QuickStep's Allan Davis has won the 11th edition of Australia's week-long Tour Down Under.
The sixth and final stage today comprised a fast, 90 km circuit in Adelaide, which provided the opportunity for one last sprint tussle.
A break of several riders, including Luis León Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne), Bernhard Eisel (Team Columbia), Christian Knees (Milram), and Jack Bobridge (UniSA), who has been in virtually every breakaway this week, set off early to work up an advantage. However, the sprint teams took complete control of the peloton and never let the advantage stick.
Lance Armstrong (Astana), on the other hand, thought otherwise, and with two laps to go, attacked the peloton and bridged up to the breakaway in search of stage glory.
QuickStep did much of the early work to make sure that Davis' overall jersey was secure. Davis did not partake in the sprint for the stage win, though, so with a few laps to go, Graeme Brown's Team Rabobank and Robbie McEwen's Team Katusha started chasing in earnest to set the day up for a sprint finish between their two leaders.
Unfortunately, just meters from the line, McEwen and Brown had a minor collision and lost speed, while Liquigas' sprinter Francesco Chicchi sniped them on the line for his first stage win this year. McEwen got second and Brown third.
Allan Davis secures the overall title for this year's Tour Down Under. The only rider to have ridden all 11 editions of the Tour, Davis is making a name for himself on the world stage after a 2008 season plagued with injury and disappointment. Look for him to win many more sprints this year.
The other story of this race, Lance Armstrong, is now honing in on his form for the season. Look for a better indication of his progress at the Tour of California next month.
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