by Andrew Dent
ADELAIDE, Australia, Jan 27, 2013 (AFP) – Dutchman Tom-Jelte Slagter from
Blanco Pro Cycling won the season-opening UCI WorldTour Tour Down Under on
Sunday, securing his first title as a professional.
Slagter stayed out of trouble in the final 90-kilometre stage through the
streets of Adelaide to win the general classification in 18hr 28min 32sec,
finishing 17 seconds ahead of Spaniard Javier Moreno (Movistar) and 25 clear
of British rider Geraint Thomas (Sky Pro Cycling).
The 23-year-old Slagter, a former speed skater who only took up cycling to
stay fit during the summer months, was almost at a loss to describe his
emotions after his victory.
“It’s really strange for me, I’d never won a race like this,” he said. “My
first win was (on stage three) at Stirling and that I take the jersey now,
it’s really amazing.
“I can’t believe it actually.”
Slagter conceded he would have to reassess his goals for the rest of the
season after his form during the week.
“The start of the season couldn’t be better, for me and the team also,” he
“The next goal will be the classics, with La Fleche Wallonne,
Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Amstel Gold. Those races are completely different
(but) I’ve got a bit more confidence now.”
Germany’s Andre Greipel proved he was the dominant sprinter when he
overpowered Australian Mark Renshaw (Blanco) and Norwegian Edvald Boasson
Hagen (Sky) to win the final sprint and take his third stage win of the tour
and his 14th overall.
After Greipel’s Lotto Belisol team led him out perfectly with a kilometre
to go, Renshaw surprised the big German when he slipped past him with only 200
But Greipel didn’t panic and swept past Renshaw on the line to take the
Slagter had gone into the final day with a 13-second advantage after a
brilliant ride to finish second to Simon Gerrans in Saturday’s penultimate
stage up Old Willunga Hill.
He was never in any real danger of losing the ochre leader’s jersey and
stayed safely in the peloton for the duration of the race.
The real attack came from stage two winner Thomas, who lost the leader’s
jersey to Slagter on Saturday, slipping from first to fifth in the process.
Thomas won the first intermediate sprint and came third in the second to
pick up enough bonus seconds to move him to third place, leapfrogging Spaniard
Jon Izagirre (Euskaltel Euskadi) and Belgium’s Ben Hermans (Radioshack
“Obviously we were disappointed yesterday but there was still one more day
of racing left and we still had a slight chance of getting third,” Thomas
“The boys in the team were incredible again — it was a perfect day really
and it’s been a pretty successful week.
“I was pretty down yesterday but coming into the race, if I thought I could
come away with a stage win I’d have definitely been happy with that.”
Results from the 90km sixth and
final stage of the UCI WorldTour Tour Down Under on the Adelaide city street
1. Andre Greipel (GER/LTB) 1hr 52min 59sec, 2. Mark Renshaw (AUS/BLA) s.t.,
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/SKY) s.t., 4. Matthew Goss (AUS/OGE) s.t., 5.
Tyler Farrar (USA/GRS) s.t., 6. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) s.t., 7. Klaas
Lodewyck (BEL/BMC) s.t., 8. Barry Markus (NED/VCD) s.t., 9. Yauheni Hutarovich
(BLR/ALM) s.t., 10. Kenny van Hummel (NED/VCD) s.t.
22. Arnaud Demare (FRA/FDJ) at 04sec, 24. Mickael Delage (FRA/FDJ) s.t.,
29. Mikael Cherel (FRA/ALM) s.t., 51. Simon Gerrans (AUS/OGE) 14, 65. Philippe
Gilbert (BEL/BMC) 25
Did not finish
Andy Schleck (LUX/RLT)
1. Tom-Jelte Slagter (NED/BLA) 18hr 28min 32sec, 2. Javier Moreno (ESP/MOV)
at 17sec, 3. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) 25, 4. Jon Izagirre (ESP/EUS) 32, 5. Ben
Hermans (BEL/RLT) 34, 6. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BLA) s.t., 7. Gorka Izagirre
(ESP/EUS) 36, 8. Daniele Pietropolli (ITA/LAM) s.t., 9. Tiago Machado
(POR/RLT) 38, 10. Jussi Veikkanen (FIN/FDJ) 41
13. Kenny Elissonde (FRA/FDJ) at 54sec, 18. Mikael Cherel (FRA/ALM) 1min
20sec, 24. Simon Gerrans (AUS/OGE) 3min 31sec, 28. Guillaume Bonnafond
(FRA/ALM) 4min 25sec, 34. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/BMC) 6min 15sec, 37. Arnaud
Demare (FRA/FDJ) 6min 47 sec, 60. Andre Greipel (GER/LTB) 12min 24sec
1. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) 46 points, 2. Andre Greipel (GER/LTB) 45, 3.
Tom-Jelte Slagter (NED/BLA) 41
King of the Mountains
1. Javier Moreno (ESP/MOV) 22 points, 2. Jack Bobridge (AUS/BLA) 20, 3.
Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) 16