Greipel takes final stage, Impey wins Tour Down Under



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    German sprint ace Andre Greipel has caught young Australian star Caleb Ewan on the line again at the Tour Down Under.

    Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) beat Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) by less than half-a-bike length to win the sixth and final stage on Sunday in Adelaide.

    World champion Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe) finished third.

    Ewan’s South African teammate Daryl Impey stayed out of trouble in the 90km street race to secure his first Tour title.

    Impey was tied on the overall standings with Richie Porte (BMC) after the Australian star won his fifth-straight Willunga stage on Saturday.

    But Impey took the lead after a countback of stage placings and Porte immediately conceded, given he knew Mitchelton-Scott had much better sprinting power.

    Porte’s only chance to take the overall title is if he could have picked up bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint checkpoints or the finish.

    Had he challenged, Mitchelton-Scott would have countered easily.

    Instead, Australian Ben O’Connor (Dimension Data) was prominent as a breakaway rider for much of the stage.

    As always in the last stage, the sprinters’ teams made sure it would come down to a bunch finish.

    It was Greipel’s second stage win in this Tour, following his stage-one success.

    Ewan also led to the line at Lyndoch in the Barossa, only for the powerful German to pass him.

    Greipel, the overall winner in 2008 and 2010, holds the Tour record of 18 stage wins.

    The 20th Tour featured a top sprint field, with Sagan, Ewan and Italian Elia Viviani (Quick Step) also winning a stage apiece.

    While Ewan produced an outstanding ride to win at Stirling in the Adelaide Hills, he botched the sprint the next day at Victor Harbor and Viviani won instead.

    Ewan, Australia’s best sprinter since Robbie McEwen is a work in progress and the 23-year-old talent will make his much-anticipated Tour de France debut in July.

    © AAP 2018

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