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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion
Sunday, January 25, 2015

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Rohan Dennis Wins 2015 Tour Down Under

2015 Tour Down Under results page |

Marking Rohan Dennis' narrow win in the 2015 Tour Down Under, his team BMC put out this press release:

Rohan Dennis

Rohan Dennis savors his Tour Down Under victory

"BMC Racing Team's Rohan Dennis won the Santos Tour Down Under Sunday while teammate Cadel Evans finished third in the final WorldTour race of his career.

"Dennis secured a two-second victory over Richie Porte (Team Sky) while Evans was a further 18 seconds back in his second-to-last race before retirement. The all-Australian podium was only the second in the race's 17-year history.

"It is an incredible feeling to win the Santos Tour Down Under,” Dennis said. “Doing it with Cadel during his last WorldTour race took a lot of pressure off me. But I was not comfortable at all in this last stage."

"Dennis said he had to stay vigilant during the 20-lap, 90-kilometer circuit race through the streets of Adelaide. But his only brush with danger in the stage won by Wouter Wippert (Drapac Professional Cycling) came when a pile-up happened behind him with fewer than two laps to go.

"I had to make sure I kept within distance of Richie, especially after that little spill," Dennis said. "It was all about following him and making sure there if there was a split, it was not too hard to jump across and making sure there were no splits in the finish."

"Dennis seized the overall lead on Stage 3 Thursday, attacking in the final kilometer of an uphill finish. He kept his grip on it by finishing runner-up to Porte on Saturday's finish at Old Willunga Hill. Sunday, he hoisted his BMC teammachine SLR01 overhead on the podium to the cheers of the crowd before accepting the race leader's ochre jersey.

“For Rohan, this is the beginning of a career," BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said. "This is his first big win as a pro, and to have it be a WorldTour event says even more. He went against a real seasoned rider, Richie Porte, to fight the fight. That was a great sign for the future.

“We came here for Cadel. He tried, he got third; but Rohan was just better.”

"Evans, runner-up to Simon Gerrans by one second here a year ago and 2011 Tour de France champion and 2009 world road champion, said he continues to surprise himself in the closing days of a professional road racing career that began in 2001.

"To go out on the podium – not quite at the top, top – I think puts me at No. 3 ranked in the world," Evans said. "To bow out of cycling at that level is probably a little bit more than I hoped. Most of all, I have been here as an optimal teammate and to pass on the baton to the next generation of riders and to bring Rohan here in the jersey and the lead."

"Helping Dennis and Evans reach the podium were teammates Silvan Dillier, Michael Schär, Peter Stetina and Danilo Wyss. Another teammate, Campbell Flakemore, was lost to a broken collarbone suffered in a crash Wednesday on the ride back to the team's hotel after Stage 2.

"Dennis has enjoyed a bevy of success since joining the BMC Racing Team last August in a rare, mid-season transfer. In September, he was third in the final time trial at the Vuelta a España, then helped the BMC Racing Team win the world team time trial championship in Ponferrada, Spain. He was runner-up to Porte earlier this month in the Australian national time trial championships and next month will try to better the world hour record at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen, Switzerland.

"The team rode awesomely again," Dennis said. "They sat at the front. They made sure I was out of the wind. Even when I got pushed back someone always dropped back to pull me back forward. They really helped me win this and made it a lot easier."

...and Lotto-Soudal put out this press release after
the Tour Down Under's final stage:

The final stage in the Tour Down Under was a criterium in the streets of Adelaide. The riders had to cover twenty laps of 4.5 kilometres. Greg Henderson and Lars Bak each joined a breakaway, but both groups were caught. Boris Vallée sprinted to the third place.

Just like in stage five Greg Henderson chose to attack. Together with four others he rode a few laps in front of the bunch, until Orica GreenEdge set up a chase so Daryl Impey could take the points at the intermediate sprint. Immediately afterwards an escape of six was formed, with Lars Bak. They had a lead up to one minute, but just before the penultimate lap they got reeled in. Then there was a crash in the middle of the bunch, so a reduced peloton would sprint for the victory. Wouter Wippert was the fastest, followed by Australian champion Heinrich Haussler. Lotto Soudal rider Boris Vallée got third. The overall win was for Rohan Dennis.

Boris Vallée is only 20 years old, the youngest member of his team.

Boris Vallée: “This third place is a nice result. Two days before the start of the Tour Down Under I crashed and I had a small injury on my right leg. Each day I got better and today I could take my chance in the sprint. That I was able to take part in the sprint for the stage win is a positive sign and it’s great to finish the Tour Down Under that way. Greg Henderson coached me really well before the stage. I followed his guidelines, where I had to be positioned for example. I really wanted to win for Olivier Kaisen, our thoughts are with him and his family in these difficult times.”

Herman Frison, [Lotto-Soudal] sports director: “It was a completely different way of racing than previous editions, when we had André Greipel in our team. We were prepared for that of course. The route was tougher than other years, not suited for the pure sprinters. Our selection was adapted to that. The Australians performed really well in their home country. They won four stages and the GC. We tried to set good results as well. Thomas De Gendt and Greg Henderson both joined a long breakaway. Also today we had a man in each break. We didn’t get a victory, but the third place of Boris Vallée is a nice result.”

and while we're at it, this came in from Lampre-Merida:

Three seconds less and Tsgabu Grmay would have obtained a place in the top ten of Tour Down Under at his debut in Team Lampre-Merida.

Stage 6 finish

The African athlete completed the Australian race in 11th position, at 1' to the winner Dennis and at 3" to the tenth place of Bennett.
The final stage seemed to be easy (20 laps of a 4,5 km circuit in Adelaide), but some crashes in the final laps broke the bunch and forced some riders to reach the arrival on late.

For Lampre-Merida, Grmay could avoid to get involved in the crashes and so he could climb to the 11th place from the 13th one and the fast Bonifazio could take part in the sprint, obtaining the 6th position (photo Bettini).
Wippert won the stage preceding Haussler.

Mori crashed when there were 4 laps remaining and he hit his shoulder, but nothing got fractured.

"Today we went close to the top 5 positions of the stage and to the top 10 of the overall classification: of course there's a little regret for these results - sport director Vicino commented - Anyway, we must consider that Bonifazio is starting his second season as pro and that Grmay is only 23, so their performances in Australia are good".

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