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Gerrans now leads the UCI WorldTour individual classification with 112 points, 26 more than Porte, second with 86 points, whilst Sergio Henao makes up the initial World Tour top three with 74 points.

Photo: Sirotti






25.01.2016 @ 13:26 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

For the fourth time in his career, Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) has won Australia’s most prestigious stage race, the Santos Tour Down Under, and the 35-year-old Australian has simultaneously claimed top spot overall in the UCI WorldTour individual rankings, too.


In what has proved to be a hugely successful six-days of action-packed racing for the host nation, Australian riders claimed three of the top four placings and all of the stage wins, two of them going to Gerrans and two to his Orica-GreenEdge team-mate, Caleb Ewan.


For Gerrans, getting 2016 off to such a great start on home soil could not be a better way of putting an injury-blighted 2015 behind him.


"I couldn’t have asked for any more of the guys this week, they really did a sensational job keeping me up at the front and out of trouble,” Gerrans said afterwards."It’s fantastic to race the Santos Tour Down Under with Orica-GreenEdge, an Aussie team winning the only WorldTour race we have in Australia and the opening WorldTour race of the season. It’s just awesome.”


Although nine seconds is his largest winning margin of his four triumphs, Gerrans pointed out that such tiny differences always make the Santos Tour Down Under a race where it is impossible to be certain of victory until reaching the final finishing line in Adelaide.


“I think every one of my four victories has been equally important and to be totally honest, this one feels just as good as the first one did,” Gerrans, forced to miss defending his 2014 title because of injury but who has now won the race three times out of his four last participations, said afterwards.


Gerrans now leads the UCI WorldTour individual classification with 112 points, 26 more than Porte, second with 86 points, whilst Sergio Henao makes up the initial World Tour top three with 74 points.


Gerrans Orica-GreenEdge squad are the first leaders of the UCI WorldTour teams ranking, thanks to their impressive run of home wins, Australia, unsurprisingly, have opened up a significant advantage in the nations classification. Australia now have 284 points, placing them well clear of Colombia, with 74 points, whilst Spain, last year’s outright winner, start the season with 61 points.


The next round of the UCI WorldTour, is Paris-Nice, which runs from March 6th - 13th, where Gerrans will have to defend his overall lead against a mixture of Classics and stage race specialists. It can’t be forgotten, though, that last year Paris-Nice was where Richie Porte moved into the overall UCI WorldTour lead and then held onto that top spot until the end of April: will he do the same again in 2016?



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