Tour Down Under: Gerrans nicks lead off Evans


On a dramatic day of racing, Simon Gerrans nicked the overall lead from Cadel Evans whilst Richie Porte won the stage on a great day for Australian riders

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes



Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) has set himself up to become the first three-time winner of the Santos Tour Down Under in a dramatic day of racing that saw Richie Porte (Team SKY) win the Pure Blonde Stage 5


 Richie Porte wins the Pure Blonde Stage 5 atop Willunga Hill. Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo

Following Porte across the line ten seconds later was Italian Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) while Gerrans was third. The anticipation and tension was palpable on the start line of today’s Queen stage that began in McLaren Vale, criss-crossed the region’s celebrated vineyards and swept along a spectacular Fleurieu Peninsula coastal circuit before turning left to contest two ascents of Willunga Hill and the hiltop finish line.

The race attracted 125 thousand fans who set up picnics, eskies and sun lounges along the length of the course. 2011 Tour de France champion, Cadel Evans, began the day with a seven second lead but at the end of the 151 kilometre stage Gerrans had grappled back the overall lead thanks to his third place time bonus and a six second gap back to Evans on the line. He is now a mere one second ahead of the BMC Racing Team leader. Ulissi remains third overall at five seconds.


New Santos Tour Down Under leader, Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE). Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo

“All the way up the climb, I always knew what I had to do,” said Gerrans who was protected all day and kept out of the wind by his team mates so he could be fresh for the final showdown. “I needed to save energy for the very last part.”

“Earlier on, we had Matt Goss at the front, then Daryl (Impey) and Simon (Clarke) looking after me. It’s a dream result to get the jersey back,” he explained. “I’ve got a fantastic team here, we’ve seen it today, and they’ve been great all week.”

Gerrans claimed the lead on the same stage in 2012 and went onto win the Tour for the second time, the first win coming in 2006. He held the race lead earlier this week after winning the San Remo Pasta Stage 1 but Evans took over with his Thomas Foods Stage 3 victory in Campbelltown.

“It’s only by one second though, actually it’s one second more than two years ago (against Alejandro Valverde) but it’s still going to be tight and nervous tomorrow,” said Gerrans who is hoping to have a third Santos Tour Down Under crown in his possession at the end of tomorrow’s final day of racing.


Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) lost his lead in the Santos Tour Down Under today. Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo

The big mover of the day however was the Tasmanian Porte who began 33 seconds down in tenth overall but his winning assault has moved him up to fourth on the overall, ten seconds behind Gerrans. The 2013 Paris-Nice winner rode away from his rivals in front of a huge crowd that packed the three kilometre climb to the finish.

“This result is more than I hoped for,” said Porte who was ten seconds in front when he crossed the line. “It was a very stressful day with crosswinds but I had my team doing incredible work for me. Ian Stannard, Bernhard Eisel, Luke Rowe, the Classics’ guys… I just had to sit in their back pocket all day. I panicked a little bit and Stannard said he’d drop me at the right place.”

Once Stannard delivered Porte into position, he pounced breaking clear in the last 1500 metres of the Willunga Climb to clinch the win. “I wasn’t exactly surprised to drop Cadel Evans off, I was disappointed the other day after the Corkscrew Climb (Thursday) (because) I started badly positioned.

“Not taking anything away from Cadel, I could have played a little bit better. Winning here means everything for me. Sky is such a great team. It’s a great way to repay them for the belief they have in me.”

BMC Racing Team Sport Manager, Allan Peiper says it will take something special to overtake Gerrans now. “No, it’s not over, but if you got to come from behind, it’s a little bit difficult in a criterium,” said Peiper. “We will discuss our options tonight to see what we come up with.”


Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing) on the attack during the Pure Blonde Stage 5 of the Santos Tour Down Under. Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo

Jens “shut up legs” Voigt on the Attack Again
This morning jovial German Jens Voigt was seriously warming up just minutes before the start signalling an early attack from him was imminent. Sure enough, within the first few kilometres, Voigt bounded off the front with Russian Mikhail Ignatyev (Katusha), Spain’s Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) and Italian Matteo Trentin.

The quartet gained a handy lead as they raced the first of three laps that swept out along the scenic seashore of Aldinga Beach and Snapper Point. The lead increased to more than nine minutes as the leaders sliced through buffeting winds blowing any hopes of Gerrans grabbing bonus seconds on Evans in the Adam Internet intermediate sprints.

[pullquote]… it could have worked as well, had those guys laughed and said ‘oh!, this is just Jens, he’s an old man with number 42 on his back, like his age, let him go’. And then, with a good lead, I wouldn’t have been caught again!”[/pullquote]

On the second lap, at the 63 kilometre mark, the quartet in front contested the first of the two sprints at Snapper Point with Ignatyev taking the top points ahead of Trentin and Voigt. Back in the peloton Orica-GreenEDGE had been joined by Team SKY on the front and the pace lifted as they started the chase down the breakaways.

“When the break went away, I spoke with Mathew Hayman (Orica-GreenEDGE), and I said we want to go for the stage win, and you guys want the GC, so we each put a guy on the front to bring the gap down,” said Porte’s team mate Gerraint Thomas. “It was all about keeping Richie (Porte) out of the wind and out of trouble.”

“I saw his attack. It was good to see him dancing away, and you could see that Cadel (Evans) was struggling a little bit. It was every man for himself.”


The peloton on the Aldinga Beach Esplanade during the Pure Blonde Stage 5.  Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo

The double team strength chase saw the gap to the leaders at the half way mark down to under four minutes. The second sprint at Snapper Point also went to Ignatyev, the 2004 Olympic Games points race champion, ahead of Lobato and Voigt.

Lobato dropped back to the peloton but the remaining three rode on with Voigt claiming the maximum Skoda King of the Mountain points over Williunga the first time trailled by Ignatyev and Trentin. Leader of the climber’s classification, Australian Adam Hansen (Lotto-Belisol) rode across for fifth place points to make sure he kept hold of the green and white polka dot jersey but he’s tied on points with Frenchman Axel Domont (AG2R La Mondiale) who was just ahead of him.

“It’s really good to be the king of the mountains here,” said Hansen who also jumped up into the top ten and now sits eighth overall. “I’m a bit surprised that I made it. It wasn’t my priority but I decided to go for it the first time up Willunga Hill. Jurgen Roelandts led me out but I didn’t want to go full gas against the AG2R rider (Axel Domont) who was sprinting for KOM points as well.”

“It’s very nice to get the jersey.”


 Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) tries to reel in Richie Porte with Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) and Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) in tow. . Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo

Meanwhile in front, Voigt kicked again in the final ten kilometres in a desperate bid to steal a win but the stakes were too high for the overall contenders Voigt was reeled in at the foot of the final ascent. But the 42 year old, the oldest man in the, did earn the Europcar Most Competive Rider award.

“When we got caught after breaking away, I attacked again, but what else should I do? Just disappear?” Voigt asked. “I didn’t have to work for a leader or anything and I wasn’t gonna win the stage against the favourites, so I thought I’d better do it in style, put on a show, entertain the people.”

“But actually, it could have worked as well, had those guys laughed and said ‘oh!, this is just Jens, he’s an old man with number 42 on his back, like his age, let him go’. And then, with a good lead, I wouldn’t have been caught again!”

Gerrans also leads the Adam Internet Sprint Classification by 19 points from Ulissi.

In the Cycle Instead Best Young Rider category 20 year old UniSA-Australia’s Jack Haig finished 20th on the stage and remains 1:19 ahead of Spaniard Carlos Verona (Omega Pharma – QuickStep) his nearest rival for the honour. “I saw him at the end of the climb the first time, after which I was left with no team-mate while he had his whole team with him.,” said Haig. “So I was just hanging on to the wheels. I pushed myself so hard. It scared me racing in the wind like this.”


Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing) was named the  Europcar Most Competitive Rider for the day. Photo: Santos Tour Down Under / Regallo

“In the final climb, I was pretty tired,” said Haig. “I had to go really deep but I just marked Carlos all the way up.”

In the Hindmarch Teams Classification Orica-GreenEDGE has also moved into the lead from BMC Racing Team.


Richie Porte (Team SKY) powers solo up Willunga 



Showing how strong Australian racing is, it was the Australian riders who held all the jerseys at the start of the Pure Blonde Stage 5  at McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill (l-r) Adam Hansen, Simon Gerrans, Cadel Evans, Jack Haig. 

1 PORTE Richie Team Sky 03:42:20
2 ULISSI Diego Lampre – Merida 00:10
3 GERRANS Simon Orica GreenEDGE
4 GESINK Robert Belkin Pro Cycling Team 00:14
5 IMPEY Daryl Orica GreenEDGE
6 EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team
7 HAAS Nathan Garmin – Sharp 00:17
8 SILIN Egor Team Katusha
9 HANSEN Adam Lotto Belisol Team
10 THOMAS Geraint Team Sky 00:21
11 GAVAZZI Francesco Astana Pro Team 00:24
12 SUTHERLAND Rory Tinkoff-Saxo 00:30
13 PLAZA MOLINA Rubén Movistar Team
14 BAKELANTS Jan Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 00:43
15 VORGANOV Eduard Team Katusha 00:52
16 PAUWELS Serge Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 00:53
17 VERONA QUINTANILLA Carlos Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
18 BOUET Maxime AG2R La Mondiale
19 BOOKWALTER Brent BMC Racing Team
20 HAIG Jack UniSA-Australia
21 MORENO BAZAN Javier Movistar Team
22 SULZBERGER Wesley Drapac Professional Cycling
23 LAPTHORNE Darren Drapac Professional Cycling
24 HUCKER Robbie Drapac Professional Cycling 01:00
25 BROECKX Stig Lotto Belisol Team 01:02
26 GRIVKO Andriy Astana Pro Team
27 VALGREN ANDERSEN Michael Tinkoff-Saxo
28 CLARKE Simon Orica GreenEDGE
29 QUEMENEUR Perrig Team Europcar
30 BOBRIDGE Jack Belkin Pro Cycling Team
31 WURF Cameron Cannondale 01:10
32 ARASHIRO Yukiya Team Europcar
33 MEYER Travis Drapac Professional Cycling 01:20
34 CANTWELL Jonathan Drapac Professional Cycling 01:24
35 ERVITI OLLO Imanol Movistar Team 01:47
36 JUUL-JENSEN Christopher Tinkoff-Saxo
37 COUSIN Jérôme Team Europcar
38 GESCHKE Simon Team Giant-Shimano 01:50
39 ROUX Anthony Equipe Cycliste
40 DIDIER Laurent Trek Factory Racing 01:56
41 WYSS Danilo BMC Racing Team 02:11
42 KOCHETKOV Pavel Team Katusha 02:19
43 CLEMENT Stef Belkin Pro Cycling Team 02:25
44 TANKINK Bram Belkin Pro Cycling Team 02:50
45 WATSON Calvin Trek Factory Racing
46 BONNAFOND Guillaume AG2R La Mondiale
47 SULZBERGER Bernard Drapac Professional Cycling
48 SøRENSEN Nicki Tinkoff-Saxo
49 BERARD Julien AG2R La Mondiale
50 ALAPHILIPPE Julian Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 02:54
51 HERMANS Ben BMC Racing Team 03:15
52 MORI Manuele Lampre – Merida 04:35
53 VOIGT Jens Trek Factory Racing
54 GREIPEL Andre Lotto Belisol Team
55 ROELANDTS Jurgen Lotto Belisol Team
56 STANNARD Ian Team Sky
57 HAYMAN Mathew Orica GreenEDGE
58 AGNOLI Valerio Astana Pro Team 04:51
59 DOMONT Axel AG2R La Mondiale 05:12
60 SCHLECK Fränk Trek Factory Racing
61 O’ BRIEN Mark UniSA-Australia
62 FROHLINGER Johannes Team Giant-Shimano 06:17
63 VEIKKANEN Jussi Equipe Cycliste
64 MOHORIC Matej Cannondale
65 HUPOND Thierry Team Giant-Shimano
66 MORABITO Steve BMC Racing Team 06:39
67 MOINARD Amaël BMC Racing Team
68 SOUPE Geoffrey Equipe Cycliste
69 MCCARTHY Jay Tinkoff-Saxo
70 EARLE Nathan Team Sky
71 FELLINE Fabio Trek Factory Racing
72 DEIGNAN Philip Team Sky
73 REZA Kevin Team Europcar
74 MORTON Lachlan Garmin – Sharp
75 COURTEILLE Arnaud Equipe Cycliste
76 ELISSONDE Kenny Equipe Cycliste
77 BENNETT George Cannondale
78 DURBRIDGE Luke Orica GreenEDGE 06:47
79 MATTHEWS Michael Orica GreenEDGE
80 TULIK Angelo Team Europcar 06:50
81 HUFFMAN Evan Astana Pro Team 06:57
82 GASPAROTTO Enrico Astana Pro Team
83 GUARNIERI Jacopo Astana Pro Team
84 BELKOV Maxim Team Katusha
85 WACKERMANN Luca Lampre – Merida
86 VAN POPPEL Danny Trek Factory Racing
87 BETTIOL Alberto Cannondale
88 ZABEL Rick BMC Racing Team
89 BOIVIN Guillaume Cannondale
90 WESTRA Lieuwe Astana Pro Team
91 THURAU Bjorn Team Europcar
92 FAIRLY Caleb Garmin – Sharp
93 DEKKER Thomas Garmin – Sharp
94 PETERSON Tom Team Giant-Shimano
95 VAN POPPEL Boy Trek Factory Racing
96 TRENTIN Matteo Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 08:09
97 HALLER Marco Team Katusha 08:26
98 VON HOFF Steele Garmin – Sharp 08:44
99 CLARKE William Drapac Professional Cycling
100 GIACOPPO Anthony UniSA-Australia
101 FLAKEMORE Campbell UniSA-Australia
102 BONO Matteo Lampre – Merida 09:47
103 BAUER Jack Garmin – Sharp 11:32
104 DENNIS Rohan Garmin – Sharp
105 BONNET William Equipe Cycliste
106 RENSHAW Mark Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
107 TURGOT Sébastien AG2R La Mondiale
108 TRUSOV Nikolay Tinkoff-Saxo
109 IGNATYEV Mikhail Team Katusha
110 FENN Andrew Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
111 GOSS Matthew Orica GreenEDGE
112 DEBUSSCHERE Jens Lotto Belisol Team
113 ROWE Luke Team Sky
114 VIVIANI Elia Cannondale
115 SIEBERG Marcel Lotto Belisol Team
116 DANIEL Maxime AG2R La Mondiale
117 KRIZEK Matthias Cannondale
118 FLENS Rick Belkin Pro Cycling Team
119 LECUISINIER Pierre-Henri Equipe Cycliste
120 KOLAR Michael Tinkoff-Saxo
121 EWAN Caleb UniSA-Australia
122 DE KORT Koen Team Giant-Shimano
123 KITTEL Marcel Team Giant-Shimano
124 VAN DER PLOEG Neil UniSA-Australia 11:38
125 ARNDT Nikias Team Giant-Shimano 11:52
126 FERRARI Roberto Lampre – Merida 13:35
127 PORSEV Alexander Team Katusha
128 LOBATO DEL VALLE Juan Jose Movistar Team
129 CIMOLAI Davide Lampre – Merida
130 GAUDIN Damien AG2R La Mondiale 16:55
131 BROWN Graeme Belkin Pro Cycling Team 17:53
132 EISEL Bernhard Team Sky


1 GERRANS Simon Orica GreenEDGE 18:02:19
2 EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team 00:01
3 ULISSI Diego Lampre – Merida 00:05
4 PORTE Richie Team Sky 00:10
5 HAAS Nathan Garmin – Sharp 00:27
6 GESINK Robert Belkin Pro Cycling Team 00:30
7 IMPEY Daryl Orica GreenEDGE 00:34
8 HANSEN Adam Lotto Belisol Team 00:37
9 THOMAS Geraint Team Sky
10 SILIN Egor Team Katusha
11 SUTHERLAND Rory Tinkoff-Saxo 00:50
12 BOOKWALTER Brent BMC Racing Team 01:13
13 BAKELANTS Jan Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 01:31
14 PLAZA MOLINA Rubén Movistar Team 01:35
15 BOUET Maxime AG2R La Mondiale 01:54
16 VORGANOV Eduard Team Katusha 01:57
17 HAIG Jack UniSA-Australia 01:58
18 HUCKER Robbie Drapac Professional Cycling 02:05
19 LAPTHORNE Darren Drapac Professional Cycling 02:32
20 ROUX Anthony Equipe Cycliste 02:38
2014 Santos Tour Down Under
Sunday 26 January – Be Safe Be Seen, MAC Stage 6 – Adelaide (95km)



Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: , ,