The expected showdown between the cream of Aussie cycling lived up to all expectations today on Willunga Hill. After the peloton caught super hero Jens Voigt, the Aussie boys traded blows to the final meters of the epic Willunga climb, with Tassie master Richie Porte coming out on top.
With Richie Porte (Sky) riding away to the stage victory, Evans (BMC) came under pressure from Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Italian Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) during the final two kilometres on Willunga Hill, and was unable to respond to the accelerations of the duo.
Porte powered to victory as he crossed the finish line 10 seconds ahead of Ulissi and Gerrans at the end of the 151.5km 5th stage from McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill.
Evans, having lead the trio with 300 meters to climb, came through four seconds later with Robert Gesink (Belkin) and Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEDGE).
Taking time bonuses into account, Gerrans now leads the GC by one second ahead of Cadel Evans with Ulissi third at 5 seconds and stage winner Porte moving up to fourth at 10 seconds.
[quote_center]“I’ve just managed to sneak back into the lead on GC (general classification) so it’s been a great day,” said Gerrans.[/quote_center]
The break of the day contained Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing), Mikhail Ignatyev (Katusha), Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) and Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), with the four riders building a lead of over eight minutes while soaking up the bonuses seconds on offer at the two intermediate sprints at 60km and 103km.
Voigt continues to turn back the clock with his outstanding riding and aggressive style. Voigt continued to tap out a ridiculous tempo right up to the final climb of the day.
Despite Axel Domont (AG2R) jumping ahead of Adam Hansen (Lotto-Belisol) on the first climb up Willunga Hill, Hansen retains the King of the Mountains jersey.
Stage 5: 151.5km, McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill
1 Richie Porte (AUS) Sky 3hr 42min 20sec
2 Diego Ulissi (ITA) Lampre-Merida 0:00:10
3 Simon Gerrans (AUS) Orica GreenEDGE
4 Robert Gesink (NED) Belkin 0:00:14
5 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEDGE
6 Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC
7 Nathan Haas (AUS) Garmin-Sharp 0:00:16
8 Egor Silin (RUS) Katusha
9 Adam Hansen (AUS) Lotto-Belisol
10 Geraint Thomas (GBR) Sky 0:00:20
1 Simon Gerrans (AUS) Orica-GreenEDGE 18hr 02min 19sec
2 Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC 0:00:01
3 Diego Ulissi (ITA) Lampre-Merida 0:00:05
4 Richie Porte (AUS) Sky 0:00:10
5 Nathan Haas (AUS) Garmin-Sharp 0:00:27
6 Robert Gesink (NED) Belkin 0:00:30
7 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEDGE 0:00:34
8 Adam Hansen (AUS) Lotto-Belisol 0:00:37
9 Geraint Thomas (GBR) Sky
10 Egor Silin (RUS) Katusha