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Willunga Hill has become an icon of the Tour Down Under. It’s pretty much the only piece of terrain that allows the race to be blown to bits if the riders choose. Last year on Willunga we were treated to fireworks when Cadel and Valverde attacked and put on a tremendous display of power. The stage didn’t play out like that this year and I have to admit I was a little disappointed. It definitely wasn’t for lack of trying though. I think we sometimes place an unrealistic expectation on these athletes to perform and put on a show without consideration for how smart or tactical it may be.
Poor Cavendish was dropped and came riding past a couple minutes behind the groupetto. He was still riding his heart out at a speed much faster that most of us can climb. If I were Cav I would have been on the first business class flight back home after that crash. He was cut and bruised from head to toe but still battled on even after he was dropped. He swallowed his pride and finished the race. Good on him. That’s why he’s the best in the world when July comes.
It was a sensational day riding out to Willunga. The sun was shining, the coastal views were unbelievable, and the crowd on the hill were going absolutely nuts. I always get a good laugh at everyone cheering on the punters and all the roadside partys going on.
On the ride home we latched on to the Liquigas team. The poor guys just raced 140km then had to drag a hundred hubbards 50km back to Adelaide. No other bike race in the world can you do that. This is why I love the Tour Down Under!
Stage 5 Results
1 Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar Team 3:06:10
2 Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team
3 Matthew Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad
4 Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
5 Luke Roberts (Aus) UNI SA – Australia
6 Robbie Hunter (RSA) Team Radio Shack
7 Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
8 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team
9 Ben Hermans (Bel) Team Radio Shack
10 Ben Swift (GBr) Sky Procycling
General Classification After Stage 5
1 Cameron Meyer (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo 16:00:40
2 Matthew Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad 0:00:08
3 Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:10
4 Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:12
5 Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:17
6 Ben Swift (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:18
7 Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:26
8 André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:00:27
9 Allan Davis (Aus) Astana 0:00:28
10 Luke Roberts (Aus) UNI SA – Australia