Tour Down Under (finale)
Telephone squad steps onto Adelaide podium as team classification winners, fall back in love with Tour Down Under after Lobato wins stage two in Stirling, Rubén Fernández shines with 5th overall
Young local Rohan Dennis (BMC) claimed overall honours on Sunday in South Australia as the 17th edition of the Tour Down Under brought back its sweeter taste to the Movistar Team after injuries, crashes and illness stroking hard its roster in 2014. The lads directed by José Luis Arrieta started off magnificently -ranked 3rd, behind SKY and an unstoppable BMC, with two podium finishers- their defense of the two consecutive WorldTour titles by showing compenetration and good atmosphere, two factors that have always set him on the path to success.
The domestique work by Lastras and Sanz, plus the good level into the climbs by Herrada and Capecchi were crucial for the Blues' two successes of the week: the spectacular win by Juanjo Lobato on day two, after a late puncture into the final lap of the circuit around Stirling, and the GC top-5 by Rubén Fernández, who responded perfectly to leadership responsibility after his team-mate Gorka Izagirre -brilliant till that point and also afterwards- struggled at the end of the Paracombe climb on Friday. The Basque was eighth -one place up after Machado (KAT) was caught into a late crash today, disabling Lobato to sprint as Wippert (DPC) triumphed- in the final classification, with Rubén netting a great 3rd up the Willunga Hill on Saturday.
Movistar's final victory in the team standings confirmed the return of a love story between the Blues and Australia, having won a stage with Ventoso in 2011, another with Valverde in 2012 plus 2nd overall and a second GC podium with Moreno two years ago. The group will take their first of two flights back to Spain this very night (noon, peninsular time.)