Australia’s Cameron Meyer of the Garmin-Cervelo team secured his first Tour Down Under crown on Sunday following a dramatic last stage won by Britain’s Ben Swift. Meyer took an eight-second lead on fellow Australian Matthew Goss into the final stage of the race, a 90 km street criterium in which 16 bonus seconds were on offer. And despite the efforts of Goss’s HTC-Highroad team to take bonus seconds at the two intermediate sprints, Garmin-Cervelo heaped the pressure on throughout the race to keep Meyer in the ochre jersey by just two seconds. At the finish, where Goss had hoped to pick up a maximum of 10 seconds for winning the stage, HTC-Highroad were nowhere to be seen as Swift led home Sky teammate Greg Henderson.
“I’m absolutely shocked, but so excited at the same time,” said Meyer after winning with the smallest margin in the race’s 13-year history. “It was such a close bike race, all I could do was cross my fingers… but a big thanks goes out to the team. Without them I wouldn’t have won this.”
Goss, who recently finished second in the Australian national road race championships, finished second overall at 2-seconds with Team Sky sprinter Swift moving up to third place thanks to his winning sprint. This week’s race was the first on the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) WorldTour series. It was also Lance Armstrong’s final professional bike race outside the United States, the American finishing outside the race’s top 50. Cancer survivor Armstrong, the winner of a record seven Tour de France titles, announced last October that the Tour Down Under would be his final international race.