Poels moves up after hectic finale

19 Jan 2019

Poels moves up after hectic finale

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Tour Down Under stage five: Glenelg to Strathalbyn (149.5km)

Wout Poels recorded a top 10 finish on an eventful stage five of the Tour Down Under to move up to ninth overall ahead of Sunday’s Queen stage.  

Poels finished ninth in a bunch kick to the line, which was won by Jasper Philipsen (UAE-Team Emirates) after commissaires disqualified original victor Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal).

This followed a chaotic final 20 kilometres which saw crosswinds cause multiple splits and race leader Patrick Bevin (CCC Team) recover from a late crash to retain his ochre jersey.

Poels now sits in ninth on GC with one stage remaining, 26 seconds back on leader Bevin who extended his lead over Poels and teammate Dylan van Baarle due to winning bonus seconds at the intermediate sprints throughout the stage.

Earlier, Bevin and second-placed Daryl Impey (Mitchelton Scott) had traded intermediate sprint victories which saw them extend their advantages over their GC rivals to 26 seconds with only Luis Léon Sanchez (Astana) closer to them, with the Spanish rider 16 seconds in arrerars.

And this was the sum total of the key events in the race until the race hit the coastal roads with 60 kilometres to go and the crosswinds really took hold of the stage. 

Team Sky were well-placed to respond to Team Lotto-Visma’s initial attempt to split the peloton which created havoc in the rear of the bunch, while Luke Rowe then led a Team Sky push with 20 kilometres to go which was more successful, causing a split and increasing the speed of the race considerably. 

However, the wind changed direction and once the race came back together the stage looked set for a bunch sprint, but Bevin was part of a crash with nine kilometres to go which affected around 30 riders and saw the CCC man face a desperate dash to get back in contention. 

The Australian re-joined shortly before the final push to the line and heads into the final test on Willunga Hill with a slender advantage.
Key moment: The late crash involving Bevin may yet prove important as despite the Australian rider producing a superb recovery ride, any potential injuries he may have sustained may have an impact on the final stage.
Luke Rowe

Luke Rowe

“It was quite straightforward day until we hit the coast, everyone knew there were going to be crosswinds and the race could be blown apart."
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Luke Rowe: “It was quite a straightforward day until we hit the coast, everyone knew there were going to be crosswinds and the race could be blown apart.

“It almost happened a few times, we were in the right place at the right time but it didn’t happen… it was quite frustrating. 

“We’re on the back foot in the race in terms of GC so we’ll try and take every opportunity we can and we tried a couple of times to create splits.

“Five stages down and one big tomorrow!”
Tour Down Under stage five final sprint

Tour Down Under stage five final sprint

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Rider of the day: Luke Rowe worked hard to place Team Sky GC men Poels and Dylan van Baarle and help the pair to effortlessly avoid any potential splits. Rowe then was crucial in turning the screw in the closing kilometres in some key tactical attacks.
What's next? The category one Willunga Hill looms large as the final climb on the final stage of this year's Tour Down Under. Former Team Sky rider Richie Porte will be the favourite to win on the day having had a monopoly on this stage for the past five seasons, and while victory on Willunga will not guarantee the race win, it will be pivotal in deciding who will be on the podium on Sunday.  
Stage five result

1. Jasper Philipsen (UAE-Team Emirates) 3:37:00
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) s.t.
3. Danny van Poppel (Team Jumbo-Visma) s.t
4. Jens Debusschere (Katusha-Alpecin) s.t.
5. Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step) s.t.
9. Wout Poels (Team Sky) s.t.

Overall standings
 
1. Patrick Bevin (CCC Team) 17:00:25
2. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) +7”
3. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) +16”
4. Chris Hamilton (Team Sunweb) +26”
5. Ryan Gibbons (Dimension Data) s.t.
9. Wout Poels (Team Sky) s.t.
13. Dylan van Baarle (Team Sky) s.t.

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