BMC hold onto overall lead ahead of Willunga Hill

Team avoids late crash to remain one-two on GC

BMC will start the queen stage of the Tour Down Under in prime position to deliver either Rohan Dennis or Cadel Evans to overall victory. Both riders avoided the mass pile up at the end of stage four won by Steele von Hoff (UniSA) to remain one-two on the GC with Dennis holding a three-second advantage over his teammate.

"It's been a good day," Dennis said. "Our team rode perfect all day. They protected me really well. If anything was going to happen, I felt safe. The only time I was a little bit worried was with 35km to go when some attacked started going on. There were people getting a little bit on the edge. Sky and Movistar did a lot of work near the finish."

The biggest mover on the day was Orica-GreenEdge's Daryl Impey who picked up bonus seconds at the first intermediate sprint point and the finish line and now sits in fourth place overall.

"Impey took some time bonus," he said. "He's now at 13 seconds but it is not a big concern if we race like yesterday and I have the same good legs as yesterday," he said. "Our team was excellent today so we're still aiming for a one-two, [with] Cadel and I."

With the race to be decided on the climb up to Willunga Hill, Dennis explained how he sees it playing out. 

"Obviously there will be a selection like there always is over the top," he said. "Generally it's a cross wind in that five-kilometre stretch [after cresting the climb] and down Penny's Hill and back round again for that final time. I dare say there will be fireworks going off."

With Evans' making his final stage race appearance at the race, the 'fairytale' finish would be for the only Australian to claim the win which Dennis is acutely aware of. 

"We are not naming any names," he said of the team tactics. "Our goal is to aim high and get us both one-two on the podium. Whether that's Cadel or me, it doesn't matter as we are both BMC riders. I think our goal is to get us on the podium as one and two. There is no definite leader, we want to strive for one and two.

"Obviously I don’t want to take away from a great send-off that we could give him but in saying that if I just sit up and say 'you take it' and someone else takes the win it would look pretty bad," he added. "We both have to go to the race and no doubt in the finish, one of us will be on the podium.

Dennis reiterated that the team is focused on the overall and is confident of sealing the win.

"The one thing in cycling is that you have to risk everything to win. It is sort of risky but it is definitely possible," he said. "With Cadel's form and my form and the team we have, Cadel was saying before it's a Tour de France winning team. We are strong and united and work together really well." 

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