Oscar Onley of Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL claimed the 129.3km Stage 5
after a thrilling finish at Willunga Hill in the Santos Tour Down Under on Saturday.
The 21-year-old finished ahead of Israel Premier Tech’s Stephen Williams and Johnatan
Narváez of Ineos Grenadiers following a fast and gruelling climb.
Williams’ second place finish sees him take the Santos Ochre Leader’s Jersey heading into the
final stage as previous leader, 20-year-old Mexican Isaac Del Toro (UAE Team Emirates), finished the stage in eighth – six seconds behind Onley.
In the race to the finish Onley took on experienced Julian Alaphilippe sprinting up Willunga Hill ahead of the Frenchman who finished fourth.
Richie Porte Returns To Willunga
Prior to the current WorldTour pros racing the course, the King & Queen of Willunga, Richie Porte and Sarah Gigante, took on the Willunga Hill Climb Challenge.
Richie Porte, the 7 time King of Willunga, set the blistering pace of 6 minutes 47 seconds – less than 15 seconds behind his record and some 18 months after his retirement.
“I didn’t really feel that much pressure … it was just awesome to come back here,” Porte later said. “I thought a lot about making this my last race, but it didn’t quite happen. People are often reminded of me here and it’s good to finish up like this.”
“We saw Sarah Gigante ride and everyone eye’s lit up last weekend,” Richie continued. “To see Sarah back where she belongs is sensational. She’s got a good team behind her to support. I just think this environment is iconic in Australian cycling and it’s great for the next generation to come out and test their legs.”
Sarah Gigante, Queen of Willunga Hill and 2024 Santos Tour Down Under Winner, was the fastest female, and new Queen of the Mountain Record Holder after setting a time of 8 minutes and 16 seconds.
“I beat my record by 19 seconds, at least that what my Strava says,” said an excited Sarah.
“I was bit nervous because when I went up this climb a week ago I was about a minute slower then my
2021 personal best so I wasn’t sure how much of a difference the wind was going to make. But clearly it was quite a lot. I did put out about 20 more watts though so that might be the effect of not crying across the track beforehand.”
The 2024 Tour Down Under concludes on Sunday with Stage 6, 128km from Unley to the iconic Mt Lofty.