Just as the Santos Tour Down Under started with a stage 1 Caleb Ewan (GreenEDGE) sprint victory and our Mark Renshaw in 2nd, so it would conclude on today’s final stage. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) was the rider 3rd on the line.
20 laps of a 4.5km city circuit were to be raced around in Adelaide today. The criterium style race really attracted an impressive crowd and it was great to have our Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka riders show our colours at the head of the race.
An early 2 rider break never stood a chance with just a 30″ maximum lead but at least they kept the peloton honest and the pace up over the 90km route. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka would come to the front with around 10km to go, Jaco Venter, Nathan Haas and Cameron Meyer all doing a fine job in positioning our 3 fast men for the finale. Songezo Jim also contributing valiantly today by keeping the boys hydrated.
As the break were caught just inside of 2 laps to go, our African Team hit the front. Driving at a good pace Reinie and then Tyler were able to drop Mark off in prime position just as the sprint was about to unfold. Sitting on the wheel of Ewan, Mark followed the kick of the young Aussie in the final 200m as they both rounded 4-5 riders to take the top 2 spots on the day.
Simon Gerrans won the Santos Tour Down Under overall with Cam being our highest placed rider in 12th position.
Mark Renshaw – Rider
It was a good race with it being a little bit faster than last year’s criterium. GreenEDGE had the race winner and obviously the fastest guy in the peloton so it was also going to be Caleb who was favourite today. The team rode well. I asked them in the meeting to put their face in the wind, present the jersey in front and try to keep me out of trouble during the last 2/3 laps and they tried hard. In the final 2km’s I had the perfect wheel, I was in the wheel of Caleb Ewan. Unfortunately, I don’t have the speed to match him but it’s pretty positive signs for the Tour of Dubai and Tour of Qatar coming up in the next few weeks with Cavendish.