Maryborough cyclist Jay McCarthy is officially the fastest young rider of the 2016 Santos Tour Down Under, after winning the Europcar Young Rider Jersey today.
McCarthy was a hot favourite for the jersey, after winning it four times over the course of the event, most recently in yesterday’s hotly contested Stage Five race.
In the final stage, riders battled it out in the heart of Adelaide, tackling 20 laps of a 4.5 km circuit that took in War Memorial Drive, Montefiore Hill and King William Street as well as Victoria Square.
Australia’s Simon Gerrans was the favourite from the start, despite finishing eighth the day prior. His early performance saw him take back-to-back stages, with Gerrans telling Tour Down Under pre-race: “It’s not over yet. We’ve still got 90km of racing. I need to stay out of trouble.”
And stay out of trouble he did. The peloton took off fast from the starting line, averaging 48 km/hr at lap three and with just a 15 second gap.
The Astana Team launched an immediate attack, with the pelaton together again by lap five. But The Netherlands’ Maarten Tjallingii wasn’t going to sit back, moving forward to take out the first iiNet sprint, with Belgium’s Thomas De Gendt and Daryl Impey in second and third.
At the second sprint, De Gendt attacked taking out the win, with Tjallingii in second and France’s Johan Le Bon coming in third.
On the final lap the race came together at the final bell, with two UniSA riders taking the lead. Riders stayed together up to the final 1km, with Orica Green Edge at the front, followed by Sky and Cannondale.
Australia’s Caleb Ewan was first to cross the line, followed by fellow countryman Mark Renshaw and Italy’s Giacomo Nizzolo.
But it was cycling legend Gerrans who took out the event win, the crowd screaming and cheering at the finish line as riders crossed to be congratulated by their teams.
Europcar Australia is a major partner of the 2016 Santos Tour Down Under, with passion for the sport at both a grassroots and elite level that has seen the company support the event for three years running.
This year Europcar is proud to be sponsoring the Santos Tour Down Under Young Riders Jersey, reflecting its commitment to the sport’s up-and-coming riders and the growth cycling domestically.
The Tour Down Under 2016 is now over but South Australia still have a lot to offer!