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Tour Down Under 2012 : Old Willunga Hill keeps its promises, Alejandro Valverde makes his comeback

Added: saturday 21 January 2012 at 16:23:00
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    Tour Down Under 2012 : Old Willunga Hill keeps its promises, Alejandro Valverde makes his comebackIt was a promise: the 5th stage of the Tour Down Under 2012 would be the queen stage. It was a promise as well that this stage would not get a bunch sprint at the finish but would rather have a good climber as its winner.

    The promises have been kept, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) showed to be the strongest on the climb of Old Willunga Hill and the general classification of the Australian race has been completely modified once again. The recent Australian Champion, Simon Gerrans, of the brand new UCI ProTeam GreenEDGE, takes the first place in this classification but shares his time with Alejandro Valverde, on the day before the final stage on a circuit in the centre of Adelaide.

    The summary of stage 5/ McLaren Vale > Old Willunga Hill

    After the start, Thomas de Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) is the first to attack. Thomas de GendtHe soon got company from Stuart O'Grady (GreenEDGE), Takashi Miyazawa (Saxo Bank), Nathan Haas (Garmin-Barracuda), Andrew Fenn (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Kristof Goddaert (AG2R La Mondiale) and their gap went up to values around 8 minutes with the peloton being mainly controlled by the Movistar Team.

    The riders of the leading group didn't really battle for the points and bonus seconds in the first intermediate sprint and it was thus more by hasard that Kristof Goddaert passed the line first, ahead of Andrew Fenn and Stuart O'Grady. At the second sprint it was pretty much the same and Thomas de Gendt took the points there, ahead of Stuart O'Grady and Andrew Fenn.

    That's how the stage quietly went on on the first laps on the circuit between McLaren Vale, Willunga and Snapper Point. It was only in the first climb of Old Willunga Hill that the stage got a bit more exciting with Nathan Haas attacking from the leading group. Since Thomas de Gendt wanted to take some additional points for the King of the Mountains classification, led since yesterday by Rohan Dennis, the Belgian rider launched the pursuit. The other riders of the leading group were taken back by the peloton. On top of Old Willunga Hill, it was indeed Nathan Haas who passed first under the arch, followed by Thomas de Gendt. Rohan Dennis took the 3rd place at the front of the peloton, thus allowing him to keep the first place in the KOM classification.

    On top of the climb several riders than discover that the wind is quite present and drop back when the peloton breaks up. They have to spend quite a lot of energy to come back.

    Danny PateIn the second climb it's up to Danny Pate (Sky Procycling) to attack, followed by Rohan Dennis (UniSA-Australia), José Ivan Gutierrez (Movistar Team) and Tiago Machado (Radioshack-Nissan) and in the last few kilomeers Rohan Dennis and Tiago Machado attack and thus get in front. In the last 2 kilometers, the favourites get back on them however: Michael Rogers (Sky Procycling), Alejandro Valverde, Simon Gerrans (GreenEDGE), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky Procycling) and Jan Bakelants (Radioshack-Nissan) are the ones who get in front.

    Alejandro ValverdeAmong them, Alejandro Valverde attacks (photo) at a bit less than 200 meters from the finish and that's how he wins the stage only just ahead of Simon Gerrans.

    The classifications after the 5th stage of the Tour Down Under 2012

    The stage classification for 5/ McLaren Vale > Old Willunga Hill

    Here's the top 10 for this stage:

    1/ Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) - 3h45'48"
    2/ Simon Gerrans (GreenEDGE)
    3/ Tiago Machado (RadioShack-Nissan) - +0'02"
    4/ Michael Rogers (Sky Procycling) - +0'04"
    5/ Rohan Dennis (UniSA-Australia) - +0'07"
    6/ Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky Procycling) - +0'12"
    7/ Javier Moreno (Movistar Team) - +0'13"
    8/ Jan Bakelants (RadioShack-Nissan)
    9/ Jack Bauer (Garmin-Barracuda) - +0'26"
    10/ Eduard Vorganov (Katusha Team)

    General classification

    Simon GerransIn the general classification of this stage there've been quite a lot of changes after this stage but this stage didn't allow to know the winner of the Tour Down Under 2012 yet. Indeed, the numbers one and two in the general classification actually share the first place because they have exactly the same time. They're separated only by points and that's how Simon Gerrans is first and Alejandro Valverde second ... Tomorrow, the 20 laps on the circuit in Adelaide will thus allow to know the winner between the Australian and Spanish rider!

    1/ Simon Gerrans (GreenEDGE) - 18h49'24"
    2/ Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team)
    3/ Tiago Machado (RadioShack-Nissan) - +0'08"
    4/ Michael Rogers (Sky Procycling) - +0'14"
    5/ Rohan Dennis (UniSA-Australia)

    King of the Mountain classification

    As I explained above, Rohan Dennis keeps the first place of the King of the Mountain classification:

    1/ Rohan Dennis (UniSA-Australia) - 29 points
    2/ Thomas de Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) - 24 points
    3/ Simon Gerrans (GreenEDGE) - 24 points
    4/ Tiago Machado (RadioShack-Nissan) - 18 points
    5/ Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) - 16 points

    Edvald Boasson HagenBest sprinters classification

    In the sprinters classification there's no doubt possible anymore, Edvald Boasson Hagen reconfirms his place leading this classification:

    1/ Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky Procycling) - 46 points
    2/ André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) - 35 points
    3/ Michael Matthews (Rabobank) - 32 points
    4/ Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan) - 32 points
    5/ Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) - 27 points

    The photos of the stage 5/ McLaren Vale > Old Willunga Hill of the Tour Down Under 2012

    Thanks to Tim Ransome, a friend who's still around Adelaide having fun on his bike, you can discover several photos of this stage in the Photos > Tour Down Under 2012: 5/ McLaren Vale > Old Willunga Hill section!

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Tour Down Under| Tour Down Under 2012 | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati

Comments

Currently 1 comments!
  1. http://www.les-actus-du-cyclisme.fr/article-tour-down-under-2012-old-willunga-hill-tient-sa-promesse-alejandro-valverde-fait-son-retour-97606101.html

    | Roland TISSIER | saturday 21 January 2012 at 17:53:02

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