• Mat Hayman of Mitchelton-Scott at the 2018 Tour de France (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
SBS Cycling Central caught up with all the Aussies who finished the 2018 Tour on the Champs Elysees. We take a look at how they fared in three weeks around France.
By
Cycling Central

30 Jul 2018 - 5:56 AM  UPDATED 30 Jul 2018 - 7:00 AM

Mat Hayman (Mitchelton-Scott)

The cobbles and flat-lands specialist was called into the squad to perform a specific role; keep Adam Yates out of trouble in the first nine stages. There's was only the slight hiccup of the Stage 1 crash for Yates and Hayman did his job all the way up to the first rest day well.

He even got in the breakaway a few times once the squad shifted to a stage-hunting focus, nearly setting up Yates for a stage win and making a very strong five man break on Stage 18. 

Mat Hayman reflects after Stage 20

Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott)

A solid Tour from Durbridge. He was a key part of the team time trial squad that finished fourth on Stage 3 and supported Yates well throughout the first week. He was also named the most combative rider after his breakaway showing on Stage 18.

Luke Durbridge talks on the Champs Elysees

Michael Hepburn (Mitchelton-Scott)

Was on domestique duty for much of the race, but proved his value particularly in the tests against the clock. He was an important part of both the team time trial and then produced a top ten result in the Stage 20 individual time trial.

Michael Hepburn after Stage 14 to Mende

Simon Clarke (EF Education First Drapac)

Clarke was part of the support squad for 2017 runner-up Rigoberto Uran, with the Aussie playing the role of road captain. The Tour unraveled for the squad when Uran crashed on the cobbled Stage 9 and subsequently abandoned the race after looking worse for wear in the Alps. 

Clarke did a bit of breakaway-hunting after that, his most notable foray was in a late attack on Stage 18.

Simon Clarke chats with the crew at the end of the Tour

Simon Gerrans (BMC)

Gerrans came in as the road captain for Richie Porte's Tour bid and like the rest of the team, was left without a leader once Porte crashed out of the race.

Simon Gerrans with Tomo and Macca on the Champs Elysees

Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain Merida)

Haussler didn't think he was going to be going to the Tour de France again in his career, but his team talked him into it as they needed a man of Haussler's experience to guide team leader Vincenzo Nibali around the flat and cobbled stages in the first nine days. 

He did that job well, Nibali was doing fine until he was brought down by a spectator on Alpe d'Huez and broke his T10 vertebrae. 

Haussler post-Stage 20 interview

Rory Sutherland (UAE Team Emirates)

Sutherland made his debut in this year's Tour de France at the tender age of 36. He's been carrying water, getting on the front of the race, sheltering others from the wind - essentially doing everything that's been needed for team leader Dan Martin. 

Rory Sutherland with his kids at the conclusion of the Tour

Abandoned

Richie Porte (BMC)

The great Aussie hope for the yellow jersey got off to a bad start in Stage 1, getting caught up behind a crash and losing 51 seconds. The team rebounded from that misfortune, won the team trial and had Richie looking the goods as they went into the Stage 9 cobbles. 

Unfortunately for Porte, that was where his hopes were smashed. A fall even before he reached the cobbles resulted in a broken collarbone that ended the Tasmanian's Tour bid.

Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb)

Matthews was off to a decent start in the race, he was a bit out of position in the early sprints but did manage to help his team to a very good team time trial. He was set to make his mark on the Tour on the uphill, punchy finishes but came down with a nasty virus before Stage 5 and didn't take the start line.

Australian Matthews out of the Tour de France
Sunweb's Australian rider Michael Matthews was forced to abandon the Tour de France before the fifth stage.

Mark Renshaw (Dimension Data)

The famous leadout man was again on duty for long-time partner Mark Cavendish. Renshaw did his normal job on the road, but the pair never quite rekindled the glory days of past Tours de France.

Renshaw was eliminated by the time cut on Stage 11, alongside Cavendish.

Damien Howson (Mitchelton-Scott)

Howson put in a number of solid showings in the mountains making important breakaways in the mountains in support of Adam Yates and Mikel Nieve. He even had a go for himself in Stage 16, but was brought down in the sprint for ninth on the stage, breaking a bone in his hand. 
He initially thought that he would continue, but reconsidered after the rest day and did not take the start on Stage 17.