A cura del nostro corrispondente dall’Australia, Matt Poyner
Doppietta italiana nella penultima tappa del Tour Down Under: Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling) torna alla vittoria dopo una stagione molto difficile, e lo fa superando un altro azzurro di grandi speranze, Simone Consonni (Cofidis), che ha avuto il via libera di sprintare a causa delle cattive condizioni di salute di Elia Viviani, caduto due giorni fa.
Oggi si è svolta la penultima tappa del Tour Down Under, 149 km da Glenelg a Victor Harbor.
La tappa prevedeva l’attraversamento di strade ondulate. Il percorso è poi tornato nell’entroterra sulla salita di Kerby Hill, 3,9 chilometri al 6%, posizionata a 20 chilometri dalla fine.
Nella prima parte di tappa c’erano due sprint bonus, quindi la Mitchelton-Scott controllava la situazione in quanto gli abbuoni possono decidere questa gara.
Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) ha vinto lo sprint intermedio mentre Daryl Impey è arrivato secondo. Grazie a questo piazzamento e a quello ottenuto nel successivo sprint intermedio, Impey è ancora in testa alla classifica generale.
A circa 70 km dall’arrivo viene sferrato un attacco da parte di Rohan Dennis (INEOS), che si è scatenato sulla salita trascinando Simon Yates (MTS) e molti altri corridori tra i quali due compagni di squadra e Richie Porte.
Dopo altri attacchi, il gruppo si è riunito in zona rifornimento. Un altro attacco pericoloso è stato sferrato a 23 km dall’arrivo, con Luis Leon Sanchez che ha cercato di sbarazzarsi delle ruote veloci. Il gruppo torna però compatto a 5 km dall’arrivo.
All’ultimo chilometro la Mitchelton-Scott e la NTT prendono il comando della corsa insieme alla Cofidis. Da qui nasce la doppietta azzurra, con Nizzolo che va a trionfare davanti a Simone Consonni. Terza piazza per Sam Bennett davanti al compagno di squadra Morkov. Daryl Impey resta leader della generale.
Today is the penultimate Stage of the 2020 Santos Tour Down Under.The stage for the early part will surely become all about the time bonuses on offer for the General Classification.
Today is a day of undulating roads the most demanding uphill task appears after reaching the coast of Fleurieu Peninsula in Port Elliot. The route heads back inland to climb Kerby Hill. This 3.9 kilometres ascent at 6% is crested with 20 kilometres remaining.
The stage rolled underway friendly skies as the weather was quite mild here today in Glenelg. It was the rider from (AG2R La Mondale) Axel Domont who fancied the early break today and by 10 km he had 1 minute. However with Bonus sprints with 114.8km and 92.8 km to go Mitchellton- Scott were controlling affairs as the vital time bonuses can decide this race.
Domont found his way back into the peloton and the lead outs were flat out at the front as the sprint opened up into “McClaren Flat”.
Mads Pedersen (Trek) took the sprint trying to protect the lead of team leader Daryll Impey who finished 2nd with the young Australian Robert Power taking 3rd to keep himself solidly in the top 3 on GC.
The pace went out of the peloton as soon as the sprint finished. No one interested it would seem in the early break scenario until they have passed through the second time bonus sprint. Mitchellton-Scott have everyone on notice that they are here to get Impey into the Leaders jersey by stage end. He only trails by 1 second now.
The next intermediate sprint was only 20 kilometres away.
Through “Kangarilla” at 100 kilometres to go and the peloton was altogether and the sprint was only 7 kilometres away. Once again Mitchellton- Scott were to the front but also was Team Sunweb for Robert Power.
A lot of pushing and shoving between the World Champion Mads Pedersen & Robert Power for the back wheel of Daryll Impey. Both riders using a lot of energy as the sprint opened up and Daryll Impey took the sprint in front of Jasper Phillipsen (UAE) with Pedersen 3rd.
Impey was now Tour Leader on the road by 2 seconds.
Highlights 5 tappa
No sooner had the sprint finished and a serious somewhat cheeky attack from Rohan Dennis (INEOS) went clear on the next rise dragging Simon Yates (MTS) several other riders including two INEOS teammates as well as Ritchie Porte!!
The pressure went on and the race was Well and truly at full speed as everyone was scrambling to bring the peloton back together.
5 kilometres later and the big GC names are all back together but inevitably the break has gone again.
Subaru KOM leader Joey Roskopff (CCC), Schwarzman (Bora), Gastauer (AG2R) & Stannard (Ineos) got clear and were quickly joined by another 4 riders. Iljo Keisse (DQS) Thomas De Gendt (LOS) Pavel Sivakov (Ineos) and World Track Champion Sam Welsford (AUS) have bridged across just before the feed zone at 72km to go.
It all came together at the feedzone as Mitchellton-Scott had really ridden hard on the front to keep things how they wanted it.
68 kilometres left to race and the peloton have finally allowed a break to go clear.
Josef Cerny (CCC), Ian Stannard (Ineos), Ide Schelling (BOH) and the World Champion Mads Pedersen are the riders trying there hand. Pedersen hadn’t been off the pedals for the whole stage. Taking part in both time bonus sprints and then getting seriously tailed off due to the earlier attack of Rohan Dennis whilst he caught his breath he has had to ride very hard just to stay with the peloton let alone join the breakaway.
60 kilometres to go and the break had more than 2 minutes which made Josef Cerny the new leader on the road for the time being.
35 kilometre from the finish and the break hovers at 1 minute. Astana were assisting Mitchellton-Scott in the pacemaking at the front of the chasing peloton. Luis Leon Sanchez possibly liking a hard ride over “Kerby Hill” which comes with just 23 kilometres to go.
20 seconds is all the breakaway had at the base of “Kerby hill”. It was clear the GC contenders are serious about getting rid of the fast men before the finish. Impey is the fastest of the GC contenders and with time bonuses at the stage end it was clear what the tactics were.
Over the top of the climb and it was Ritchie Porte taking the KOM in front of what was a very select GC group including Simon Yates, Daryll Impey & The sprinters teams with a big chase on their hands with just 19 kilometres to race down into Victor Harbor.
15 kilometres and the leaders only had 18 seconds in front of a group containing Caleb Ewan amongst others.
The lead group had a lot of passengers, not everyone working to stay away especially Ritchie Porte who needs the sprinters to come back and take the bonus seconds away from Daryll Impey.
6 kilometres to the finish and the large remnants of the Caleb Ewan group cross the gap to the leaders.
All together with 5 kilometres to go.
Last kilometre and Mitchellton – Scott started losing control of the peloton, NTT are there for Nizzolo and Cofidis with Consonni as Viviani has given sprinter duties over to his lead out man because of his injuries.
The sprint opened, Ewan to far back Impey losing distance as Nizzolo and Consonni come clear to finish 1st & 2 nd for ITALY in to Victor Harbor.