BENDIGO’S Jason Lea has capped a dream debut at the Tour Down Under in South Australia by clinching the King of the Mountain title on Sunday.
The 22-year-old entered the final stage at Willunga having held the polka dot jersey for the duration of the Tour and did enough to stave off a late challenge from Dutch rider Wouter Poels.
Lea, who rode as a member of the UniSA-Australia Men’s Team, finished 107th overall.
History was made as South African Daryl Impey became the first rider in the event’s 21-year history to win the Tour for the second straight year.
Impey finished 13 seconds ahead of Australian Riche Porte, who won Sunday’s Willunga stage for an incredible sixth time.
He dedicated the overall win to much-respected Australian Mitchelton-Scott teammate Mat Hayman, who ended his 20-year racing career when he finished Sunday's 151.5km stage south of Adelaide.
"He's been a fantastic teammate," Impey said of Hayman.
"We were going to celebrate anyway now his career is done, but ... it's going to be a double celebration.
"It's going to be a big night."
Porte, who won the Tour in 2017, has finished runner-up on four occasions.
Bendigo’s Chris Hamilton finished the final stage in sixth position, to win the Young Rider classification and finish the Tour sixth overall.
It was an improvement of eight places for Hamilton, who finished 16th last year.
The 23-year-old Team Sunweb rider also finished 12th in the King of the Mountain classification.
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