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.