Poels secures third Down Under

20 Jan 2019

Poels secures third Down Under

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Tour Down Under stage six: McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill (151.5km)

Wout Poels finished second on the final stage of Tour Down Under to seal third overall as Richie Porte took the honours on Willunga Hill.

Poels worked hard to break the Porte monopoly on the iconic climb, but despite a strong game plan and excellent support from Kenny Elissonde and Dylan van Baarle in particular, Poels was overtaken by the former Team Sky rider in the final kilometre. 

Daryl Impey finished third to top the General Classification, with previous race leader Patrick Bevin (CCC Team) dropped on the final ascent of WIllunga, clearly still suffering from the injuries sustained in the closing kilometres of stage five.

After an early breakaway failed to sustain their advantage as the ascent to Willunga Hill started, the Team Sky duo of Elissonde and Poels tested the water with an attack over the summit, however the pair eased up on the descent. 

This let up was short-lived however as Van Baarle then led the way with a fierce tempo on the second climb of Willunga which prevented any attacks from the other GC contenders, Elissonde then broke free of the leaders and allowed Poels to bridge to him and launch his decisive attack.

Porte was the only rider able to match Poels and the pair were inseparable until the Australian rider kicked on again and sealed his sixth successive stage win on this climb.   
Tour Down Under stage six race finish

Tour Down Under stage six race finish

Wout Poels

Wout Poels

"I’m disappointed. I think the team did really well, but Richie was strong today so it’s second [for me]."
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Key moment: Elissonde pushing the pace on the second time up Willunga Hill split the lead group and provided a great platform for Poels to attack from. He was also key in attacking on the first ascent of the famous climb which prevented any other attacks reigning in.
Kenny Elissonde leads the attack on Willunga Hill

Kenny Elissonde leads the attack on Willunga Hill

Fan of the day: Despite not able to attend today's stage (having been to every other one!) Nicole Thynne was still supporting the team from poolside!   
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Overall standings
 
1. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) 20:30:42
2. Richie Porte (Trek Segafredo) +13"
3. Wout Poels (Team Sky) +17"
4. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) +26”
5. Rohan Dennis (Bahrain Merida) +26”

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