Meyer finished 20th on the final stage, credited with the same time as Swift who won his second stage of the tour, and defended the overall lead he held for the last three stages. He led by 8 seconds from Goss at the start of the final stage and was able to hold off the late challenge of his Australian rival, despite Goss’s desperate efforts and those of his Highroad teammates.
For 23-year-old Meyer, Sunday’s win may be a critical milestone in a career some say is bound to lift him to superstar status. He is already a winner of three world championships on the track and has now emerged as one of Australia’s leading road cyclists.
“I can’t thank my teammates enough. They were great,” Meyer said. “And credit to Matt Goss, too. He fought right to the end.”
In a repeat of the finale at last year’s Santos Tour Down Under, Team Sky has finished the last stage with two of its riders in first and second place, with Ben Swift saluting the crowd as victor and Greg Henderson behind him.
Lance Armstrong ended his international career at the Tour Down Under in controversial circumstances on Sunday, with continued allegations over illegal doping overshadowing his swansong.
The 39-year-old American refused to talk to reporters as he finished his last professional international race 65th overall, almost six minutes adrift of race winner Cameron Meyer of Australia.
Seven-times Tour de France champion Armstrong will now have to deal with a federal investigation in the U.S., triggered by former team mate Floyd Landis’s allegations that he and other prominent figures in the sport used performance-enhancing drugs.
GC Top 10:
1. Cameron Meyer, Garmin-Cervelo, in 17:54:27
2. Matthew Goss, HTC-Highroad, at 0:02
3. Ben Swift, Sky, at 0:08
4. Michael Matthews, Rabobank, at 0:09
5. Laurens ten Dam, Rabobank, at 0:10
6. Francisco Ventoso, Movistar, at 0:17
7. Andre Greipel, Omega Pharma-Lotto, at 0:26
8. Blel Kadri, Ag2r La Mondiale, s.t.
9. Allan Davis, Astana, at 0:27
10. Luke Roberts, UniSA-Australia, at 0:28