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Vine pounced to try to win the stage, but Yates pipped him at the line. Vine secured overall victory in a dominant week of racing.
“It’s incredible to stand here in the winner’s jersey,” Vine said. “The team gave me the support all week, and I am so happy to be able to finish it off today. It’s so satisfying.”
Yates jumped with 1.7km to go, and Ben O’Connor and Vine were all over it. A week of racing came down to the final climb up Mount Lofty.
Magnus Sheffield (Ineos Grenadiers) finished in the lead bunch to secure fourth overall, while Yates and Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) filled out the final podium.
Yates was forced to do all the work with 1km to go as the chasers were digging deep behind to try to come back in time to contest the stage win. Yates made another move, but Vine had the legs to stay with the acceleration with the overall title on the line.
“It’s good to get the stage win for the team,” Yates said. “I was a bit on the back foot after the prologue, so to finish on the podium and bring home a stage victory is a great start to the season.”
O’Connor made one dash for victory, and then Vine tried his hand for the win. Yates came over the top for the stage, with Vine securing the overall in his first appearance at the Tour Down Under.
Vine started the final stage with a slender 15-second lead, and needed to mark the wheels of his direct rivals to sew up the overall.
“All I was thinking was, ‘follow Yates, follow Yates, follow Yates,'” Vine said. “It’s been a great week. I hope to carry this back to Europe and keep getting some good results.”
The race opened up early on five climbs up and around Mount Lofty, the emblematic climb in the Adelaide Hills. At 1.5km at 6.5 percent, the climb put on the pinch with five times up the summit road.
UAE Team Emirates kept a tight leash on the bunch, with early breakaway attempts quickly being snuffed in order not to lose control of the race.
A small group peeled clear, and Max Schachmann (Bora Hansgrohe) went on a flier on the closing lap to light up the action as the narrow mountain roads ducked and dipped on the closing circuit. Matteo Cattaneo (Soudal-Quick-Step) also gave it a dig.
The front GC group kept on the pressure, and the gap was neutralized with 7km to go. It all came down to a battle of who had any legs left.
The 2023 WorldTour continues next weekend with the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, with the women racing Saturday and the men Sunday.
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