Adelaide - Australia's Rohan Dennis won the Tour Down Under cycle race on Sunday
when his United States-based BMC team helped him defend a two-second
lead on the 90km final stage around the streets of
Wouter Wippert of the Netherlands won the final stage
from Australia's Heinrich Haussler and Belgium's Boris Vallee. But
Dennis claimed his first win on cycling's World Tour when he held off
compatriot Richie Porte to preserve the lead he has held since the third
of the tour's six stages.
Dennis was first on general
classification, 2 seconds ahead of Porte and 20 seconds ahead of
compatriot, BMC team-mate and former Tour de France champion Cadel Evans
who was riding in his last World tour event. The result produced the
first all-Australian podium in race history.
"I had to make sure
that I kept within distance of (Porte), especially after that little
spill with about 2-1/2 laps to go," Dennis said.
"It's just about
following him and making sure that if there was a (break), it wasn't too
hard to just jump across and make sure there were no splits in the
"The team rode awesomely again. I couldn't fault them.
They sat at the front, they made sure I was out of the wind. Even when I
got pushed back, someone always jumped back and pulled me forward."
Dennis was grateful for Evans' unselfishness as he gave up his own ambitions of a win in his last event to help his team-mate.
just said 'follow me'," he said. "I have all the faith in the world in
him. He's the most experienced rider in this bunch."
accepted, as he entered Sunday's final stage 20 seconds behind Dennis,
that there was no chance he would end his illustrious career with a tour
"That's the way I wanted my racing career - to go away knowing that I'd given everything without any regrets," he said.
the last 500m (of Saturday's fifth stage), not that I was thinking of
it, but I was absolutely turning myself inside out to follow the moves.
In that regard, I feel as I wanted - this competitive spirit, I really
wrung it pretty dry."
Evans, who came to road cycling from
mountain biking, counted the 2011 Tour de France victory as the greatest
achievement of his career. He said he was proud of the way he conducted
himself in his last race, giving his all for the success of a team-mate.
of all, my motive to be a professional is to be a good professional,"
he said. "In most cases, that was for me to get the result for the team.
this case, we had a rider who was as good or maybe even better than me
here. I won a lot of respect from my team-mates and colleagues and people
within the world of cycling by the way we rode in the last couple of