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Santos Tour Down Under 2015: Stage 5

Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the Santos Tour Down Under stage 5.

Hello race fans, and thanks for joining is for this fifth stage of the 2015 Santos Tour Down Under. It's been a cracking race so far, with upset wins and a blistering pace.

Let's take a look at the top 10 from yesterday's stage:


1 Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-Australia 3:24:28
2 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge
3 Wouter Wippert (Ned) Drapac Professional Cycling
4 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
5 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
6 Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida
7 Rudiger Selig (Ger) Team Katusha
8 Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
9 Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek Factory Racing
10 Koen de Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin

And the top 10 in the general classification after four stages:

1 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 13:41:34
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:07
3 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:09
4 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge 0:00:13
5 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 0:00:15
6 Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo
7 Jack Haig (Aus) UniSA-Australia
8 Maxime Bouet (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step
9 Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team
10 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale

Orica's Daryl Impey is leading the points classification:

1 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge 39 pts
2 Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Lampre-Merida 29
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 25
4 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 25
5 Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team 24
6 Steele von Hoff (Aus) UniSA-Australia 22
7 Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team Katusha 22
8 Jack Bobridge (Aus) UniSA-Australia 20
9 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling 20
10 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky

Former race leader Jack Bobridge is on top of the mountains classification:

1 Jack Bobridge (Aus) UniSA-Australia 20 pts
2 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 16
3 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 12
4 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 10
5 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 8
6 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 6
7 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 6
8 Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdge 6
9 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 4
10 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team

There's just 500 metres of neutral today, so the racing should start fairly early.

The 151km route today features Willunga Hill, which was first climbed in the 2003 Santos Tour Down Under. The Willunga climb is where the general classification is traditionally decided.

And the riders are off!

Both of today's Jayco sprints will be at Snapper Point at 63.4km and 103.4km. The course then heads toward Aldinga along Port Road. A left on to South Road is followed by a right onto Tatachilla Rd and then a left onto Caffrey St in McLaren Vale. One more turn right and the riders are back on Main Rd McLaren Vale for the end of the first of four laps.

Jack Bobridge is characteristically active today and has attacked.

The field weren't having it, and they pulled Bobridge and 10 other riders back. But Bobridge has jumped again. Greg Henderson and John Kerby have joined him this time.

3km remaining from 151km

Jack Bobridge (UniSA), Greg Henseron (Lotto-Soudal) and John Kerby (Drapac) have 30 seconds on the field.

4km remaining from 151km

The field is spread across the road. BMC is either unconcerned about this break or is hoping someone else will pick up the chase.

The crash during yesterday's finale wreaked havoc on the peloton. You can read more about the crash and its effects here.

144km remaining from 151km

Astana and Movistar are on the front now as the gap to the three escapees has grown to 1:50

140km remaining from 151km

The field is a little more tolerant today, and the break has grown to 3:45. They're obviously expecting another had day on the road.

138km remaining from 151km

The peloton is passing another vineyard with BMC on the front for race leader Rohan Dennis. The gap is now above five minutes.

UCI vice president Tracy Gaudry spoke with the press yesterday about women's cycling, Astana and CIRC. Click here to read more about what Gaudry had to say.

Steele von Hoff's sprint win yesterday was the biggest of his career. You can watch video highlights of his big day here.

127km remaining from 151km

Bobridge is only 39 seconds off of Dennis' pace, so once again he is the race leader on the road. But BMC must not fancy the breakaway's chances too much today, and the leash continues to go out. The gap is up to 5:30.

Rohan Dennis is a surprise leader for BMC this week as all eyes have been on Cadel Evans in his final WorldTour event. Dennis commented on the situation before today's stage:

"I'm excited actually. I didn't expect this at the start of the race. I knew I had good form for the Tour Down Under and it's one of my goals for the year. I guess that also gives me a bit of confidence in myself that I was in good form but I wasn't mentally targeting this as well. Should be a good day."

Sky's Richie Porte was one of the riders caught in yesterday's crash. Click here to read what he had to say about the melee.

Floyd Landis was critical today of Greg LeMond's stance on Lance Armstrong's lifetime ban. You can read what Landis had to say here.

The Tour of California announced the 18 teams that will compete in the race this May. WorldTour squads include Sky, Etixx-QuickStep, Cannondale-Garmin, BMC, Giant-Alpecin, LottoNL-Jumbo, Tinkoff-Saxo andTrek Factory Racing. You can read about the rest here.

111km remaining from 151km

The break is close to the first first Subaru KOM at Willunga Hill (129.1km). Who will get maximum points?

The gap has dipped just below five minutes now as they race across a flat, straight road. The peloton is lined out. They must be flying.

The breakaway has turned into Willunga.

Crosswinds have hit the peloton now, and the head of the field has started to form and echelon.

Race radio is reporting that Maarten Tjallingii (LottoNL-Jumbo) has abandon today.

The field is making a U-turn in the road now. For the finale they'll go straight at this point instead of turning around.

A divided road has split the field on either side of the median strip. Plenty of road furniture in this section, but the riders have made it through unscathed so far.

100km remaining from 151km

With 100km to go, the gap is 4:30.

The view form the Cyclingnews blimp reveals a long, straight road. This should remind Rohan Dennis of some of the routes at the Tour of Alberta, a race he won in 2013 while riding for Garmin-Sharp. You can read about Dennis' Canadian victory here.

The pace in the field is starting to take its toll on the breakaway, and the gap has dipped to 4:12 as the escapees turn onto Snapper Point.

87km remaining from 151km

Results from the first iiNet intermediate sprint of the day at 63.4km:

1 Jordan Kerby (Drapac)
2 Greg Henderson (Lotto-Soudal)
3 Jack Bobridge (UniSA)
 

 

Richie Porte won last year's race to the top of Willunga Hill. You can relive the 2014 excitement with this video.

Speaking of Porte's win in Willunga, here's what he had to say about today's stage:

"It’s no secret. It’s D-Day for us today. BMC is in good position, but we’re not going to lay down. It’s going to be a big fight. I know the climb well, and I’m in good enough to have a good crack at it. For me, winning last year at Willunga was the highlight of my season. It’s like racing in the Tour de France. It’s humbling to have so many fans turning out to cheer us on. We’ve got the team here to shake things up."

If Porte wants to win this year, he'll have to get past a clearly on form Dennis. Here's what Dennis had to say about today's stage:

"I went to bed early, got a good sleep, and I am ready to go. It looks like the wind is picking up, so it could be hard. We’ve got two cards to play today, so we know everyone is going to throw everything at us. If the legs are like they were Wednesday, I will be able to answer. If I have to go early to follow an attack, I will, but pacing will be key today, especially with the wind."

In fact, reports say there could be a strong tailwind up the final climb today.

Third overall Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) says he's ready for today's GC battle.

"It’s a hard climb today. We want to at least keep the podium place, and maybe even pick up a few more seconds. If the legs were like they were Wednesday, I hope to be able to stay with the top climbers. The Aussies are strong, but I hope to stay with them."

75km remaining from 151km

While we've been chatting, the breakaway has extended their lead past five minutes.

The Cyclingnews blimp has just dropped off our own Zeb Woodpower at the finish. Zeb confirms that there is a big tailwind currently blowing up the final climb.

66km remaining from 151km

The race appears to be in cruise control at the moment after about two hours of racing.

Jack Bobridge (UniSA), Greg Henderson (Lotto-Soudal) and Jordan Kerby (Drapac) sneaked away in the opening kilometres and quickly built a gap that grew to more than five minutes.

They are currently 19.3km away from the day's second-and-final iiNet intermmdiate sprint. The gap is currently 4:19.

65km remaining from 151km

The leaders have made the u-turn in Willunga and are heading out for their final trip around today's big loop.

Lunch is served as the peloton makes its way through the Powerade Hydration Station, AKA the feedzone.

The peloton is making the U-turn in Willunga.

Bobridge can clinch his blue polka dot climber's jersey today if he can stay away long enough to win the first KOM climb at Willunga Hill (129.4km). He'll pick up 16 points if he wins the first KOM, and with the 20 he already has, his overall win in the mountains classification will be in the bag.

58km remaining from 151km

The gap to our leaders is currently hanging steady at 4:29.

51km remaining from 151km

The peloton has picked up the chase as we approach the second iiNet sprint of the day at 103.4km. The new gap to the leaders is 3:29.

The peloton has really reared its head as the gap is down another 30 seconds to three minutes.

Henderson crosses the sprint line first, but the breakaway riders didn't contest the points. They're focused on staying away as long as possible.

47km remaining from 151km

The gap has dropped to 2:40. Can Bobridge hold on for another 25km to secure that mountains jersey.

But as we speak the gap is going back up toward three minutes.

The peloton is spread across the road as teams begin to bring their leaders forward.

44km remaining from 151km

And Kerby has cracked. The Drapac rider has lost contact with the breakaway. Bobridge and Henderson are on their own now.

42km remaining from 151km

Gap is 2:50 to Greg Henderson (Lotto-Soudal) and Jack Bobridge (UniSA).

42km remaining from 151km

Bobridge needs another 20km off the front to get a shot at clinching that jersey at the first KOM 22.4km from the finish.

The race appears to have settled down a bit again, with the two riders up the road holding their advantage at just under three minutes on this long straight road.

BMC is at the pointy head of the spear. Big Michael Schar is driving the pace for his team.

118km remaining from 151km

10km to go to the first KOM and the potential 16 points Bobridge needs to clinch the mountains classification jersey. The gap to Bobridge and Henderson is now

Luke Durbridge had a bike change and is now working his way back through the cars to the peloton.

The leader's are at the base of Willunga Hill for the first time with 1:47 gap. Can Bobridge keep the advantage all the way to the top and clinch his blue polka dot jersey?

Bobridge will have to do it on his own. Henderson has cracked!

Bobridge is really into the climb now. He's sitting down grinding out a furious pace to make it to the top.

23km remaining from 151km

Bobridge's gap is down to one minute.

He's within the last kilometre to the KOM now.

Bobridge has got it. Great ride today for the young Australian.

22km remaining from 151km

one lap to go

21km remaining from 151km

How long can Bobridge hang on now as the teams behind him start to gear up for the stage win and GC places?

Astana have taken up the chase in the field.

BMC's duo of Dennis and Evans are lined up behind the Astana riders.

BMC's duo of Dennis and Evans are lined up behind the Astana riders.

Bobridge wil be caught soon. His gap is below 30 seconds.

20km remaining from 151km

And the catch is made. Bobridge has sat up.

Astana is still on the front for Luis Leon Sanchez.

16km remaining from 151km

We're 6km from the bottom of Willunga. Astana is followed by BMC, followed by Orica and a host of the top GC contenders.

Race moto shows the riders are approaching 100km/h

Astana are lined up on the front drilling this descent.

9km remaining from 151km

Astana still on the front driving the pace.

8km remaining from 151km

The peloton is rolling down a long straightaway toward Willunga

Crowsswinds on the road are wreaking havoc as Astana have spilt the field. Evans and Dennis are up there. Porte is out of the leads group.

The group of front hace also caught out Michael Rogers and Tom Dumoulin

Dennis and Evans are working hard in the front group.

5km remaining from 151km

Three Astana, Evans and Dennis, and an FDJ rider are up front, but it's coming back together now.

4km remaining from 151km

Orica welds the gap back together and the front is reshuffling. One kilometre to the proper climb

Orica are setting the pace now. Daryl Impey is in fifth position.

2km remaining from 151km

The front group is 25 riders on the lower slopes of the climb.

Impey, Dennis, Machado, Evans, Sanchez and more. They're all there behind the Orica line up.

1km remaining from 151km

Dumoulin is up there, too. Cameron Meyers is putting in a merciless dig on the front.

Porte attacks!

Evans has dropped. Dennis is there with Dumoulin. Porte attacks and again. He and Dennis have dropped Dumoulin.

 

Porte can't drop Dennis.

Porte pulls away from Dennis!

Stage win for Porte. Did he get enough time to take the ochre jersey? Dennis is second.

Porte will get a 10-second bonus for the win, while Dennis will get six for second. Did Porte put enough time into Dennis to take the overall lead? The official time spilt will ell the tale. tic tic tic.

Porte beat Dennis by nine seconds and Ruben Fernandez (Movistar) by 16.

Cadel Evans was fourth, and Dumoulin fifth, both 16 seconds down.

 

Dennis now leads Porte by two second sin the overall.

STAGE 5
1 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 3:37:32
2 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:09
3 Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:16
4 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
5 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:19
7 Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha 0:00:24
8 Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin 0:00:26
9 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:28
10 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ.fr

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION
1 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 17:19:09
2 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 0:00:02
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:20
4 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:00:22
5 Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:24
6 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:31
7 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge 0:00:38
8 Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha 0:00:46
9 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:52
10 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling

What a day of racing! Willunga Hill delivered again, and Porte nearly pulled off the overall lead with his attack. Dennis, however, proved his mettle when everyone else around him faltered.

There's still another day of racing, and with time bonuses on the line and a two-second gap between first and second, anything could happen.

Be sure and tune in again here to catch the action.

 

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