International Cycling

Dennis wins Tour Down Under

2015-01-25 08:42
Rohan Dennis (Gallo Images)

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 Adelaide.

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 finish.

"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.

"Cadel 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."

Evans 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 victory.

"That's the way I wanted my racing career - to go away knowing that I'd given everything without any regrets," he said.

"In 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.

"First 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.

"In 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 days."

Read more on:    cycling

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.