Once is good, twice is great, three times outstanding and four may well be regarded as freakish. But today Richie Porte cemented outright ownership of the real estate, wowing the crowd with his fifth straight win of the Willunga Hill Stage 5 at the Santos Tour Down Under.
Porte pounced one kilometre from the line like he’s so often done before. As expected, Bora-hansgrohe rider Jay McCarthy remained with Porte for two thirds of the climb. But Porte proved too strong, breaking away from the 25yo Queenslander and maintaining his momentum to sprint across the line, much to the roar of the adoring crowds.
Impey 2nd On Stage … And In Overall Lead
Spent from an enormous and impressive week in the saddle, McCarthy dropped back as Mitchelton-Scott’s Daryl Impey surged ahead to cross the line second on the stage. Timing his ride to perfection, Impey matched Porte’s overall time and was awarded the Ochre Leader’s Jersey on countback of accumulated stage placings.
“It’s a fantastic day for my (BMC Racing) team,” said Porte admitting it wasn’t an easy win. “It’s probably the hardest time I’ve done this climb (and) it really hurts.
“It’s unfortunate that I miss out on the ochre jersey by very little but Daryl has had a fantastic Tour,” he said. “It was up to me to put more time onto him.
Same Time For Porte & Impey For Sunday Finale
Impey and Porte will head into Stage 6 deadlocked on time with 20 laps of the 4.5km Adelaide circuit set to decide the winner of the anniversary event.
“I’m stoked,” said Impey. “To be in the lead of an Australian team at the Santos Tour Down Under is fantastic.”
“I can’t believe it,” he said. “I put a lot of work in for this race but I didn’t expect to be in the leader’s jersey. “To deliver like this with the help of the team it’s just magical.”
Impey said when Richie attacked Ihe knew he had to sprint to the top to minimise the time loss.
“I didn’t actually know where Richie was at the finish, so when I saw the time I knew maybe I could be in the jersey,” he said.
“This is a race I really enjoy so I’m super proud to have the jersey and now we just have to cross the line with it tomorrow.”
Tour Down Under stage 5 results:
1. Richie Porte (BMC Racing Team)
2. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:08
3. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Dimension Data) +0:10
General Classification after stage 5:
1. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 18:02
2. Richie Porte (BMC Racing Team) +0:00
3. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Dimension Data) +0:16