TEAM Bahrain Merida accomplished their main idea from the start of the Tour Down Under in Adelaide yesterday by top ranking in the general classification with two of their leaders Rohan Dennis and Domenico Pozzovivo finishing fourth at yesterday’s stage and moving to fifth overall while Pozzovivo was14th in the closing stage and at the same position in general classification.
“I am pretty happy. When you know that you are not the best at the moment you always aim for the best possible result,” said Dennis.
“It was a troubled week for me with lots of problems with my hand that I injured on training. Today I tried to stay in the peloton and do the best in the last climb,” added Pozzovivo.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s Daryl Impey hung on up the torturous final Willunga Hill to become the first cyclist to win back-to-back titles in Australia.
Mitchelton-Scott’s Impey, who won last year’s UCI season-opening event on countback, dug in to take this year’s general classification behind sixth-stage winner Richie Porte of Australia up the physically-demanding three-kilometre climb to the finish line.
Impey, with a total time of 20 hours 30 minutes 42 seconds, beat Porte by 13 seconds for the race with Dutchman Wouter Poels of Sky Team a further four seconds away in third place overall.
No one has won consecutive titles in the 21 years of the Tour Down Under, while Porte, the 2017 Tour winner, has been runner-up four times.