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Live coverage

Santos Tour Down Under 2011: Stage 5


Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage five at the Santos Tour Down Under. Today there's a 131km journey from McLaren Vale to Willunga, which includes two ascents of Old Willunga Hill. There's a battle royale underway for the ochre jersey as Cameron Meyer looks to defend his overall lead... Enjoy!

130km remaining from 131km

We have plenty of action right from the gun today, as Travis Meyer and Jack Bobridge (Garmin-Cervelo) get themselves in the early moves to try and pinch the time bonuses on offer through the two intermediate sprints, which come at Snapper Point during each of the opening two circuits...

They've hit the finishing line for the first time already... The pace has well and truly been on

124km remaining from 131km

We have a group of seven up the road already, with Michael Hepburn (UniSA) and Rochie Porte (Saxo Bank) present...

121km remaining from 131km

The rest of the riders in that break, which has 52 seconds, are Tanel Kangert (Astana), Davide Vigano (LEOpard-Trek), John Murphy (BMC Racing), Joost Van Leijin (Vacansoleil), Juan Horrach (Katusha) and Eduard Vorganov (Katusha)...

118km remaining from 131km

That gap has gone out to 1:15...

Apologies to Saxo Bank's Nicki Sorensen... It's the Dane in this move rather than Richie Porte, as reported earlier

115km remaining from 131km

Another couple of corrections to the list of eight riders in the break - Sebastian Haedo is the Saxo Bank representative as the break gets a gap of 1:30

113km remaining from 131km

The gap has opened up to 1:39 as the first Jayco intermediate sprint approaches...

Where the break is riding - Aldinga Beach is a smooth, fast run along the gorgeous Adelaide coastline... They'll be able to get some extra time along this section of road.

107km remaining from 131km

The riders in the break pass the first intermediate sprint - it seems like Haedo took maximum points ahead of Vigano and Murphy...

107km remaining from 131km

This eight-man break is a quality move, capable of staying away for quite some time; BMC's John Murphy has a great engine as does Davide Vigano and Sebastian Haedo, the three riders who contested the first intermediate sprint. Michael Hepburn is a track specialist who has a massive future ahead of him and is a world champion in the team pursuit... The gap is now 1:54

105km remaining from 131km

The break has 1:48 as we get news that in fact it was Davide Vigano (LEOpard-Trek) who took the maximum points on offer at the first intermediate sprint, followed by Sebastian Haedo (Saxo Bank) and John Murphy (BMC Racing)

As we see Michael Hepburn in the break, take a read of Jean-Francois Quenet's chat with him and Luke Durbridge recently

99km remaining from 131km

The gap has opened up to 1:59 as we see Tim Roe get some attention from the BMC Racing car - he's back in the field as it's being controlled by Garmin-Cervelo

The break is working well together, with all riders coming through to do their turns - no shirking from any of the eight..

95km remaining from 131km

The gap continues to hover around 1:50, with 1:53 the latest mark as the break carries on working well together. Sebastian Haedo had a little chat with Saxo Bank director Brad McGee but rejoined the escape group soon after...

91km remaining from 131km

Despite taking back a little time two kilometres earlier, the gap has gone back to 1:53 with the Garmin-Cervelo lads keeping a very watchful eye at the front of the peloton. No men in the move, all of Matt White's troops have been called in to use as pacemakers

88km remaining from 131km

The peloton isn't pushing overly hard with the group up the road, knowing that the two ascents of Old Willunga Hill are going to be crucial to who can take this year's Tour Down Under title

85km remaining from 131km

With five kilometres until the second Jayco intermediate sprint, the break has 1:44 as the peloton is still under the control of Garmin-Cervelo.

80km remaining from 131km

The peloton has taken its foot off the gas and given the break 2:15... The second intermediate sprint is about 12km as Movistar's Jose Vicente Garcia withdraws from the race...

71km remaining from 131km

The break still has almost two minutes - 1:56 as it heads onto the esplanade along Aldinga Beach...

Haedo has been told not to contribute to the break's progress and they come up to the second intermediate sprint he's sitting on the back of the group

70km remaining from 131km

The gap has opened up to 2:30 as the break strings itself out for the sprint - John Murphy has taken maximum points, followed by Davide Vigano

67km remaining from 131km

The peloton heads under the banner for the second intermediate sprint and isn't in a particular hurry... Garmin-Cervelo is still on the front, with Tyler Farrar serving as the faithful lieutenant for overall leader Cameron Meyer

67km remaining from 131km

And the latest time check has the break at 2:36...

Just in: Juan Horrach took third in that second intermediate sprint... Not earth-shattering news, but kinda useful for those fans of the experienced Spaniard.

66km remaining from 131km

Interestingly, Lampre-ISD has assembled en masse behind the Garmin-Cervelo lads as the time gap opens further - that suits the latter team perfectly as the onus is on HTC-Highroad and Sky to chase the break when the going gets tough...

The next time the peloton heads to Willunga it'll tackle the first of two ascents up Old Willunga Hill... Get ready for some fireworks!

56km remaining from 131km

HTC-Highroad has come to the front and consequently the gap to the break has dropped to 1:45...

54km remaining from 131km

The gap has dropped significantly - it stands at 1:15 as the break goes through McLaren Vale... HTC-Highroad's Mark Cavendish is one the front - geez, you won't see that very often!

52km remaining from 131km

Be prepared for the gap to decrease further as it hits 1:13, with Cavendish still doing the busines on the front of the peloton...

50km remaining from 131km

The time gap hits a minute... Chances are the break won't be caught before it hits the start of the climb up Old Willunga Hill

48km remaining from 131km

There's a split in the break, as Michael Hepburn joins two other riders to jump off the front - the gap to the peloton is 50 seconds...

The break is back together but not all its members are working, unlike earlier in the stage...

47km remaining from 131km

Five seconds have been knocked off the break's advantage as the base of Old Willunga Hill beckons at the end of Main St

45km remaining from 131km

The gap is down to 30 seconds as the peloton hits the start of the climb

Time's up for some of the boys out front... despite the best efforts of Davide Vigano

The race has come bacl together on Old Willunga Hill

43km remaining from 131km

There's about 1.5km of the climb remaining and Euskaltel-Euskadi is on the front of the peloton

Up the Ming! Miguel Minguez is driving the pace for the peloton - and doing it in style!

With massive crowds on the sides of the road up Old Willunga, the Basque boys are putting on a show

42km remaining from 131km

Closing in on the KOM sprint and it's Euskaltel-Euskadi on the front - three of the team, anyway...

41km remaining from 131km

Luke Roberts (UniSA) takes maximum KOM points, with Angel Madrazo (Movistar) finishing second at the top of Old Willunga Hill...

As the peloton runs along the ridge that is Range Rd, they'll soon be flying down Penny's Hill Rd...

A group of seven, including Jose Ivan Gutierrez and Lance Armstrong, has formed along Range Rd, although it isn't getting much leeway from the peloton

37km remaining from 131km

Despite Gutierrez attacking the break it has actually started working together - there's also Luis Pasamontes (Movistar) in the move, plus Inaki Isasi (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Armstrong, Jurgen Van De Walle and Sergei Ivanov... It has gathered 16 seconds' advantage

Stefan Denifl (LEOpard-Trek) is also in that group of seven, which sits at 18 seconds...

The group continues along Range Rd, gathering more time before the Pennys Hill plunge...

29km remaining from 131km

The group of seven has been caught as the race heads along McMurtie Rd in McLaren Flat - HTC-Highroad is on the front, followed by Garmin-Cervelo

25km remaining from 131km

The Rabobank boys is on the front heading along Main Rd into Willunga for the fourth time today... Next time up they'll be heading for the finish!

23km remaining from 131km

The peloton crosses the finish line and gets the bell - prepare for some sparks to fly up the Old Willunga Hill!

22km remaining from 131km

As the peloton starts the climb, riders from Rabobank, Garmin-Cervelo and Team Sky mass at the front and keep the pace cracking...

Gerrans is near the front heading up Old Willunga Hill for the second time - he's won this race on this hill before and is looking to press the advantage...

Richie Porte! Richie Porte! Vai, vai, vai... The Saxo Bank rider mixes it up at the front

21km remaining from 131km

Porte continues to push the pace heading up the hill, followed Ben Hermans (RadioShack) and Jack Bobridge (Garmin-Cervelo)... They have about 150m on the peloton

19km remaining from 131km

Ben Hermans takes maximum points on the second KOM, followed by Richie Porte and Jack Bobridge...

18km remaining from 131km

The leading trio heads along Range Rd as Porte requires some water from the neutral service

The peloton has pegged back some of the break's advantage and the two groups are almost within sight of each other

15km remaining from 131km

Porte, Bobridge and Hermans are still rotating through to maintain momentum at the front of the race; there's plenty of firepower in this group, despite its small number - when is the peloton going to make the catch?

The latest time check is 13 seconds with 15 clicks until the finish in Willunga

Very soon the leading trio will fly down Pennys Hill Rd, where speeds will nudge 100km/h

12km remaining from 131km

The peloton looked very split up as it turned onto Pennys Hill Rd

10km remaining from 131km

The leading group has been caught by a group of about 18 that contains Hayden Roulston and Matt Goss...

8km remaining from 131km

Porte has kicked again but the front group is onto it - Goss and Meyer are in that group

There's a split of about 20, which includes Simon Gerrans (Team Sky), Hayden Roulston and Matt Goss (HTC-Highroad) as Jack Bobridge falls...

5km remaining from 131km

Bobridge is back on his bike but David Lopez (Movistar) is still on the deck. Andre Greipel and Allan Davis are in a group about 25 seconds behind the leading group of 18 riders

4km remaining from 131km

Goss must be the favourite to take the sprint in Willunga... although Michael Matthews could do the business also and dance a merry jig again

3km remaining from 131km

The second group is closing in faaaaast!

If one of the members of the front group wants to win, they better stop messing around in the final kilometres...

They open the sprint and it looks like Francisco Ventoso wins!

Movistar celebrates as Ventoso beats Michael Matthews (Rabobank) and Matt Goss (HTC-Highroad)... The latter may not have gathered enough bonus seconds to overcome Cameron Meyer, who retains the ochre jersey

Provisional results:

1 Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar
2 Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank
3 Matthew Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad

General classification
1 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo
2 Matthew Goss (Aus)

Groupe Goss, Gerrans and Meyer

Groupe Greipel and Davis at 100m

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