TechPowered By

More tech

Santos Tour Down Under 2010

Date range:
January 19-24, 2010

January 23, Stage 5: Snapper Point - Willunga 149km

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 12, 2010, 23:49 GMT,
Updated:
January 18, 2010, 11:48 GMT

January 23

Always a popular day for fans and riders, the fifth stage from Snapper Point to Willunga encapsulates the best of the Tour Down Under - stunning scenery around the Fleurieu Peninsula, big crowds and solid racing.

The stage is essentially two circuit races placed together, with a coastal loop accompanied by a hilly loop that includes two ascents of Old Willunga Hill, where traditionally the peloton splits and the overall victor usually confirmed or decided.

While opportunists used to benefit from the climb, in recent years the sprinters have maintained enough pace up the 4km hill to stay within contact of the leaders and catch any breaks before contesting a fast finale.

It's a fairly dead flat parcours until the two passes of the climb, although the prevailing westerly winds can help make life difficult for riders and aid the chances of a break getting away. It promises excitement every year and 2010 shouldn't be any different.

Team Milram's Luke Roberts says:

Two years ago I rode with Allan Davis in the UniSA team and we won it going over Willunga Hill once. I waited with Allan - I just rode the tempo he could handle - and I think there were 15 or 20 guys who went over in front of us. Our team rode Allan back on along the top but unfortunately Greipel stayed with us as there were about 20 guys who made up our group.

If Davis and Greipel are both in the second group this year, it will be interesting to see how Allan's form is and whether he can go over twice in the group. The same applies to André.

It depends on how it's raced; normally, if you go over Willunga once you come in there [to the hill] like a sprint finish and it's just a case of going hard from the bottom. Some guys could be intimidated by going over it twice - they could come in and ride it fairly easily the first time. Our team won't be doing that - we want to come in there giving it everything.

The year Pat Jonker won Ben Day won the stage after he slipped away late in the day. There's often a lot of wind in that stage and after Willunga Hill, with everyone fighting to come back to a group, everyone's seeing red in the last 10 kilometres and looking for the finish line, it's a tough last five kilometres - there's wind and a slow drag uphill.

If someone's really got something left then there's a good chance to go away there but you've really got to have quite a bit left in the tank to be able to do it. If you attack and don't have the legs, there's not much chance of staying in the group after that.

Stage 5