Stephen Williams takes out last stage to win 2024 Tour Down Under

Welsh cyclist Stephen Williams sealed his triumph in the Tour Down Under on Sunday, wearing the leader’s ocher jersey to glory in the final stage. Entering the concluding stage on equal time with Scotland’s Oscar Onley, Williams, riding for Israel-Premier Tech, showcased exceptional skill on a demanding course, culminating in a steep ascent to Mount Lofty’s summit. His late break in the final 200 meters secured the stage win, as he outpaced rivals, Jhonatan Narvaez, Stage 2 winner Isaac del Toro, and Bart Lemmen.

The stage victory, accompanied by a 10-second time bonus, ensured Williams a nine-second lead in the overall standings over Narvaez, with Del Toro trailing by two more seconds. Williams’s win marks a notable achievement, as he is the first European victor of the Tour Down Under since 2013. The 27-year-old professional, who turned professional in 2016 and joined the World Tour in 2019, celebrated his inaugural tour win, stating, “I’m really proud to come down here and start the season like this.”

The final stage, a technical 128.2-kilometre (79-mile) challenge, commenced with an ascent to Windy Point and traversed through the Adelaide Hills, including two ascents of Mount Lofty. Del Toro, previous stage winner and GC leader until Williams assumed the ochre jersey on Saturday, attempted a front break near the finish. However, Williams executed a flawless sprint, surpassing Del Toro internally.

Earlier in the week, Israel-Premier Tech had initially strategised for New Zealander Corbin Strong, but following his mid-race illness, the team’s focus shifted to supporting Williams. The final stage witnessed an early breakaway by a group of six, including Stefan de Bod. Still, the peloton regrouped with less than four kilometres remaining, enabling Williams to emerge victorious.

Dutch rider Bart Lemmen, representing Visma | Lease a Bike, finished the stage in fourth and placed fifth overall in the GC. Lemmen’s performance was noteworthy, particularly in his debut WorldTour race. Reflecting on the final stage’s intensity, Lemmen acknowledged the challenge. Williams’s victory on Mount Lofty and the overall win in the Tour Down Under exemplify his climbing prowess and strategic racing, positioning him as a rider to watch in the upcoming European season. The race concludes an eventful week for Team dsm-firmenich PostNL, with Onley securing fourth in the GC and a stage win, underlining the team’s collective effort and individual talent.

2024 Tour Down Under Men Stage 6 result

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Main photo credit: Cor Vos

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