Porte Wins Stage, Gerrans Takes Tour Down Under Lead


ADELAIDE, Australia, Jan 25, 2014 (AFP) – Tasmanian Richie Porte won the
fifth stage of the Tour Down Under following a brilliant solo attack up the
second ascent of Willunga Hill in South Australia on Saturday.

Porte (Team Sky) waited until halfway up the final climb to the finish line
on top of the mountain before powering past race leader Cadel Evans and racing
away to win by 10 seconds.

Evans, who took a seven second overall lead into the stage, faded over the
final 200 metres as general classification rivals Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida)
and Simon Gerrans swept past to claim the minor places in the 151.5-kilometre
(94-mile) stage from McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill.

Gerrans’ third place ensured the Orica GreenEdge rider regained the ochre
leader’s jersey from Evans by just one second.

Ulissi is a further four seconds back in third with Porte jumping six
places to fourth, 10 seconds behind Gerrans.

“I tried to conserve as much as I could on the climb because it was quite a
strong head wind, so the second you put your nose in the wind you really dive
down,” Gerrans said.

“I could see that Cadel was obviously a little bit nervous because he had
to do a lot of work, and when we jumped in to finish there he wasn’t able to

The penultimate stage took the riders on three circuits through the
vineyards of McLaren Vale and along the beachfront at Aldinga and Snapper
Point before two ascents up Willunga Hill, the longest and steepest climb of
the Tour.

The stage invariably produces some of the best racing of the week and it
was no exception on Saturday as four riders, led by 42-year-old German Jens
Voigt (Trek Factory Racing), launched a breakaway.

Crowd favourite Voigt was joined at the front by Mikhail Ignatyev
(Katusha), Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) and Matteo Trentin (Omega
Pharma-QuickStep) and they must have had some hope of staying away when they
got the lead up to almost 10 minutes.

However, slowly but surely the peloton began to increase the pace and reel
the leaders in as the first climb up Willunga Hill approached.

Lobato was dropped at the bottom of the hill but the other three stayed
clear and made it to the summit before finally being caught on the descent.

Voigt then had the huge crowd watching on giant screens atop Willunga Hill
in raptures as he launched another attack at the bottom of the hill, but it
was to be in vain as the peloton, led by Gerrans’ Orica GreenEdge team, caught
and passed him at the start of the climb.

Evans tried to emulate his stage win from earlier in the week when he
attacked up Corkscrew Road Hill and held on to win, but this time Porte was
able to go with him and Evans, whose BMC Racing teammates had been dropped
earlier, couldn’t respond.

The winner of the season-opening UCI World Tour race will now be determined
on the final 85-kilometre (52-mile) circuit through the streets of Adelaide, a
stage unlikely to help Porte’s bid for a podium finish.

“It’s a little bit stressful, I’m not really much of a criterion rider,”
Porte conceded.

“It’ll be all hands on deck tomorrow with the team. I’m sure we’ll do all
we can to protect the position I’m in.”

Results after the 151.5-kilometre
(94-mile) fifth stage of the Tour Down Under from McLaren Vale to Willunga
Hill in South Australia on Saturday.

1. Richie Porte (AUS/Team Sky) 3hr 42min 20sec
2. Diego Ulissi (ITA/Lampre-Merida) at 10 seconds
3. Simon Gerrans (AUS/Orica GreenEdge) s.t
4. Robert Gesink (BEL/Belkin) +14
5. Daryl Impey (RSA/Orica GreenEdge) s.t
6. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC Racing) s.t
7. Nathan Haas (AUS/Garmin-Sharp) +17
8. Egor Silin (RUS/Katusha) s.t.
9. Adam Hansen (AUS/Lotto-Belisol) s.t
10. Geraint Thomas (GBR/Team Sky) +21
21. Javier Morena (ESP/Movistar) +53
54. Andre Greipel (GER/Lotto-Belisol) +4.35
60. Frank Schleck (LUX/Trek Factory Racing) +5.12

General classification
1. Simon Gerrans (AUS/Orica GreenEdge)18hr 2min 19sec
2. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC Racing) at 1 second
3. Diego Ulissi (ITA/Lampre-Merida) +5
4. Richie Porte (AUS/Team Sky)+10
5. Nathan Haas (AUS/Garmin-Sharp) +27
6. Robert Gesink (BEL/Belkin) +30
7. Daryl Impey (RSA/Orica GreenEdge) +34
8. Adam Hansen (AUS/Lotto-Belisol) +37
9. Geraint Thomas (GBR/Team Sky) s.t.
10. Egor Silin (RUS/Katusha) s.t
31. Frank Schleck (LUX/Trek Factory Racing) +6.17
47. Andre Greipel (GER/Lotto-Belisol) +11.15
54. Javier Moreno (ESP/Movistar) +16.27

King of the Mountain
1. Adam Hansen (AUS/Lotto-Belisol) 28 points
2. Axel Domont (FRA/Ag2R La Mondiale) 28 points
3. Richie Porte (AUS/Teams Sky) 24 points

1. Simon Gerrans (AUS/Orica GreenEdge) 75 points
2. Diego Ulissi (ITA/Lampre-Merida) 56 points
3. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC Racing) 45 points