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Gallery: GreenEdge at the Tour Down Under

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Stuart O'Grady working hard up Old Willunga Hill.

Stuart O'Grady working hard up Old Willunga Hill.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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GreeEDGE Scotts in the morning sun.

GreeEDGE Scotts in the morning sun.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Stuart O'Grady pushes the break.

Stuart O'Grady pushes the break.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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The break along side Aldinga Beach.

The break along side Aldinga Beach.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Simon Gerrans in his Australian champion's jersey against the blue sky.

Simon Gerrans in his Australian champion's jersey against the blue sky.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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The sprint is on between Simon Gerrans and Alejandro Valverde.

The sprint is on between Simon Gerrans and Alejandro Valverde.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Alejandro Valverde is looking the strongest with only metres to go.

Alejandro Valverde is looking the strongest with only metres to go.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Simon Gerrans and Alejandro Valverde go head to head.

Simon Gerrans and Alejandro Valverde go head to head.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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The lunge for the line in front of a huge crowd.

The lunge for the line in front of a huge crowd.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Luke Durbridge was domestique duties.

Luke Durbridge was domestique duties.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Simon Gerrans makes his way back to the bunch.

Simon Gerrans makes his way back to the bunch.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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The nicest looking car in the convoy.

The nicest looking car in the convoy.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Robbie McEwen is always willing to sign autographs.

Robbie McEwen is always willing to sign autographs.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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A big day for Simon Gerrans awaits.

A big day for Simon Gerrans awaits.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Stuart O'Grady poses for a quick photo before the start.

Stuart O'Grady poses for a quick photo before the start.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Stuart O'Grady chats with Eddy Merckx.

Stuart O'Grady chats with Eddy Merckx.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Robbie McEwen before the start.

Robbie McEwen before the start.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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An early chat before the stage gets serious.

An early chat before the stage gets serious.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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The pace steps up a notch.

The pace steps up a notch.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)
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Simon Gerrans takes over the lead with only one stage to go.

Simon Gerrans takes over the lead with only one stage to go.
(Image credit: Mark Gunter)

Coming into stage 5 of the Santos Tour Down Under, GreenEdge had precious little to show for their considerable efforts in the race to date. As Australia’s first-ever WorldTour outfit, the team was determined to put on a show in front of its home fans and knew that Saturday’s stage to Old Willunga Hill might well prove to be their final opportunity.

With Simon Gerrans clearly on song after his recent national championship victory, the GreenEdge tactic was a simple one – to keep the former Sky rider in contention until the final ascent of Old Willunga Hill. He was shepherded by his teammates through the early exchanges, and then duly made the cut when the race split up in the finale.

Although Gerrans was outgunned by the controversial Alejandro Valverde in the finishing sprint, he had the considerable consolation of taking command of the ochre jersey of race leader with just a 90km criterium to come. With a host of rouleurs and fastmen in their ranks, GreenEdge seem well-placed to control affairs but it will be a tense afternoon’s racing in Adelaide.

Photographer Mark Gunter closely followed GreenEdge before and during stage 5, as they looked to take control of the Tour Down Under and put on a show in front of the home fans. You can view the Cyclingnews gallery here.