Tour Down Under – Porte wins Stage 5


Tasmanian Richie Porte ignited the afterburners on the final ascent of Old Willunga Hill to win stage 5 but is denied race lead by Dennis

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Tour Down Under – Porte wins Stage 5

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A desperate defence by South Australian Rohan Dennis has seen him cling to the Santos Tour Down Under lead despite a strong challenge by Tasmanian Richie Porte.


 Richie Porte wins Stage 5 from McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill. Photo – Regallo

Porte (Team SKY) ignited the afterburners on the final ascent of Old Willunga Hill in a bid to steal the race lead. But while Porte won the stage, Dennis dug deep to keep the deficit to nine seconds across the line and that keeps him in the Santos Ochre Leader’s Jersey, albeit by a mere two second margin.

“I am so, so happy,” Dennis said after donning the race leader’s ochre jersey in front of a sun-baked crowd. “I really could not have done it without the team. I know it is cliché, but they really were amazing. Every single time there was a stressful situation, they were there to surround and protect me and make my job as easy as possible.”

“Nobody could talk, there were no words of wisdom, it was just stay at the front, stay out of the wind and just follow,” said Dennis of the race plan for the day.” Richie went, in hindsight, probably a bit too late because really he had better legs than me today so I gotta thank him but also my team was absolutely awesome, absolutely awesome.”

“I actually felt pretty comfortable when he (Porte) first went,” Dennis said. “But then he kept kicking and kicking – and then he kicked again. I think it was at about 350 or 400 meters to go that I had had enough. I actually thought if I kept going, I would have dropped dead. But Richie sort of went – in hindsight – probably a little bit too late”.


Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) still leads the Santos Tour Down Under. Photo – Regallo

Porte is unlikely to want thanks from Dennis and was disappointed to some so close yet miss out on taking the race lead. “I am very happy to win the stage,” said Porte. “It’s a great way to start the year and my team has been fantastic. Full credit to Rohan,” he said graciously. “I mean, I gave it to him as hard as I could but it just wasn’t quite to be”.

“It can still happen that I get it tomorrow but I was kind of hoping to finish it off today”.


Jack Bobridge (UniSA-Australia) and Kiwi Greg Henderson (Lotto-Soudal) in the breakaway. Photo – Regallo

Porte has managed to split the BMC Racing quinella with Cadel Evans now 20 seconds off the lead. Evans was fourth on today’s stage just behind Spaniard Ruben Fernandez (Movistar) with both coming home 16 seconds after Porte. “We were attentive, because anything can happen, as we saw and we didn’t miss anything all day,” said Evans who is riding in the last World Tour event before calling it quits on his 20 year professional cycling career.

“But maybe that left me a little more fatigued in the finish, maybe that cost me. If I am behind, then they’re going to ride like crazy up front,” he explained. “We had to be there, we adapted accordingly, and we were there.”

Whilst disappointed to drop down one placing, he was pleased that Dennis delivered for the team. “I lacked a little bit in the last 300 metres and it was close for Rohan in the end,” said Evans. “I’m glad I put him in position when I did, because he was riding a little bit better than me today.”

Today’s result was a similar story to 2014 when Porte won the stage but couldn‘t reel in eventual Tour winner Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE).

Movistar team boss José Luis Arrieta admits the Australians are hard to beat at home but is content to have Fernandez claim third place overall. “They are a little bit better than us…. they’ve been racing here,” said Arrieta. “Richie was strong as usual, and Dennis proved he deserved to win this race.

“For Ruben [Fernandez], in his first WorldTour race, we have to be happy with how he’s racing…. he has a lot of promise.”


Stage 5 winner Richie Porte launches his attack on Willunga Hill. Photo – Regallo

The 151 kilometre BikeExchange Stage 5 began in beautiful Mclaren Vale with three laps along the coastal holiday strip of Aldinga Beach before the race turned left for the first of two ascents of Old Wilunga Hill. South Australia’s Jack Bobridge (UniSA-Australia) went into the stage wearing the polka dot jersey of the Subaru King of the Mountain leader and it was clear he had no intention of relinquishing it.

He was on the attack from the start and after an initial ten man breakaway attempt, failed he jumped in when Australian Jordan Kerby (Drapac) attacked and along with New Zealand’s Greg Henderson (Lotto-Soudal) and the trio rode away to a lead of more than five minutes over the bunch.

The impact of yesterday’s race crashes saw four riders fail to start and 50 kilometres into today’s stage a bandage swathed Maarten Tjallingii (LottoNL-Jumbo) added his name to the list of race retirees. Meanwhile the front three headed to the first of the day’s two iiNet Sprint contests at the 63 kilometre mark where Kerby crossed first ahead of Henderson and Bobridge.


Photo – Regallo

There was little change in the race situation in the next 40 kilometres ahead of the second sprint at Snapper Point. This time Henderson claimed the points ahead of Bobridge and Kerby. The three in front had been setting a pretty solid pace and that took a toll on Kerby who, soon after the second sprint, sat up leaving Henderson and Bobridge to get on with it.

But as per the usual script for the decisive ‘Queen’ stage of the Santos Tour Down Under the peloton was on the hunt and the leader’s margin was coming down fast. Bobridge needed to get the points on Willunga to hold onto the climber’s lead and Henderson hung in to help breakaway companion as long he could. As the pair climbed up out of Willunga for the first time, the Kiwi gave his Aussie mate a farewell hand sling and Bobridge darted off in pursuit of the Subaru KOM points.

It must have seemed to Bobridge that all of today’s 128 thousand spectators were cheering him on as, cocooned in a tunnel of thunderous noise, he sped towards the Subaru KOM arch. The Astana team drove the chase with Italian pair Dario Cataldo and Davide Malacarne the next two over the top. But Dennis and Evans were on their wheels and in the points as well and the scene was set for the final showdown.

As the race headed back down to Willunga, Bobridge was caught and the second time under the Subaru arch, it was Porte who picked up the points from Dennis, Fernandez and Evans. They crossed the finish line in the same order 500 metres further on.

Tomorrow’s final Be Safe Be Seen Stage 6 will be raced over 20 laps of a 4.5 kilometre circuit that this year extends from Elder Park up through North Adelaide and back before sweeping up through the city along King William Street to Victoria Square. There will be two Subaru KOM efforts up Montefiore Hill and the iiNet intermediate sprints will be contested at the end of laps 8 and 12.

Results Snapshot – bikeexchange Stage 5
Stage winner – Richie Porte (Team SKY)
Santos Tour Down Under race leader – Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing)
iiNet Sprint leader – Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEDGE)
Subaru King of the Mountain leader – Jack Bobridge (UniSA-Australia)
Virgin Australia Leading Team – Movistar
Cycle Instead Young Rider – Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing)
Europcar Most Competitive Rider – Greg Henderson (Lotto-Soudal)


1 PORTE Richie SKY 03:37:32
2 DENNIS Rohan BMC 9
4 EVANS Cadel BMC @ st
6 POZZOVIVO Domenico ALM 19
7 MACHADO Tiago KAT 24
8 MOSER Moreno TCG 26
10 JEANNESSON Arnold FDJ @ st
11 PANTANO GOMEZ Jarlison IAM @ st
12 IMPEY Daryl OGE @ st
13 BENNETT George TLJ 32
14 GRMAY Tsgabu Gebremaryam LAM 38
15 ROGERS Michael TCS 48
16 SANCHEZ GIL Luis Leon AST @ st
17 MEYER Cameron OGE @ st
18 VILLELLA Davide TCG 56
19 DE GENDT Thomas LTS 58
20 CAPECCHI Eros MOV 01:02
21 HAIG Jack AUS 01:05
22 HANSEN Adam LTS 01:15
24 ROY Jérémy FDJ 01:54
25 GESCHKE Simon TGA 02:16
26 MORI Manuele LAM @ st
27 BOUET Maxime EQS @ st
28 BAK Lars Ytting LTS @ st
29 WESTRA Lieuwe AST @ st
30 LAGUTIN Sergei KAT @ st
31 ROE Timothy DPC @ st
32 DUMOULIN Samuel ALM @ st
33 CLEMENT Stef IAM @ st
34 BERARD Julien ALM 02:21
35 DIDIER Laurent TFR 02:24
36 MCCONNELL Daniel TFR @ st
37 JUUL JENSEN Christopher TCS 02:31
38 LINDEMAN Bertjan TLJ @ st
39 DURASEK Kristijan LAM @ st
40 ROULSTON Hayden TFR 02:53
41 STETINA Peter BMC 03:05
42 ROOSEN Timo TLJ 03:08
43 PINEAU Cédric FDJ @ st
44 POWER Robert AUS @ st
45 ELMIGER Martin IAM 03:18
47 CARUSO Giampaolo KAT @ st
48 VELITS Martin EQS 03:40
49 CLARKE Simon OGE @ st
50 DURBRIDGE Luke OGE @ st
51 THOMAS Geraint SKY 04:09
52 ROWE Luke SKY @ st
53 HAYMAN Mathew OGE @ st
54 HAUSSLER Heinrich IAM @ st
55 BRUTT Pavel TCS @ st
56 REYNES MIMO Vicente IAM @ st
57 KEIZER Martijn TLJ @ st
58 BAUER Jack TCG 04:16
59 WATSON Calvin TFR 04:24
60 SANZ Enrique MOV 04:28
61 CATALDO Dario AST 04:40
62 MALACARNE Davide AST @ st
63 SCHÄR Michael BMC 04:43
64 KADRI Blel ALM 04:46
65 TANNER David IAM @ st
66 HANSEN Lasse Norman TCG 05:11
67 DE VREESE Laurens AST 05:34
68 DOCKX Gert LTS @ st
70 KENNAUGH Peter SKY 05:45
71 STANNARD Ian SKY @ st
72 PUCCIO Salvatore SKY @ st
73 HANSEN Jesper TCS @ st
74 ZAUGG Oliver TCS @ st
75 VON HOFF Steele AUS @ st
76 VEIKKANEN Jussi FDJ @ st
77 CLARKE William DPC @ st
78 SCOTSON Miles AUS @ st
79 BELKOV Maxim KAT @ st
80 HAGA Chad TGA 06:11
81 BOOM Lars AST 06:46
82 KLUGE Roger IAM 07:41
83 BOBRIDGE Jack AUS 08:45
84 HOWES Alex TCG @ st
85 HESJEDAL Ryder TCG @ st
86 HAAS Nathan TCG @ st
87 MEERSMAN Gianni EQS 08:52
88 SERRY Pieter EQS @ st
89 TIMMER Albert TGA 08:56
90 DILLIER Silvan BMC 13:48
91 KOHLER Martin DPC @ st
92 TCATEVICH Aleksei KAT @ st
93 BEWLEY Sam OGE @ st
94 WYSS Danilo BMC @ st
95 VALLEE Boris LTS @ st
96 DOMONT Axel ALM @ st
97 TLEUBAYEV Ruslan AST @ st
98 EDMONDSON Alexander AUS @ st
99 VAN DER PLOEG Neil AUS @ st
100 HEPBURN Michael OGE @ st
101 BROWN Graeme DPC 14:30
102 SUTTON Christopher SKY @ st
103 DE KORT Koen TGA @ st
104 MARKUS Barry TLJ @ st
105 CHAVANEL Sébastien FDJ @ st
106 KITTEL Marcel TGA @ st
107 ALAFACI Eugenio TFR @ st
108 RENSHAW Mark EQS @ st
109 LOBATO DEL VALLE Juan Jose MOV @ st
110 LAMPAERT Yves EQS @ st
111 SELIG Rudiger KAT @ st
112 FLENS Rick TLJ @ st
113 GOUGEARD Alexis ALM @ st
114 RIBLON Christophe ALM @ st
115 BONO Matteo LAM @ st
116 CIMOLAI Davide LAM @ st
117 BOARO Manuele TCS @ st
118 NIZZOLO Giacomo TFR @ st
119 COLEDAN Marco TFR @ st
120 FERRARI Roberto LAM @ st
121 BONIFAZIO Niccolo LAM 14:39
122 HENDERSON Greg LTS @ st
123 KERBY Jordan DPC 15:09
124 WIPPERT Wouter DPC 15:51
125 ISAYCHEV Vladimir KAT 16:06

1 DENNIS Rohan BMC 17:19:09
2 PORTE Richie SKY 2
3 EVANS Cadel BMC 20
6 POZZOVIVO Domenico ALM 31
7 IMPEY Daryl OGE 38
8 MACHADO Tiago KAT 46
10 PANTANO GOMEZ Jarlison IAM 53
11 BENNETT George TLJ 57
12 ROGERS Michael TCS 01:00
13 GRMAY Tsgabu Gebremaryam LAM mt
14 SANCHEZ GIL Luis Leon AST 01:10
15 HAIG Jack AUS 01:17
17 CAPECCHI Eros MOV 01:30
18 HANSEN Adam LTS 01:43
19 MOSER Moreno TCG 02:01
20 VILLELLA Davide TCG 02:19
21 BOUET Maxime EQS 02:28
22 GESCHKE Simon TGA 02:36
23 ROY Jérémy FDJ 02:43
25 BAK Lars Ytting LTS 02:44
26 BERARD Julien ALM 02:46
27 MORI Manuele LAM 02:50
28 WESTRA Lieuwe AST 02:56
29 LAGUTIN Sergei KAT 03:05
30 MCCONNELL Daniel TFR 03:21
31 LINDEMAN Bertjan TLJ 03:28
32 STETINA Peter BMC 03:33
33 DUMOULIN Samuel ALM 03:37
34 JUUL JENSEN Christopher TCS 03:52
35 DIDIER Laurent TFR 04:20
36 POWER Robert AUS 04:30
37 DURASEK Kristijan LAM 04:37
38 CLARKE Simon OGE 05:01
39 VELITS Martin EQS 05:29
40 TANNER David IAM 05:35
41 ROULSTON Hayden TFR 05:41
42 THOMAS Geraint SKY 05:44
44 CLEMENT Stef IAM 06:05
45 REYNES MIMO Vicente IAM 06:12
46 MEYER Cameron OGE 06:14
48 CARUSO Giampaolo KAT 06:25
49 HANSEN Jesper TCS 06:34
50 ROOSEN Timo TLJ 06:50
51 MALACARNE Davide AST 07:10
52 DURBRIDGE Luke OGE 07:28
53 ZAUGG Oliver TCS 07:41
54 HAUSSLER Heinrich IAM 07:47
55 HAYMAN Mathew OGE 08:14
56 SCHÄR Michael BMC 08:22
57 DOCKX Gert LTS 08:36
58 ROE Timothy DPC 08:57
59 HAAS Nathan TCG 09:13
60 BOBRIDGE Jack AUS 09:18
61 ELMIGER Martin IAM 09:33
62 CATALDO Dario AST 09:55
63 HESJEDAL Ryder TCG 10:16
64 VEIKKANEN Jussi FDJ 10:26
65 STANNARD Ian SKY 10:53
66 PINEAU Cédric FDJ 11:00
67 MEERSMAN Gianni EQS 11:52
68 BOOM Lars AST 11:59
69 KADRI Blel ALM 12:13
70 KEIZER Martijn TLJ 12:26
71 VON HOFF Steele AUS 13:06
72 BELKOV Maxim KAT mt
73 DE VREESE Laurens AST 13:15
74 HAGA Chad TGA 14:34
75 HOWES Alex TCG 14:36
76 TCATEVICH Aleksei KAT 15:19
77 KENNAUGH Peter SKY 15:21
78 BRUTT Pavel TCS 15:24
79 BAUER Jack TCG 15:51
80 WATSON Calvin TFR 16:30
81 DE GENDT Thomas LTS 16:41
82 CLARKE William DPC 17:31
83 KLUGE Roger IAM 18:10
84 WYSS Danilo BMC 18:16
85 SERRY Pieter EQS 18:45
86 CHAVANEL Sébastien FDJ 19:19
87 BONIFAZIO Niccolo LAM 20:04
88 DE KORT Koen TGA 20:37
89 SCOTSON Miles AUS 22:07
90 HENDERSON Greg LTS 22:28
91 DILLIER Silvan BMC 22:40
92 LAMPAERT Yves EQS 22:41
93 ROWE Luke SKY 22:50
94 ISAYCHEV Vladimir KAT 23:54
95 ALAFACI Eugenio TFR 23:56
96 TIMMER Albert TGA 23:57
97 TLEUBAYEV Ruslan AST 23:58
98 RENSHAW Mark EQS 24:12:00
99 PUCCIO Salvatore SKY 24:33:00
100 BOARO Manuele TCS 24:44:00
101 CIMOLAI Davide LAM 25:59:00
102 LOBATO DEL VALLE Juan Jose MOV 26:02:00
103 EDMONDSON Alexander AUS 26:17:00
104 BEWLEY Sam OGE 26:29:00
105 KOHLER Martin DPC 27:16:00
106 FLENS Rick TLJ 28:27:00
107 BROWN Graeme DPC 29:45:00
108 BONO Matteo LAM 30:14:00
109 HANSEN Lasse Norman TCG 31:02:00
110 VAN DER PLOEG Neil AUS 31:38:00
111 HEPBURN Michael OGE 32:18:00
112 SANZ Enrique MOV 33:30:00
113 SELIG Rudiger KAT 34:28:00
114 COLEDAN Marco TFR 37:51:00
115 RIBLON Christophe ALM 38:13:00
116 KERBY Jordan DPC 40:25:00
117 FERRARI Roberto LAM 41:19:00
118 GOUGEARD Alexis ALM 46:08:00
119 WIPPERT Wouter DPC 47:05:00
120 KITTEL Marcel TGA 50:18:00
121 MARKUS Barry TLJ 51:23:00
122 DOMONT Axel ALM 52:34:00
123 SUTTON Christopher SKY 53:18:00
124 VALLEE Boris LTS 55:47:00
125 NIZZOLO Giacomo TFR 59:29:00

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