Impey wins the 2019 Tour Down Under as Porte takes Willunga

Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) claimed his sixth straight win on Willunga Hill on stage 6 of the 2019 Tour Down Under as Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) became the first rider in the race's history to retain his crown.

Porte attacked several times on the final ascent, first to battle back and catch Wout Poels (Team Sky) and then to push clear inside the final 600 meters. Impey, just as he did in 2018, paced his effort perfectly to finish just a few bike lengths behind Porte and Poels. Overnight race leader Patrick Bevin (CCC Team) battled through the stage but was dropped on the first ascent of Willunga Hill, clearly suffering the effects of his stage 5 crash.

In the battle for the overall, Impey finished clear of Porte by 13 seconds, with Poels rounding out the podium four seconds later.

Impey came into the final stage seven seconds down on Bevin, and the favourite to retain his overall crown after the CCC rider crashed the previous day. Impey was paced up the final climb by his teammates and although he was put under pressure from Poels, Porte and Michael Woods, he battled back in the final few hundred meters as the incline eased.

"It's a hard race for someone like me to win, with just one uphill finish but I came here with my new team and the boys were fantastic all week and today," Porte said at the finish.

"Hats off to Daryl Impey but to win on Willunga for a sixth time is a great feeling. It's a great way to start the year with a new team."

Watch video highlights from Willunga Hill

2019 Tour Down Under race tech

As expected, the overall battle came down the final climb up Willunga Hill. With Bevin already out of contention, Team Sky set a furious pace on both ascents of the climb. On the final time up the slopes, Dylan van Baarle and Kenny Elissonde took control with the Frenchman even going clear with two kilometres to go. The move caused panic in the group of GC riders before Poels accelerated 300m later. The two Team Sky riders kept a slender lead before Sunweb took up the chase with Impey holding firm in the middle of the group.

With 1.3km to go Porte took flight. At first he was matched by several riders, including Chris Hamilton, Woods and George Bennett, but none could hold the Australian when he kicked again and made his way up to Poels, who had already used up Elissonde. Poels managed to stay on Porte's wheel until 600m to go before the Australian accelerated once more. As a number of GC contenders began to fade, Impey came through the field, taking third on the line and punching the air as Porte celebrated a few meters ahead.

Early break as Bevin fades

The morning was dominated by news that Bevin had passed a late concussion test and could start the stage. The CCC Team rider had dominated the Tour Down Under until a crash on stage 5 saw his race almost end. However, he was on the startline on Sunday morning and was in no mood to throw in the towel. He would have wanted a calm start, but the fight for the early break ensured that the pace was high from the outset.

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Nick White (UniSA-Australia), Alex Dowsett (Katusha Alpecin), Danny van Poppel (Jumbo-Visma), Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Gediminas Bagdonas (AG2R La Mondiale) and Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar) went clear and established a lead before the GC teams began to control the pace.

Bevin, bandaged but present, was in contention until the first ascent of Willunga. On the lower slopes, as the early break began to splinter, the New Zealand rider began to lose the wheels and within the space of a few hundred meters his overall challenge was over. It was a sad sight to see for a rider who had taken the race by the scruff of the neck and challenged the more established teams during the opening stages. If he had not crashed on stage 5, he would have surely been in contention for his first overall stage racing win at WorldTour level.

It was Team Sky who used the first ascent of Willunga to test the waters. They propelled Elissonde up the road before Poels joined him ahead of the summit as the last man standing from the break, White, as reeled in. By the top of the climb the Team Sky tandem had eased, well aware that a headwind and more than 20 kilometres were still ahead of them. At that point, Bevin was just over two minutes down, his only consolation the fact that if he finished the race he would receive the points jersey.

Porte's joy of six

On the descent, Daniel Oss (Bora-Hansgrohe), Héctor Carretero (Movistar) and Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto Soudal) formed a counter attack. They were brought back inside the final 10 kilometres as Astana and Sanchez moved to the front. Impey sat in the bunch, dropped off by the retiring Mat Hayman inside the final four kilometres as Team Sky saw their opportunity.

Just as with the first ascent of Willunga Hill, they powered to the front. First Dylan van Baarle set the pace before Elissonde once again took over. Poels looked as though he was too far back, but within a matter of pedal strokes the Dutch climber was clear and seemingly on his way to a stage win and possible GC win.

At first it wasn't clear whether Porte was struggling or playing a waiting game, but with 1.3km to go he kicked clear. As has often been the case, riders tried to match the Australian's initial acceleration. It proved an almost worthless task, however, as he quickly ate into the lead of Poels and the fading Elissonde. The headwind, as per last year, helped Impey and the chasers but when Porte jumped free of Poels it was clear that the Trek-Segafredo rider would take the stage, his sixth straight win on Willunga Hill.

The only remaining question was whether Impey could hold on. Within seconds we had our answer as Impey swung around the final corner with a flourish of strength once again worthy of winning this race for a second straight year.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo3:30:14
2Wout Poels (Ned) Team SkyRow 1 - Cell 2
3Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-ScottRow 2 - Cell 2
4Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida0:00:03
5Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:00:06
6Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb0:00:10
7Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First Pro Cycling0:00:15
8Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:00:17
9Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension DataRow 8 - Cell 2
10Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 9 - Cell 2
11Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 10 - Cell 2
12Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data0:00:20
13Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 13 - Cell 2
15Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team EmiratesRow 14 - Cell 2
16George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-VismaRow 15 - Cell 2
17Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates0:00:30
18Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team SkyRow 17 - Cell 2
19Eduard Prades (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:41
20Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb0:00:43
21Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension DataRow 20 - Cell 2
22Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:48
23Gregor Muhlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:51
24Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ0:00:53
25Michael Storer (Aus) Team SunwebRow 24 - Cell 2
26Steve Morabito (Swi) Groupama-FDJRow 25 - Cell 2
27Chris Harper (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 26 - Cell 2
28Lluís Mas (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 27 - Cell 2
29Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-HansgroheRow 28 - Cell 2
30Robert Gesink (Ned) Team Jumbo-VismaRow 29 - Cell 2
31Herman Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida0:00:59
32Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto SoudalRow 31 - Cell 2
33Victor De La Parte (Spa) CCC TeamRow 32 - Cell 2
34Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Jumbo-VismaRow 33 - Cell 2
35Remi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 34 - Cell 2
36Dylan Sunderland (Aus) UniSA-Australia0:01:09
37Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 36 - Cell 2
38Nans Peter (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:27
39Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:35
40Clement Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 39 - Cell 2
41Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-Segafredo0:01:56
42Yukiya Arashiro (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 41 - Cell 2
43Cameron Meyer (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:02:01
44Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team Sky0:02:04
45Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ0:02:54
46Rafael Valls (Spa) Movistar Team0:02:56
47Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto SoudalRow 46 - Cell 2
48James Whelan (Aus) EF Education First Pro Cycling0:03:05
49Nick White (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 48 - Cell 2
50Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Groupama-FDJRow 49 - Cell 2
51Lars Bak (Den) Dimension DataRow 50 - Cell 2
52Michael Valgren (Den) Dimension DataRow 51 - Cell 2
53Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 52 - Cell 2
54Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 53 - Cell 2
55Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 54 - Cell 2
56Leo Vincent (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 55 - Cell 2
57Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo0:03:12
58Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma0:04:44
59Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:04:52
60Sven Erik Bystrom (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 59 - Cell 2
61Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-HansgroheRow 60 - Cell 2
62Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
63Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-MeridaRow 62 - Cell 2
64Héctor Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team0:05:00
65Davide Ballerini (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:05:36
66Yevgeniy Gidich (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 65 - Cell 2
67Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro TeamRow 66 - Cell 2
68Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education First Pro CyclingRow 67 - Cell 2
69Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team SunwebRow 68 - Cell 2
70Luke Rowe (GBr) Team SkyRow 69 - Cell 2
71Roger Kluge (Ger) Lotto Soudal0:05:40
72Michael Morkov (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 71 - Cell 2
73Scott Davies (GBr) Dimension DataRow 72 - Cell 2
74Ivo Oliveira (Por) UAE Team EmiratesRow 73 - Cell 2
75James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 74 - Cell 2
76Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Team0:05:41
77Joey Rosskopf (USA) CCC TeamRow 76 - Cell 2
78Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-AlpecinRow 77 - Cell 2
79Ayden Toovey (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 78 - Cell 2
80Patrick Bevin (NZl) CCC TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
81Lachlan Morton (Aus) EF Education First Pro Cycling0:05:46
82Michael Hepburn (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:05:53
83Alex Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 82 - Cell 2
84Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 83 - Cell 2
85William Clarke (Aus) Trek-Segafredo0:06:00
86Michael Potter (Aus) UniSA-Australia0:07:00
87Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 86 - Cell 2
88Mat Hayman (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:07:02
89Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) Groupama-FDJRow 88 - Cell 2
90Jasper Phlipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates0:07:18
91Tom Leezer (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma0:07:30
92Cees Bol (Ned) Team SunwebRow 91 - Cell 2
93Ryan Mullen (Ire) Trek-SegafredoRow 92 - Cell 2
94Jason Lea (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 93 - Cell 2
95Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale0:08:30
96Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:09:13
97Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Jumbo-VismaRow 96 - Cell 2
98Adam Blythe (GBr) Lotto Soudal0:09:41
99Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-HansgroheRow 98 - Cell 2
100Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 99 - Cell 2
101Rory Sutherland (Aus) UAE Team EmiratesRow 100 - Cell 2
102Christian Knees (Ger) Team SkyRow 101 - Cell 2
103Nico Denz (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 102 - Cell 2
104Nic Dlamini (RSA) Dimension DataRow 103 - Cell 2
105Owain Doull (GBr) Team SkyRow 104 - Cell 2
106Danil Fominykh (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 105 - Cell 2
107Oscar Gatto (Ita) Bora-HansgroheRow 106 - Cell 2
108Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 107 - Cell 2
109Artyom Zakharov (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 108 - Cell 2
110Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First Pro CyclingRow 109 - Cell 2
111Francisco Ventoso (Spa) CCC TeamRow 110 - Cell 2
112Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC TeamRow 111 - Cell 2
113Thomas Scully (NZl) EF Education First Pro CyclingRow 112 - Cell 2
114Dimitrii Strakhov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 113 - Cell 2
115Lukas Postlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:13:28
116Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Bahrain-Merida0:13:41
117Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-MeridaRow 116 - Cell 2
118Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team Jumbo-VismaRow 117 - Cell 2
119Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-SegafredoRow 118 - Cell 2
120Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Team SkyRow 119 - Cell 2
121Max Walscheid (Ger) Team SunwebRow 120 - Cell 2
122Neil Van der Ploeg (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 121 - Cell 2
123Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 122 - Cell 2
124Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Deceuninck - QuickStepRow 123 - Cell 2
125Michael Sajnok (Pol) CCC TeamRow 124 - Cell 2
126Jens Debesschere (Bel) Katusha-AlpecinRow 125 - Cell 2
127Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 126 - Cell 2
128Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha-Alpecin0:24:16
129Alex Dowsett (GBr) Katusha-AlpecinRow 128 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel McClay (GBr) EF Education First Pro CyclingRow 129 - Cell 2
DNFJaime Castrillo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 130 - Cell 2
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Sprint #1 - Snapper Point - km 63.4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott5pts
2Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Alex Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott2Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint #2 - Snapper Point - km 103.4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Danny van Poppel (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma5pts
2Lukas Postlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Nick White (Aus) UniSA-Australia2Row 2 - Cell 3
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Finish Line Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo15pts
2Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky14Row 1 - Cell 3
3Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott13Row 2 - Cell 3
4Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida12Row 3 - Cell 3
5Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team11Row 4 - Cell 3
6Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First Pro Cycling9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension Data7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep6Row 9 - Cell 3
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KOM 1 - Willunga Hill - km 129.1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team Sky16pts
2Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky12Row 1 - Cell 3
3Nick White (Aus) UniSA-Australia8Row 2 - Cell 3
4Héctor Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team6Row 3 - Cell 3
5Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data4Row 4 - Cell 3
6Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe2Row 5 - Cell 3
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KOM 2 - Willunga Hill - km 151.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo16pts
2Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky12Row 1 - Cell 3
3Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott8Row 2 - Cell 3
4Rohan Dennis (Aus) Bahrain-Merida6Row 3 - Cell 3
5Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team4Row 4 - Cell 3
6Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb2Row 5 - Cell 3
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Young Riders
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb3:30:24
2Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Katusha-Alpecin0:00:07
3Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data0:00:10
4Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team EmiratesRow 3 - Cell 2
5Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb0:00:33
6Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension DataRow 5 - Cell 2
7Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:38
8Gregor Muhlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:41
9Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb0:00:43
10Chris Harper (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 9 - Cell 2
11Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma0:00:49
12Remi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 11 - Cell 2
13Dylan Sunderland (Aus) UniSA-Australia0:00:59
14Nans Peter (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:17
15Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ0:02:44
16James Whelan (Aus) EF Education First Pro Cycling0:02:55
17Nick White (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 16 - Cell 2
18Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Groupama-FDJRow 17 - Cell 2
19Leo Vincent (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 18 - Cell 2
20Héctor Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team0:04:50
21Davide Ballerini (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:05:26
22Yevgeniy Gidich (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Scott Davies (GBr) Dimension Data0:05:30
24Ivo Oliveira (Por) UAE Team EmiratesRow 23 - Cell 2
25James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStepRow 24 - Cell 2
26Ayden Toovey (Aus) UniSA-Australia0:05:31
27Michael Potter (Aus) UniSA-Australia0:06:50
28Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 27 - Cell 2
29Jasper Phlipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates0:07:08
30Cees Bol (Ned) Team Sunweb0:07:20
31Ryan Mullen (Ire) Trek-SegafredoRow 30 - Cell 2
32Jason Lea (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 31 - Cell 2
33Nico Denz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:09:31
34Nic Dlamini (RSA) Dimension DataRow 33 - Cell 2
35Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC TeamRow 34 - Cell 2
36Dimitrii Strakhov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 35 - Cell 2
37Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain-Merida0:13:31
38Kristoffer Halvorsen (Nor) Team SkyRow 37 - Cell 2
39Neil Van der Ploeg (Aus) UniSA-AustraliaRow 38 - Cell 2
40Michael Sajnok (Pol) CCC TeamRow 39 - Cell 2
41Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 40 - Cell 2
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Uae Team Emirates10:31:49
2Team Dimension Data0:00:13
4Team Sunweb0:00:39
5Movistar Team0:00:47
6Team Jumbo-Visma0:01:05
7Team Sky0:01:27
9Ag2R La Mondiale0:03:04
16Ef Education First0:07:49
17Team Katusha Alpecin0:07:56
18Astana Pro Team0:09:27
19CCCC Team0:11:14
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Final General Classifiction
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott20:30:42