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Locals dominate Tour Down Under
Roger Vaughan
19:13 AEST Sun Jan 26 2014

Only one year ago, there were no Australians in the top 10 overall standings of the nation's major cycling tour.

This Tour Down Under more than made up for that anomaly.

Led by Simon Gerrans, Cadel Evans and Richie Porte, Australians were everywhere.

The most successful race in the Tour's history featured an absorbing duel between Gerrans and Evans that came down to one second.

Gerrans prevailed and won his third title - a Tour record.

He also won stage one and took out the points classification.

Evans produced probably the greatest single ride since the Tour started in 1999.

His solo charge over Corkscrew Hill Rd for the stage-three win brought back the best memories of his 2011 Tour de France triumph.

Likewise, Porte showed he is on track for a big season by breaking clear of Gerrans and Evans to win Saturday's decisive Willunga stage.

But even without that star trio, this would have been a big tour for Australian riders.

Garmin-Sharp rider Nathan Haas finished fifth overall, one place behind Porte, and was outstanding.

Adam Hansen (Lotto-Belisol), one of the peloton's top domestiques, won the King of the Mountains category and finished ninth overall.

UniSA rider Jack Haig won the young rider category and teammate Caleb Ewan showed flashes of his boundless potential.

But Ewan's hopes of a big week were cruelled when he crashed in stage two and had to nurse some nasty injuries through the rest of the Tour.