Richie Porte of BMC Racing (right), followed by Caleb Ewan of Orica-Scott, take a corner during stage six of the Tour Down Under in Adelaide.
Richie Porte of BMC Racing (right), followed by Caleb Ewan of Orica-Scott, take a corner during stage six of the Tour Down Under in Adelaide. DAN PELED

Porte comes out on top in Tour Down Under

CYCLING: Richie Porte had been desperate to win the Tour Down Under since he first contested Australia's greatest road race in 2008 as a wildcard entry.

Now BMC Racing's team leader, the 31-year-old achieved his dream with another solid display during the sixth and last stage in Adelaide on Sunday.

He finished ninth in that first race nine years ago as a 22-year-old before two runner-up placings the past two years.

This time, however, Porte finished 48 seconds ahead of Colombia's Esteban Chavas, with Australia's Jay McCarthy third overall a further three seconds adrift.

While compatriot Caleb Ewan, of Orica-Scott, was the star of the final day when he won his fourth stage, Porte had extended his lead when he won the 151.5km fifth stage from McLaren Vale to the summit of Willunga Hill on Saturday.

"The Tour Down Under was good for me this year with two hilltop finishes, and it's just incredible to come back here and win after being so close the past two years,” Porte told Channel Nine.

"I really owe it to my teammates. Each day, they got me across the line and it's a massive credit to them.”

"I had a good break at the end of last season and I've come back refreshed, physically and mentally, and to win this race, it means a hell of a lot and you know it's a credit to this race how big it is.”

Ewan won the 90km stage around the streets of Adelaide on Sunday, again outsprinting world champion Peter Sagan, to join Germany's Andre Greipel (2008) and Australia's Robbie McEwen (2002) as the only riders to have won four stages in the same race.

On the final day there was an early breakaway by Belgium's Tomas De Gendt and Italy's Gianluca Brambilla, who established a 30-second lead, before they were both hauled in.



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