Simon Gerrans wins Tour Down Under
Updated: January 22, 2012, 01:50
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ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) Australia's Simon Gerrans won the Tour Down Under for the second time Sunday, giving newly formed Australian GreenEDGE its first victory in a World Tour event.
Gerrans, who won the race in 2006 and has won stages of the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana, entered the 56-mile final stage around an Adelaide street circuit as the race leader, but with the same time as second-place Alejandro Valverde of Spain.
Gerrans managed to cover Valverde to ensure the Movistar rider didn't pick up the time bonuses he needed to claim the overall lead. Gerrans finished 27th in the final stage and Valverde 24th, both among the body of the field and both credited with the same time as stage winner Andre Greipel.
"It's just fantastic,'' Gerrans said. "I can't thank my teammates enough. We had a tough task today to watch Alejandro Valverde, but we did a great job.''
Greipel won three stages in the six-stage tour, while still finishing more than 24 minutes behind Gerrans.
"What can I say?'' the German sprint star said. "The team Lotto-Belisol has just been amazing in leading me out to my third win of the week. It looks easy but it's not. I was nowhere in the front on GC this year but I'm happy with the sprint finishes.''