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Tour Down Under 2017: Stage 5

Today is another big test for the general classification hopefuls at the Tour Down Under. The finish on Willunga Hill has often decided the overall winner, and today will likely be no different.

Before we dig into today's stage, let's take a look at what happened yesterday. Here's top 10 on the stage:

 

1 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott 3:45:19
2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
3 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky
4 Ben Swift (GBr) Team UAE Abu Dhabi
5 Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data
6 Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
7 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe
8 Callum Scotson (Aus) UniSA-Australia
9 Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team
10 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNL-Jumbo

 

You can read about the stage here.

 

...And the current top 10 overall:

 

1 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 14:20:18
2 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:20
3 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott 0:00:22
4 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:24
5 Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data 0:00:27
6 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:29
7 Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team
8 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi
9 Rafael Valls (Spa) Lotto Soudal
10 Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-Segafredo

 

Stage 5 will take the pelpton for three laps around an initial circuit, then two laps around a second circuit that includes Willunga Hill, where the race finishes.

 

The first loop runs clockwise from McLaren Vale to Willunga, Aldinga Beach and Port Willunga, then back to the start. The second loop runs the opposite direction and is shorter, but it's certain to blow the race apart.

 

 

Stage 5 profile

 

 

Richie Porte finds himself in the unfamiliar position of having the race lead going into the Willunga Hill stage, although he's won there the past four years. Find out what Porte had to say about today's stage in this article by our Zeb Woodpower.

 

 

For further review, here's a look at where the jerseys stand:

 

Caleb Ewan (Orcia-Scott) leads the points classification by six points over Danny Van Poppel (Team Sky) and by 17 points over Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe). 

 

Richie Porte (BMC Racing) leads the mountains classification, tied on points with Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), while Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) is two points back.

 

In the young rider classification, Ruben Guerreiro (Trek-Segafredo) leads Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors) and Jhonatan Restrepo (Katusha-Alpecin), all with the same time.

 

We're 10 minutes from the start.

 

And we're off for a very short race neutral

 

 

Another rider looking to do well today is Australian Michael Storer, who told us he's hoping to take the jersey for best young rider today. Read about Storer HERE

 

Danny Van Poppel probably won't be in the running for stage victory today, but the Team Sky rider has finished on the podium twice so far and was fourth on stage 3. He's had a tough time getting past three-stage winner Caleb Ewan and World Champion Peter Sagan, but he says there's no shame in finishing behind them. Read more of what Van Poppel had to say.

 

 

The race is underway and we've already got four riders off the front.

Julien Berard (Ag2R La Mondiale) and Will Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac) initiated a move and were quickly joined by  Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data) and Arnaud Courteille (FDJ).

 

They have around 20 seconds

 

 

Van Rensburg is highest placed escapee at 80th place, 5:56 behind Porte. The peloton should be happy with this move.

 

145km remaining from 151km

Strike that. They peloton is all together.

 

Still together after the peloton brought back that initial escape attempt.

 

 

Looking for something to listen to while we reel off the kilometres today? Check out  our latest Tour Down Under Podcast

 

We hear from the race’s main protagonists, Porte and Ewan, in today's podcast with a special, and exclusive, interview with Esteban Chaves on his near career-ending crash in 2013 and transformation into one of the current stars of the peloton.

 

Four new riders have jumped away:

 

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)
Will Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac)
Jeremy Maison (FDJ)
Jack Bauer (Quick - Step Floors)

 

You'll recognise Bauer from yesterday's breakaway. He was the final survivor

 

The gap for the quartet of escapees has gone up to 1:25

 

Bauer is the best-placed rider in the break. He's in 46th place, 1:27 behind the race leader.

 

Damiano Caruso (BMC) is in a spot of trouble with his chain.

 

127km remaining from 151km

Gap for the break is up to 2:20. Bauer is now the virtual leader on the road.

 

BMC is on the font again today. The team has been doing a lot of work on the front for Porte, who took the lead on stage 2.

 

 

The roads are currently flat and straight as the peloton makes it way back to McLaren Vale.

 

The peloton is not riding with a lot of urgency. The gap should be going up.

 

We recently profiled the bike Thomas De Gendt is riding in today's breakaway. Read more about De Gendt's Ridley Helium SLX.

 

 

 

Clarke and Bauer are both talking with their team cars.

 

121km remaining from 151km

New gap s 2:30

 

The peloton is on a slight incline now, while both Bauer and Clarke are back in the breakaway.

 

There are some Jen Voigt fans on the route today. The retired pro is a race ambassador who rode the Bupa fan ride yesterday

 

The peloton is on the opening lap, currently on rolling roads surrounded by vineyards.

 

Maison's FDJ teammate Odd Christin Eiking is a rider who is hoping to perform well on Willunga Hill. We caught up with him this morning.

 

"I want a higher spot in the GC. It will be difficult as there is a lot of strong riders but I think if I have a good day on Willunga I can maybe gain a few places."

 

Did you miss yesterday's stage? You can watch the stage 4 video highlights here.

 

106km remaining from 151km

The breakaway is back in McLaren Vale and starting the second of the three initial loops.

 

BMC is leading the bunch through McLaren Vale at a steady clip as the gap stays at 2:15

 

BMC is really keeping this gap pegged at 2:15. 

 

95km remaining from 151km

The yeoman's work on the front by Francisco Ventoso is paying off. BMC's new Spaniard has almost singlehandedly pulled the gap down to 1:50

 

92km remaining from 151km

The race has reached the coast at Aldinga Beach. Gap is still 1:50

 

Ventoso has been an amazing workhorse for BMC. The 34-year-old Spaniard is in his first race with BMC after riding with Movistar the past six years.

 

Riders have gone through the first intermediate sprint at 63.4km. Officiaul results:

 

1 Jeremy Maison (FDJ)
2 Will Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac)
3 Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)

 

The scenery along the coast here is beautiful. The peloton is enjoying it while the breakaway has turned inland.

 

New Gap, 2:00

 

One more lap before the race jumps onto the final two Willunga Hill circuits.

 

The peloton is really lined out, which is odd considering the gap is holding steady. 

 

80km remaining from 151km

80km to go and the gap is holding at 2:00

 

75km remaining from 151km

We're at the halfway point. 75km to go

 

Ventoso has held this four-man group at two minutes for quite awhile. You get the feeling they can close this down at will. 

 

We gave the keys of our Instagram account to Cannondale-Drapac's Alex Howes. Check out what Alex is up to HERE.

 

New Gap is 1:45 as the breakaway nears the end of the McClaren Vale laps.

 

The breakaway out on course. Beautiful day for a bike race.

 

 

 

 

...and the chase.

 

 

53km remaining from 151km

The gap is 1:45. We've got about an hour of racing left.

 

Hold on. The gap is back up to 2:00

We're nearing the second sprint of the day at Snapper Point - 103.4km

 

Several teams have come to the front of the peloton. Things should start getting interesting. Porte's team has had to chase all day, but since Ventoso did most of that work, the rest of Porte's teammates should be relatively fresh.

 

Another photos front he course today. Not all the fans are two-legged.

 

 

That didn't last long; Ventoso has assumed his spot back on the front of the chase

 

Breakaway is going under the sprint banner. They roll through, with De Gendt taking the points ahead of Bauer and Clarke.

 

Breakaway is going under the sprint banner. They roll through, with De Gendt taking the points ahead of Bauer and Clarke.

 

New Gap 2:10

 

Breakaway is going under the sprint banner. They roll through, with De Gendt taking the points ahead of Bauer and Clarke.

 

New Gap 2:10

 

The peloton is turning away form the coast soon and heading toward McClaren Vale and then onto the Willunga circuit in 20 more km

 

44km remaining from 151km

Multiple teams competing for the front now, including BMC, UAE Abu Dhabi and Trek-Segafredo

 

Sky near the front now, too, but Ventoso is back on the front. New gap 2:20

 

While Alex Howes takes over our Instagram account, we're taking a look at his bike. Read more about Howes' Cannondale SuperSix EVO

 

 

The gap has gone up yet again. It's 2:30 now.

 

44km remaining from 151km

Gap at 2:35. Thomas De Gendt is supplying the power to the breakaway and driving up the advantage

 

37km remaining from 151km

The peloton is spread cross the road now and the ago is up to 2:50. The riders obviously believe they can pull this move back without a problem, because they're not showing any concern at the moment.

 

Cyclingnews caught up with Cannondale-Drapac's Tom Scully this morning before the start. Here's what he had to say.

 

"I think we are going really well. Will Clarke and myself have never raced with the other boys before, so to throw a group of boys together just before the race, it’s going to take a few days together to learn how each rides and each other works. We’ll give Woodsy (Michael Woods) another crack today and see how he goes up the climb."

 

We also spoke with Richie Porte, Caleb Ewan and Esteban Chaves for our latest Tour Down Under Podcast. You can listen HERE.

 

New gap 3:05

 

30km remaining from 151km

Gap is 2:50 again. The break has started on the Willunga loop

 

Lotto Soudal has tweeted that James Shaw has abandoned the race

 

The leaders are heading up Willunga Hill for the first time, and the gap is down to 2:30

 

The peloton is spread across the road as teams try to get their leaders in position near the front. Riders are having difficulty in the back of the peloton

 

Chris Hamilton (Sunweb) and Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain - Merida) have attacked the bunch, while Clarke has dropped out of the break

 

600 metres from the top. Thomas De Gendt will be going after the KOM point to try and take the jersey from Porte.

 

De Gendt is first over the top, followed by Bauer and Maison. No challenge to De Gendt.

 

The trio up front take the bell for the final lap. Just over 20km to go

 

Maison really suffered on the climb and is now skipping turns from the lead trio.

 

De Gend leads the mountains classification now. There's one more KOM today at the finish.

 

17km remaining from 151km

Gap to the three leaders remains at 1:55

 

16km remaining from 151km

Team Sky is leading the chase now, followed by Orica-Scott and BMC.

 

Ian Stannard pulling the peloton along while the leaders free wheel down a fast descent. 90km/h for the leaders

 

Latest gap from race radio is 1:20. Bauer, who started 1:27 down on Porte, is no longer the virtual leader

 

It's not looking good for r=the breakaway. Will Bauer, who is wear the "most combative" number, be the final survivor again?

 

12km remaining from 151km

New gap 55 seconds as the race heads toward Willunga and the final climb of Willunga Hill. Neutral service has been pulled out of the gap.

 

The leaders are on a long, straight road now. Surely the peloton will have them in their sights soon. Gap is 45 seconds.

 

Stannard is still driving the peloton, which is about 400 metres behind the lead trio

 

8km remaining from 151km

Teams continue to mass behind the tip of the spear in the peloton.

 

The leaders have 35 seconds and just turned onto the road toward Willunga.

 

About 5km to go to reach the final climb

 

The gap is 30 seconds and Stannard swings off. Riders at the back of the peloton are struggling. It's Daryl Impey's turn on the front.

 

Riders are really fighting to hold the wheels as the peloton really bears down

 

Orica-Scott still leading the chase

 

6km remaining from 151km

The catch is all but made

 

5km remaining from 151km

Back together as the foot of the climb approaches

 

Overall runner-up Gorka Izagirre is trudging to move up into contention for the finale.

 

Amazingly, Bauer went to the front to lead the peloton onto the climb

 

Orica is trying to control things, but Quick-Step is there, along with Porte and Simon Gerrans

 

Kenny Elissonde driving it for Team Sky and Sergio Henao

 

Porte, Chaves and Henao ready for the final push

 

Elissonde pulls off.

 

Sebastian Henao, Chves, Porte, Sergio Henao, Pozzovivo, McCarhty all fighting in the lead group. Woods trying to bridge.

 

 

Sebastian Henao is clear

 

Port staring up in the led now. Chaves marks, him, as well as Henao. Valls is there

 

And Porte is gone. One more kick up and he'll get another win in Willunga and add to his overall lead.

 

The Australian is clearly the strongest rider in this race

 

No one in sight behind Porte.

Henao is next on the road, followed by Chaves.

 

Porte looks s strong. This should get the attention of his Grand Tour rivals.

 

Porte wins, followed by Nathan Haas and Esteban Chaves. Hass came form nowhere. He'll move into third overall.

Stage top 10:

 

1 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 3:40:13
2 Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data 0:00:20
3 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott
4 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi
5 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe
6 Nathan Earle (Aus) UniSA-Australia 0:00:23
7 Rafael Valls (Spa) Lotto Soudal
8 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Team Sky
9 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
10 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac

 

General Classification after stage 5


1 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 18:00:21
2 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott 0:00:48
3 Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data 0:00:51
4 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:54
5 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi 0:00:59
6 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:01:02
7 Rafael Valls (Spa) Lotto Soudal
8 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
9 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb
10 Nathan Earle (Aus) UniSA-Australia 0:01:06

 

"I have been close here but to win the stage like that, it is nice for me. I get the accolades up there on the on the podium as the winner but I cant say enough for my teammates, each and everyone of them put me in great position today and it is just nice to finish it off. There is one day to go and I would love to win this race and just so happy."

Richie Porte said of his stage win during his press conference 

Movistar's Gorka Izaguirre lost his second place on the GC, slipping to 28th overall

"The pain from my injuries finally caught up with me. I made it OK through yesterday but that was not a hard stage. I knew after the first passage up Willunga that it would not be easy. I tried to hang out, but when the attacks came, it was too much. It's a shame to lose the podium, but that is bike racing."

 

Dimension Data's Nathan Haas finished second on the stage to rise to third on GC. He spoke to the press after his performance.

"Obviously, Porte is another league and I want to take my hat off to him because he is not all my kind of rider. So to beat him on something like this, takes a monster effort but I am still so proud of what me and my guys did today. They were superb. We have a young squad here, a lot of guys that haven’t raced together yet but just around the dinner table we’ve got this energy and they way we’re coming into the race, we are just laughing all the time. When you have a group of guys that just love being together and love racing, it does help you find that extra gear when you are suffering."

 

Team Sky came into the race aiming to put Sergio Henao onto the podium but couldn't quite deliver. The Colombian delivered their verdict on the day's racing.

"The team put in a really strong effort going in to the bottom of the climb, to put me in a strong position," Henao said atop Willunga Hill.

"There was a gap starting to form ahead of the other guys but I knew I had to continue on and I knew it would be difficult to follow Richie up the hill.

"I was trying to get a place on the podium. It was all or nothing."

 

Team Sky's director sportif Brett Lancaster also shared his thoughts on the stage and result.

"The guys rode perfect. Richie just had better legs than everyone. They said that Sergio nearly crashed there but I've not seen the footage but well done to Richie. If he wins by twenty seconds then he's the best man," Lancaster said.

When asked if Henao simply gave himself too much to do after losing time earlier in race, Lancaster pointed to bad luck, before praising his riders once more.

"That's just one of those things in cycling. It's a shame that he had that puncture so close to the finish but that knocked him around but tactically it worked out for us today. Thomas wasn't brilliant for us today but he gave it everything.

"The plan was to make it has hard as possible in the crosswinds and soften some people up."

 

One of the revelations in last year's race, Michael Woods, was unable to back up his fifth place overall but director sportif Tom Southam is focusing on the big picture and the long climbs of the Giro d'Italia in May for his rider.

"We had Tom and Mike for the climb. Tom rode a good climb but for Mike the legs just weren’t there. Tom was pretty regular up there and got tenth but Mike is fit and he’s going well. It’s hard at a race like this because when you’re riding GC and backing that then you have to do it 100 per cent. This stage came so close to the end of the race and he was still close but today it just didn’t happen. Mike will go to the Cadel Evans Race but to be honest he’s got a big year in Europe coming and this will long since be forgotten by the time he does the Giro."

Bora's Jay McCarthy kept his fourth position on GC but the young Australian was aiming for more on Willunga Hill as a brush of wheels inside 2km to go halted his momentum and took the gloss of an otherwise good day of racing.

 "It’s a tough result to just finish off the podium after today’s stage. The boys rode really well and we were calm during the first 110km of the race. Coming into the first climb we were in a good position and weren’t stressed, and coming into the final we had a bit of a crosswind but I had Peter still with me and he kept me calm. We came into the final climb in a good position and at the bottom I could see a couple of the guys behind me in the GC that were struggling, so I didn’t follow Richie Porte in the last kilometre – I knew that his acceleration would be too much for me, so I stayed with Chaves and we brought Henao back in.


"Coming into the final 1.5km I touched wheels with Henao and I had to stop and restart and just as that happened Haas and Ulissi came back coming into the final. I gave it everything to the line but I couldn’t quite get the seconds I needed for the podium. I’m a bit disappointed but I rode my best."

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