The 23 year old Dutchman Tom-Jelte Slagter completed that last stage of the 2013 Tour Down Under as a formality with his overall victory secure. While he never considered the overall victory when he arrive in Australia, he says he had a great week and his victory gives Team Blanco (ex. Team Rabobank) a great start into the racing season as they search for a new title sponsor.
For Aussies, Simon Gerrans of Orica-GreenEDGE took a highlight win on Australia day up Old Wilunga hill just ahead of Slagter, a stage that has legendary status.
The other highlight of this years tour are the four stage victories of German André Greipel of team Lotto-Belisol. His team in top form for lead-outs, the pacing and finishes were without equal so that most sprint finish contenders were fighting hard just to follow Greipels’ wheel to the finish. Mark Renshaw had a solid chance in the final stage getting some led in the final stretch though was no match for the power of the big German.
Greipel is a crowd favorite and in Australia with this stage victory takes the number of professional stage victories to 100. Another favourite German, 41 year old Jens Voigt of Team Radioshack Trek was a real crowd pleaser taking part in a number of break aways during the tour.
The Tour Down Under organisers announced a turnout of 750,000 people
Photo © Santos Tour Down Under