Willunga Hill king Richie Porte wins stage 3 of Santos Festival of Cycling

Richie Porte (Team Garmin Australia) won stage 3 of the Santos Festival of Cycling, riding over the Willunga Hill finish line with young teammate Luke Plapp on his wheel.

No one could even come close to the pair on the iconic climb at the end of the 88.2 kilometre stage of the National Road Series Event, with Porte riding away from the competition at the base and then looking back as 20-year-old Plapp approached to usher him onto his wheel. Plapp then followed the Willunga Hill king up to the finish line at the top of the climb, where Porte has already tasted victory 6 times, and then sat up to clap as Porte rolled over in first.

“The rider of the day was Plappy in second. He could have easily come around me but he didn’t,” said Porte immediately after the stage. “It has just been a great race so far. I don’t have the form I normally would and I had to go longer than I normally would too, and that hurt, but it’s just great to be back racing.” 

The Santos Festival of Cycling replaces the usual WorldTour event, cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which means the Ineos Grenadiers rider is instead racing alongside the up-and-comers of the national team as they compete in the event, alongside Team BikeExchange, in a field dominated by domestic teams.

“One month ago I came out of quarantine a little bit rotund and I worked hard, had some really good training mates back there in Tassie that really kicked me back into gear, so I’m happy with that. Luke was the stronger of the two of us today ... but it’s just great to be back here in Australia racing and, yes, it’s not the WorldTour but it’s still a hard hard race,” said Porte.

Overall leader Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) came in third, keeping an extremely generous lead of 2 minutes on the overall heading into the final stage. Though, he did give away ten seconds to second-placed GC rider Plapp after the Team Garmin Australia rider's speedy ascent of Willunga Hill.

“When you follow Richie’s wheel you just sit on and hang on for dear life,” said Plapp.

Chris Harper (Cervelo-Tonsley Village) came over the line fourth, which was enough to shift him up to third place on the overall as the race heads into the final criterium stage.

How it unfolded

It was a relatively short stage, at 88.2 kilometres, with just one ascent of Willunga Hill but the heat added considerably to the degree of difficulty with temperatures climbing their way into the high 30’s as riders set off from the Mclaren Vale start.

The attacks came early but it took a while for a break to take, with the one that stuck formed by Brad Sodden (Meiyo CCN Pro Cycling Team). The ranks swelled until ultimately there were nine riders out the front. The break included Cyrus Monk (Cycle House Racing), Marcus Culey (WorldTour Composite Team), Tristen Saunders (Butterfields Racing), Drew Morey (Team Bridgelane), Thomas Bolton (Olivers Real Food Racing), Will Hodges (Giant Racing Team), Craig Wiggins (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) and Angus Lyons (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast).

Lyons was the best placed rider in the break and as the gap grew beyond two minutes he at times threatened the position of overall second place Plapp. That meant Team Garmin Australia could often been seen at the front of the peloton, with Team BikeExchange helping but not facing the same level of urgency in the chase given the size of Durbridge’s overall lead.

As the race passed by the well populated beach on the first lap Thomas Bolton mopped up the three sprint points, with Monk just behind and then on the second the order reversed. At that point the gap had stretched out to more than two-and-a-half minutes but that didn’t last.

At 15 kilometres to go the gap began to fall, slipping under two minutes, then by seven kilometres to go it was below one minute with the peloton speed increasing and the battle for position ramping up as the three kilometre climb of Willunga Hill approached.

With the writing on the wall for the break, Monk shot off the front and only some of the lead group could respond which meant the group of nine quickly turned into a group of four. Joining Monk out the front was Morey, Lyons and Hodges but it wasn’t to last once the climb began.

Chris Harper jumped out of the peloton but Porte would have none of it, chasing him down quickly and then heading off on his own on the lower slopes. It looked for a while like he would just ride off to the top alone, but then Porte kept looking back and it quickly became clear that the rider approaching behind wasn’t a threat but an ally.

Teammate Plapp jumped onto the wheel Porte offered and the pair rode the final stages of the climb together, with Plapp arriving at the top still looking strong but preferring to clap the Willunga Hill king over the line rather than try and pass the WorldTour professional who had been prepared to play the part of super domestique for an Australia up-and-comer.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Richie Porte (Team Garmin Australia) 1:57:07
2Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia)
3Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) 0:00:08
4Chris Harper (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:00:13
5Lionel Mawditt (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:00:22
6Ben Metcalfe (Team Bridgelane) 0:00:26
7Angus Lyons (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:00:39
8Drew Morey (Team Bridgelane)
9Brendon Davids (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:00:45
10Dylan McKenna (Nero Continental) 0:00:52
11Carter Turnbull (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:00:56
12Raphael Freiensten (InForm TM Insight Make)
13Tim Roe (CERVELO-Tonsley Village)
14Alex Bogna (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:00:59
15Brendon Johnston (CCS Cycling) 0:01:02
16Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange) 0:01:05
17Mark O'Brien (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:01:09
18Cameron Ivory (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:01:18
19Kaine Cannan (Velofit Australia)
20Rudy Porter (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:01:22
21Will Maloney-Morton (Cycle House Racing) 0:01:27
22Joshua Wilson (Velofit Australia) 0:01:28
23Connor Reardon (St George Continental Cycling Team)
24Daniel Siwek (Butterfields Racing) 0:01:32
25Nicholas White (Team Bridgelane) 0:01:35
26Jason Thomason (Butterfields Racing) 0:01:41
27Sam Crome (St George Continental Cycling Team)
28Will Hodges (GIANT Racing Team) 0:01:46
29Seb Berwick (WorldTour Composite Team)
30Riley Fleming (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:02:02
31Oli Stenning (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast)
32Zack Barnhill (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:02:07
33Kane Richards (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:02:29
34Matt Ross (Cycle House Racing)
35Zac Johnson (InForm TM Insight Make)
36Mattew Harvey (Velofit Australia) 0:02:39
37Will Golding (Butterfields Racing) 0:02:50
38Cyrus Monk (Cycle House Racing) 0:02:52
39Godfrey Slattery (GIANT Racing Team)
40Alex Holden (GIANT Racing Team)
41Elliot Schultz (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:02:56
42Jacob Langham (Velofit Australia) 0:03:06
43Myles Stewart (Nero Continental)
44Reece Tucknott (CCS Cycling) 0:03:14
45Chris Luxton (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:03:36
46Zack Gilmore (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:03:50
47Zachary Marriage (Butterfields Racing) 0:03:54
48Cooper Sayers (Nero Continental) 0:04:33
49Oliver Anderson (CERVELO-Tonsley Village)
50Justin Gassner (CERVELO-Tonsley Village)
51Cameron Meyer (Team BikeExchange) 0:04:42
52Terance Hore (Cycle House Racing) 0:05:19
53Carter Bettles (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:05:24
54Sam Volkers (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team)
55Campbell Jones (OLIVERS Real Food Racing)
56Adam Blazevic (GIANT Racing Team)
57Rylan Dowdell (Butterfields Racing)
58Ryan Cavanagh (St George Continental Cycling Team)
59Conor Leahy (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:05:27
60Jensen Plowright (Team Bridgelane)
61Bill Simpson (GIANT Racing Team) 0:05:44
62Bryce Lanigan (Velofit Australia) 0:06:25
63Cam Roberts (CCS Cycling) 0:06:37
64Tristen Saunders (Butterfields Racing) 0:06:49
65Marcus Culey (WorldTour Composite Team)
66Thomas Bolton (OLIVERS Real Food Racing)
67Sam Welsford (Team Garmin Australia) 0:07:24
68Jordan Kerby (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team)
69Brad Soden (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team)
70Pat Drapac (Cycle House Racing)
71Jimmy Whelan (Team Garmin Australia) 0:07:32
72Lucas Hamilton (Team BikeExchange)
73Steele van Hoff (InForm TM Insight Make)
74Kelland O'Brien (Team Garmin Australia) 0:07:38
75Blake Quick (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:07:49
76Alex Edmondson (Team BikeExchange) 0:08:13
77Craig Wiggins (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:08:39
78Damien Howson (Team BikeExchange) 0:09:33
79David Randall (Butterfields Racing) 0:10:30
80Matthew Rice (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:10:38
81Josh Duffy (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:11:10
DNFAlex Porter (Team Garmin Australia)
DNSSam Jenner (Team Bridgelane)
DNSBen Hill (Team Bridgelane)
DNSLiam White (OLIVERS Real Food Racing)
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Ziptrak Sprint 1: Esplanade, Snapper Point
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Thomas Bolton (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 3
2Cyrus Monk (Cycle House Racing) 2
3Marcus Culey (WorldTour Composite Team) 1
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Ziptrak Sprint 2: Esplanade, Snapper Point
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Cyrus Monk (Cycle House Racing) 3
2Thomas Bolton (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 2
3Brad Soden (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 1
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Sprint Finish
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Richie Porte (Team Garmin Australia) 3
2Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia) 2
3Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) 1
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Shimano King of the Mountain - Willunga Hill (category 1)
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Richie Porte (Team Garmin Australia) 10
2Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia) 6
3Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) 4
4Chris Harper (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 2
5Lionel Mawditt (St George Continental Cycling Team) 1
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Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1CERVELO-Tonsley Village 5:53:48
2Team Bridgelane 0:00:13
3InForm TM Insight Make 0:00:34
4St George Continental Cycling Team 0:01:04
5Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast 0:01:13
6Velofit Australia 0:02:58
7Team BikeExchange 0:03:28
8Butterfields Racing 0:03:36
9Cycle House Racing 0:04:21
10Team Garmin Australia 0:04:57
11GIRacing Team 0:05:03
12OLIVReal Food Racing 0:05:44
13Nero Continental 0:06:04
14MEPro Cycling Team 0:08:22
15CCS Cycling 0:08:26
16WorldTour Composite Team 0:11:35
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General classification
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) 7:11:04
2Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia) 0:02:00
3Chris Harper (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:02:42
4Ben Metcalfe (Team Bridgelane) 0:03:19
5Raphael Freiensten (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:03:20
6Brendon Davids (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:03:38
7Tim Roe (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:03:43
8Dylan McKenna (Nero Continental) 0:03:49
9Carter Turnbull (InForm TM Insight Make)
10Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange) 0:03:54
11Angus Lyons (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:04:09
12Sam Crome (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:04:34
13Kaine Cannan (Velofit Australia) 0:04:57
14Oli Stenning (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:05:02
15Brendon Johnston (CCS Cycling) 0:05:04
16Connor Reardon (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:05:09
17Kane Richards (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:05:22
18Riley Fleming (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:06:06
19Nicholas White (Team Bridgelane) 0:06:39
20Cyrus Monk (Cycle House Racing) 0:07:33
21Cameron Meyer (Team BikeExchange) 0:07:39
22Mark O'Brien (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:07:46
23Matt Ross (Cycle House Racing) 0:09:53
24Zack Gilmore (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:10:27
25Kelland O'Brien (Team Garmin Australia) 0:10:28
26Damien Howson (Team BikeExchange) 0:12:01
27Sam Welsford (Team Garmin Australia) 0:16:27
28Richie Porte (Team Garmin Australia) 0:16:57
29Rudy Porter (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:17:16
30Cameron Ivory (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:18:19
31Seb Berwick (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:18:47
32Cooper Sayers (Nero Continental) 0:18:57
33Will Maloney-Morton (Cycle House Racing) 0:19:16
34Daniel Siwek (Butterfields Racing) 0:19:21
35Joshua Wilson (Velofit Australia) 0:19:36
36Chris Luxton (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:20:37
37Zac Johnson (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:20:41
38Elliot Schultz (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:20:45
39Mattew Harvey (Velofit Australia) 0:20:54
40Lionel Mawditt (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:21:02
41Will Golding (Butterfields Racing)
42Reece Tucknott (CCS Cycling) 0:21:03
43Alex Holden (GIANT Racing Team) 0:21:04
44Myles Stewart (Nero Continental) 0:21:18
45Oliver Anderson (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:21:34
46Godfrey Slattery (GIANT Racing Team) 0:21:52
47Jacob Langham (Velofit Australia) 0:22:06
48Justin Gassner (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:22:25
49Jensen Plowright (Team Bridgelane) 0:22:28
50Zack Barnhill (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:22:47
51Zachary Marriage (Butterfields Racing) 0:22:51
52Drew Morey (Team Bridgelane) 0:23:03
53Sam Volkers (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:23:36
54Will Hodges (GIANT Racing Team) 0:23:58
55Terance Hore (Cycle House Racing) 0:24:19
56Tristen Saunders (Butterfields Racing) 0:24:59
57Marcus Culey (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:25:00
58Matthew Rice (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:25:10
59Jimmy Whelan (Team Garmin Australia) 0:25:24
60Pat Drapac (Cycle House Racing) 0:25:36
61Adam Blazevic (GIANT Racing Team) 0:26:04
62Jason Thomason (Butterfields Racing) 0:26:51
63Craig Wiggins (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast)
64Alex Bogna (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:27:21
65Bryce Lanigan (Velofit Australia) 0:28:37
66Thomas Bolton (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:28:56
67Carter Bettles (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:29:48
68Rylan Dowdell (Butterfields Racing) 0:30:34
69Campbell Jones (OLIVERS Real Food Racing)
70Ryan Cavanagh (St George Continental Cycling Team)
71Conor Leahy (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:30:37
72Bill Simpson (GIANT Racing Team) 0:30:54
73Cam Roberts (CCS Cycling) 0:31:47
74Jordan Kerby (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:31:48
75Brad Soden (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:32:33
76Lucas Hamilton (Team BikeExchange) 0:35:32
77Steele van Hoff (InForm TM Insight Make)
78David Randall (Butterfields Racing) 0:35:40
79Blake Quick (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:35:49
80Alex Edmondson (Team BikeExchange) 0:36:13
81Josh Duffy (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:39:10
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Sprints classification
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) 7
2Cyrus Monk (Cycle House Racing) 7
3Chris Harper (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 6
4Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia) 5
5Thomas Bolton (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 5
6Raphael Freiensten (InForm TM Insight Make) 5
7Richie Porte (Team Garmin Australia) 3
8Kelland O'Brien (Team Garmin Australia) 3
9Tim Roe (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 2
10Brendon Johnston (CCS Cycling) 2
11Damien Howson (Team BikeExchange) 2
12Sam Welsford (Team Garmin Australia) 2
13Joshua Wilson (Velofit Australia) 2
14Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange) 1
15Marcus Culey (WorldTour Composite Team) 1
16Brad Soden (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 1
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Mountains classification
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia) 13
2Richie Porte (Team Garmin Australia) 10
3Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) 9
4Cyrus Monk (Cycle House Racing) 7
5Matt Ross (Cycle House Racing) 5
6Chris Harper (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 5
7Seb Berwick (WorldTour Composite Team) 5
8Joshua Wilson (Velofit Australia) 5
9Brendon Davids (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 3
10Cameron Ivory (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 3
11Cooper Sayers (Nero Continental) 3
12Kane Richards (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 2
13Brendon Johnston (CCS Cycling) 1
14Kelland O'Brien (Team Garmin Australia) 1
15Lionel Mawditt (St George Continental Cycling Team) 1
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Young riders classification
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia) 7:13:04
2Ben Metcalfe (Team Bridgelane) 0:01:19
3Dylan McKenna (Nero Continental) 0:01:49
4Carter Turnbull (InForm TM Insight Make)
5Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange) 0:01:54
6Oli Stenning (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:03:02
7Connor Reardon (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:03:09
8Riley Fleming (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:04:06
9Zack Gilmore (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:08:27
10Kelland O'Brien (Team Garmin Australia) 0:08:28
11Rudy Porter (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:15:16
12Seb Berwick (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:16:47
13Cooper Sayers (Nero Continental) 0:16:57
14Will Maloney-Morton (Cycle House Racing) 0:17:16
15Daniel Siwek (Butterfields Racing) 0:17:21
16Zac Johnson (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:18:41
17Mattew Harvey (Velofit Australia) 0:18:54
18Will Golding (Butterfields Racing) 0:19:02
19Myles Stewart (Nero Continental) 0:19:18
20Godfrey Slattery (GIANT Racing Team) 0:19:52
21Jensen Plowright (Team Bridgelane) 0:20:28
22Zack Barnhill (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:20:47
23Zachary Marriage (Butterfields Racing) 0:20:51
24Terance Hore (Cycle House Racing) 0:22:19
25Tristen Saunders (Butterfields Racing) 0:22:59
26Matthew Rice (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:23:10
27Adam Blazevic (GIANT Racing Team) 0:24:04
28Craig Wiggins (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:24:51
29Alex Bogna (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:25:21
30Bryce Lanigan (Velofit Australia) 0:26:37
31Thomas Bolton (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:26:56
32Carter Bettles (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:27:48
33Campbell Jones (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:28:34
34Conor Leahy (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:28:37
35Bill Simpson (GIANT Racing Team) 0:28:54
36Brad Soden (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:30:33
37Blake Quick (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:33:49
38Josh Duffy (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:37:10
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Teams classification
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team BikeExchange 21:44:42
2Team Bridgelane 0:00:01
3InForm TM Insight Make 0:03:34
4Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast 0:05:17
5Team Garmin Australia 0:06:35
6CERVELO-Tonsley Village 0:13:26
7St George Continental Cycling Team 0:19:15
8Cycle House Racing 0:24:31
9OLIVReal Food Racing 0:25:50
10Nero Continental 0:32:34
11Velofit Australia 0:33:59
12MEPro Cycling Team 0:38:13
13CCS Cycling 0:46:26
14Butterfields Racing 0:48:44
15GIRacing Team 0:53:52
16WorldTour Composite Team 1:02:55

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Production editor

Simone joined the team as Production Editor based in Australia at the start of the 2021 season, having previously worked as Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and as a correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg.

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