The unassuming Spaniard who is hoping to ride in his first Tour de France later this year, said he was surprised at his showing and how strong his team was.

“I not only surprised myself, but it was surprising how strong the team was,” he said. “We knew we’d worked really hard through winter and we knew were going to be strong, but the work each of the boys has done this week has been outstanding.”

Robbie the Rocket scores again

Robbie the Rocket scores again

Photo: Graham Watson

Three’s a charm
McEwen’s penchant for winning never seems to wane and the fact he prevailed again Sunday against top Australian sprinters such as Davis, Stuart O’Grady (fifth) Baden Cooke (seventh) and Graeme Brown (ninth) is testament to his will-to-win.

“It’s like riding into the middle of the grand final here, so many people come out to watch, it’s unbelievable,” McEwen said. “They risk coming out here in this weather and getting sun stroke to watch us go around on our bikes… not just coming out to have a look but they’re so enthusiastic, they’re yelling the riders names, even the foreign guys, cheering for everyone. It’s such a great atmosphere; I’m just so happy to get another win because there’s nothing like that feeling of crossing the line.”

Adelaide served as the hub of the week-long race

Adelaide served as the hub of the week-long race

Photo: Graham Watson

Davis, eight years McEwen’s junior and a training partner early in the season, was shattered to be relegated to third in the final stage after finishing second to Sanchez (33 seconds behind) in the general classification.

“I would have loved to get a win in that last stage, but first and second overall is not too bad,” he said. “I don’t know how many top fives I’ve had this week, it just would have been nice to get that No. 1 spot.

“But full credit to Robbie today; he was just too good in those last couple of meters.”

O’Grady, riding for Cofidis, held on for third overall just one second clear of McEwen’s Davitamon Lotto teammate Johan Van Summeren.

Photo Gallery

Results

Results – Stage 6
1 Robbie McEwen (Aus), Davitamon – Lotto, 1:45:29 (46.1kph),

2 Paride Grillo (I), Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare, s.t.

3 Allan Davis (Aus), Liberty Seguros Team, s.t.

4 Guillermo Ruben Bongiorno (Arg), Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare, s.t.

5 Stuart O’Grady (Aus), Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone, s.t.

6 Erki Putsep (Est), Ag2R – Prevoyance, s.t.

7 Baden Cooke (Aus), Francaise Des Jeux, s.t.

8 Giosuè Bonomi (I), Lampre – Caffita, s.t.

9 Graeme Brown (Aus), Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare, s.t.

10 Sebastien Hinault (F), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

11 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

12 Mickael Delage (F), Francaise Des Jeux, s.t.

13 David McPartland (Aus), United Water, s.t.

14 Samuel Dumoulin (F), Ag2R – Prevoyance, s.t.

15 Simon Gerrans (Aus), Ag2R – Prevoyance, s.t.

16 Nicolas Portal (F), Ag2R – Prevoyance, s.t.

17 Johan Van Summeren (B), Davitamon – Lotto, s.t.

18 Siro Camponogara (I), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, s.t.

19 Jimmy Engoulvent (F), Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone, s.t.

20 Brett Lancaster (Aus), Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare, s.t.

21 Robert McLachlan (Aus), United Water, s.t.

22 Javier Ramirez Abeja (Sp), Liberty Seguros Team, s.t.

23 Kevin De Weert (B), Quickstep, s.t.

24 Juan Manuel Fuentes Angullo (Sp), Lampre – Caffita, s.t.

25 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Sp), Liberty Seguros Team, s.t.

26 Dimitri De Fauw (B), Quickstep, s.t.

27 Mark Renshaw (Aus), Francaise Des Jeux, s.t.

28 Cadel Evans (Aus), Davitamon – Lotto, s.t.

29 Filippo Pozzato (I), Quickstep, s.t.

30 Ludovic Turpin (F), Ag2R – Prevoyance, s.t.

31 David McKenzie (Aus), United Water, s.t.

32 Daniele Righi (I), Lampre – Caffita, s.t.

33 Patrice Halgand (F), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

34 Bram Tankink (Ned), Quickstep, s.t.

35 Aaron Kemps (Aus), Liberty Seguros Team, s.t.

36 Benoit Poilvet (F), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

37 Christopher Sutton (Aus), United Water, s.t.

38 Michael Rogers (Aus), Quickstep, s.t.

39 Nick Gates (Aus), Davitamon – Lotto, s.t.

40 Jurgen Van Goolen (B), Quickstep, s.t.

41 Matthew Rex (Aus), Uni SA, s.t.

42 Cyril Lemoine (F), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

43 Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Sp), Liberty Seguros Team, s.t.

44 Mario Aerts (B), Davitamon – Lotto, s.t.

45 Alberto Contador Velasco (Sp), Liberty Seguros Team, s.t.

46 Gene Bates (Aus), Uni SA, s.t.

47 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

48 Janek Tombak (Est), Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone, s.t.

49 Peter Farazijn (B), Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone, s.t.

50 David Loosli (Swi), Lampre – Caffita, s.t.

51 Matthew White (Aus), Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone, s.t.

52 Inigo Chaurreau Bernardez (Sp), Ag2R – Prevoyance, s.t.

53 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Sp), Ag2R – Prevoyance, s.t.

54 Mirko Allegrini (I), Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare, at 0:09

55 Paolo Fornaciari (I), Lampre – Caffita, at 0:11

56 Matthew Wilson (Aus), Francaise Des Jeux, at 0:12

57 Ashley Humbert (Aus), United Water, s.t.

58 David O’Loughlin (Irl), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, s.t.

59 Chris Jongewaard (Aus), Uni SA, s.t.

60 Fortunato Baliani (I), Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare, s.t.

61 Gilberto Simoni (I), Lampre – Caffita, s.t.

62 James Hannam (Aus), Uni SA, s.t.

63 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por), Liberty Seguros Team, s.t.

64 Jan Kuyckx (B), Davitamon – Lotto, s.t.

65 Sebastien Joly (F), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

66 Isidro Nozal Vega (Sp), Liberty Seguros Team, at 0:20

67 Ian McLeod (RSA), Francaise Des Jeux, at 0:30

68 Ciaran Power (Irl), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, at 0:32

69 Christopher Baldwin (USA), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, s.t.

70 Phil Zajicek (USA), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, s.t.

71 Bradley Wiggins (GBr), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

72 Hilton Clarke (Aus), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, s.t.

73 Corey Sweet (Aus), Uni SA, s.t.

74 Adrian Laidler (Aus), Uni SA, s.t.

75 David Betts (Aus), United Water, at 0:38

76 Jonathan Clarke (Aus), United Water, s.t.

77 Wim Vansevenant (B), Davitamon – Lotto, s.t.

78 Nathan O’Neill (Aus), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, at 0:42

79 Arnaud Gerard (F), Francaise Des Jeux, at 0:44

80 Sébastien Rosseler (B), Quickstep, at 0:50

81 Samuele Marzoli (I), Lampre – Caffita, at 0:52

82 Arnaud Coyot (F), Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone, at 0:58

83 Cyrille Monnerais (F), Francaise Des Jeux, at 1:01

84 Frederic Finot (F), Francaise Des Jeux, s.t.

85 Stephen Cunningham (Aus), Uni SA, at 2:42

86 Russell Van Hout (Aus), Uni SA, at 6:12

DNF Staf Scheirlinckx (B), Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone

DNF Jans Koerts (Ned), Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone

Final general classification

1 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Sp), Liberty Seguros Team, 16:45:44 (42.9kph),

2 Allan Davis (Aus), Liberty Seguros Team, at 0:33

3 Stuart O’Grady (Aus), Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone, at 0:47

4 Johan Van Summeren (B), Davitamon – Lotto, at 0:48

5 Javier Ramirez Abeja (Sp), Liberty Seguros Team, at 0:50

6 David McPartland (Aus), United Water, at 0:53

7 Simon Gerrans (Aus), Ag2R – Prevoyance, at 1:04

8 Paride Grillo (I), Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare, at 1:10

9 Mark Renshaw (Aus), Francaise Des Jeux, at 1:18

10 Robert McLachlan (Aus), United Water, s.t.

11 Gene Bates (Aus), Uni SA, at 1:21

12 David Loosli (Swi), Lampre – Caffita, at 1:25

13 Benoit Poilvet (F), Crédit Agricole, at 1:37

14 Juan Manuel Fuentes Angullo (Sp), Lampre – Caffita, at 1:43

15 Aaron Kemps (Aus), Liberty Seguros Team, at 2:07

16 Matthew Wilson (Aus), Francaise Des Jeux, at 2:18

17 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun), Crédit Agricole, at 2:23

18 Erki Putsep (Est), Ag2R – Prevoyance, at 2:25

19 Jan Kuyckx (B), Davitamon – Lotto, at 2:28

20 Ashley Humbert (Aus), United Water, at 2:37

21 David O’Loughlin (Irl), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, at 5:07

22 Chris Jongewaard (Aus), Uni SA, at 7:35

23 Bradley Wiggins (GBr), Crédit Agricole, at 20:23

24 Matthew White (Aus), Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone, at 29:16

25 Nicolas Portal (F), Ag2R – Prevoyance, at 30:19

26 Sebastien Joly (F), Crédit Agricole, at 30:21

27 Fortunato Baliani (I), Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare, at 30:26

28 Alberto Contador Velasco (Sp), Liberty Seguros Team, at 32:00

29 Cadel Evans (Aus), Davitamon – Lotto, at 32:48

30 Samuel Dumoulin (F), Ag2R – Prevoyance, at 33:03

31 Mario Aerts (B), Davitamon – Lotto, s.t.

32 Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Sp), Liberty Seguros Team, at 33:06

33 Mickael Delage (F), Francaise Des Jeux, at 33:46

34 Kevin De Weert (B), Quickstep, at 33:51

35 Bram Tankink (Ned), Quickstep, s.t.

36 Michael Rogers (Aus), Quickstep, at 34:07

37 Ian McLeod (RSA), Francaise Des Jeux, at 34:21

38 David Betts (Aus), United Water, at 34:22

39 Arnaud Gerard (F), Francaise Des Jeux, at 34:35

40 Isidro Nozal Vega (Sp), Liberty Seguros Team, at 35:05

41 Adrian Laidler (Aus), Uni SA, at 35:17

42 Sebastien Hinault (F), Crédit Agricole, at 35:51

43 Frederic Finot (F), Francaise Des Jeux, at 36:10

44 Stephen Cunningham (Aus), Uni SA, at 38:43

45 Giosuè Bonomi (I), Lampre – Caffita, at 38:49

46 Baden Cooke (Aus), Francaise Des Jeux, s.t.

47 Christopher Sutton (Aus), United Water, s.t.

48 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por), Liberty Seguros Team, at 39:01

49 Jonathan Clarke (Aus), United Water, at 39:27

50 Siro Camponogara (I), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, at 39:43

51 Daniele Righi (I), Lampre – Caffita, s.t.

52 Ludovic Turpin (F), Ag2R – Prevoyance, s.t.

53 Filippo Pozzato (I), Quickstep, s.t.

54 Brett Lancaster (Aus), Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare, at 40:04

55 Russell Van Hout (Aus), Uni SA, at 40:09

56 Corey Sweet (Aus), Uni SA, at 40:15

57 Christopher Baldwin (USA), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, s.t.

58 Arnaud Coyot (F), Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone, at 40:28

59 Robbie McEwen (Aus), Davitamon – Lotto, at 40:30

60 Nick Gates (Aus), Davitamon – Lotto, at 44:44

61 James Hannam (Aus), Uni SA, at 44:56

62 Graeme Brown (Aus), Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare, at 45:37

63 Hilton Clarke (Aus), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, at 46:08

64 Ciaran Power (Irl), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, at 46:09

65 Wim Vansevenant (B), Davitamon – Lotto, at 46:16

66 Jimmy Engoulvent (F), Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone, at 46:34

67 Patrice Halgand (F), Crédit Agricole, at 51:17

68 Cyril Lemoine (F), Crédit Agricole, s.t.

69 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Sp), Ag2R – Prevoyance, s.t.

70 Inigo Chaurreau Bernardez (Sp), Ag2R – Prevoyance, s.t.

71 Janek Tombak (Est), Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone, s.t.

72 Matthew Rex (Aus), Uni SA, s.t.

73 Mirko Allegrini (I), Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare, at 51:26

74 David McKenzie (Aus), United Water, at 52:06

75 Samuele Marzoli (I), Lampre – Caffita, at 52:09

76 Cyrille Monnerais (F), Francaise Des Jeux, at 52:18

77 Paolo Fornaciari (I), Lampre – Caffita, at 52:22

78 Gilberto Simoni (I), Lampre – Caffita, at 52:23

79 Phil Zajicek (USA), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, at 52:43

80 Nathan O’Neill (Aus), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, at 52:48

81 Jurgen Van Goolen (B), Quickstep, at 55:01

82 Sébastien Rosseler (B), Quickstep, at 1:01:46

83 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est), Crédit Agricole, at 1:02:46

84 Dimitri De Fauw (B), Quickstep, at 1:07:29

85 Guillermo Ruben Bongiorno (Arg), Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare, s.t.

86 Peter Farazijn (B), Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone, s.t.

Final Points classification

1 Robbie McEwen (Aus), Davitamon – Lotto, 54 pts

2 Paride Grillo (I), Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare, 32

3 Allan Davis (Aus), Liberty Seguros Team, 32

4 Gene Bates (Aus), Uni SA, 16

5 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Sp), Liberty Seguros Team, 14

6 Matthew White (Aus), Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone, 12

7 Stuart O’Grady (Aus), Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone, 12

8 Mickael Delage (F), Francaise Des Jeux, 10

9 David Betts (Aus), United Water, 10

10 David McKenzie (Aus), United Water, 10

11 Alberto Contador Velasco (Sp), Liberty Seguros Team, 8

12 Johan Van Summeren (B), Davitamon – Lotto, 6

13 Aaron Kemps (Aus), Liberty Seguros Team, 4

14 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun), Crédit Agricole, 4

15 Sebastien Joly (F), Crédit Agricole, 4

16 Stephen Cunningham (Aus), Uni SA, 4

17 Russell Van Hout (Aus), Uni SA, 4

18 Hilton Clarke (Aus), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, 4

19 Javier Ramirez Abeja (Sp), Liberty Seguros Team, 2

20 Jan Kuyckx (B), Davitamon – Lotto, 2

21 Fortunato Baliani (I), Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare, 2

22 Graeme Brown (Aus), Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare, 2

23 Ciaran Power (Irl), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, 2

24 Matthew Rex (Aus), Uni SA, 2

Final Mountains classification

1 Gene Bates (Aus), Uni SA, 52 pts

2 David O’Loughlin (Irl), Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, 40

3 Fortunato Baliani (I), Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare, 24

4 Alberto Contador Velasco (Sp), Liberty Seguros Team, 22

5 Mickael Delage (F), Francaise Des Jeux, 20

6 Nicolas Portal (F), Ag2R – Prevoyance, 16

7 Johan Van Summeren (B), Davitamon – Lotto, 12

8 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por), Liberty Seguros Team, 12

9 David McKenzie (Aus), United Water, 12

10 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun), Crédit Agricole, 10

11 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Sp), Liberty Seguros Team, 8

12 David McPartland (Aus), United Water, 8

13 Matthew White (Aus), Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone, 8

14 Simon Gerrans (Aus), Ag2R – Prevoyance, 6

15 Robert McLachlan (Aus), United Water, 6

16 Jan Kuyckx (B), Davitamon – Lotto, 6

17 Sebastien Joly (F), Crédit Agricole, 6

18 Cadel Evans (Aus), Davitamon – Lotto, 4

19 Frederic Finot (F), Francaise Des Jeux, 4

Final U23 classification

1 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Sp), Liberty Seguros Team, at 16:45:44

2 Aaron Kemps (Aus), Liberty Seguros Team, at 2:07

3 Mickael Delage (F), Francaise Des Jeux, at 33:46

4 Arnaud Gerard (F), Francaise Des Jeux, at 34:35

5 Christopher Sutton (Aus), United Water, at 38:49

6 Jonathan Clarke (Aus), United Water, at 39:27

7 James Hannam (Aus), Uni SA, at 44:56

8 Cyril Lemoine (F), Crédit Agricole, at 51:17

9 Matthew Rex (Aus), Uni SA, s.t.

10 Samuele Marzoli (I), Lampre – Caffita, at 52:09

11 Cyrille Monnerais (F), Francaise Des Jeux, at 52:18

Final Teams classification

1 Liberty Seguros Team, 50:18:38

2 Crédit Agricole, at 1:09

3 United Water, at 3:06

4 Uni SA, at 4:11

5 Davitamon – Lotto, at 30:11

6 Ag2R – Prevoyance, at 31:34

7 Francaise Des Jeux, at 31:50

8 Cofidis – Le Credit Par Telephone, at 33:04

9 Lampre – Caffita, at 40:31

10 Ceramiche Panaria – Navigare, at 1:09:06

11 Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, at 1:21:46

12 Quickstep, at 1:40:23