Il britannico Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal) ha vinto l’ultima tappa del Tour Down Under 2020.
Il che è una notizia, perché dopo sei anni di dominio incontrastato, qualcuno è riuscito a battere Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) che, giunto secondo, si accontenta di vincere la classifica generale.
Holmes, reduce dalla fuga del mattino che contava ben 26 unità, è stato raggiunto proprio nel finale dall’australiano, che poi non ha avuto lo spunto per batterlo in volata. Terzo posto per Manuele Boaro (Astana), anche lui in fuga, mentre ha chiuso al sesto posto Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), che in questo modo è riuscito a risalire fino al secondo posto finale davanti a Simon Geschke (CCC), Rohan Dennis e Dylan van Baarle (INEOS).
Welcome to AUSTRALIA DAY everyone. January 26 is annually celebrated as Australia Day in this wonderful country and today the local fans will hope to see an Australian Winner should the cards fall the right way.
Today is the last day of Race Director Mike Turtur who founded this event 20 years ago as he will hand over the role to Australian Cycling Royalty Stuart O’Grady who will lead the organisation in 2021 and the coming years.
Today’s stage is known for two things!
The climb of Willunga Hill & The biggest crowds ever seen at a cycling event year in year out in Australia.
The stage started this morning in McClaren Vale with Daryll Impey (MTS) leading by just 2 seconds over Ritchie Porte (TSF).
There were a flurry of expected attacks early as was expected but what wasn’t expected was the size of the early breakaway bunch. 10 kilometres in and some 26 riders have made the front group.Names of note are KOM leader Joey Roskopff (CCC) , Shane Archbold and Iljo Keisse (DQT), Andre Greipel (ISN) and Matthew Holmes (LTS).
114 kilometres to go and only Trek – Segafredo were interested in moving the peloton along today at the moment.
The full breakaway was Shane Archbold (DQT), Jonathan Dibben (LTS), André Greipel(ISN), Joseph Rosskopf (CCC), Mitchell Docker (EF1), Iljo Keisse (DQT), Marco Marcato(UAD), Matthew Holmes (LTS), Kenneth Vanbilsen (COF), Bert-jan Lindeman (TJV), Domen Novak (TBM), Marco Haller (TBM), Cesare Benedetti (BOH), Manuele Boaro (AST), Michael Storer (SUN), Juri Hollmann (MOV), Dylan Sunderland (NTT), Sam Welsford (AUS), Cameron Scott (AUS), Kiel Reijnen (TFS), Mathias Le Turnier (COF), Jonas Rutsch (EF1), Bruno Armirail (GFC) and Rick Zabel (ISN).
100 kilometres to go and the breakaway had 3 minutes 20 on the peloton. The intermediate sprints for time bonuses along the race route today are insignificant now as Andre Greipel takes the first and Sam Welsford the second. Many sprinters in this early group so on the coast line of Aldinga Beach the pace was very fast in the breakaway.
80 kilometres to go and the peloton was now starting to move a bit quicker as AG2R have joined the pace making but still no sign of Mitchellton- Scott helping at his stage.
Iljo Keisse overlapped a wheel in the break and crashed. He was able to rejoin some kilometres later with the help of neutral service.
65 kilometres to go and the race was 12 minutes ahead of schedule. Have Trek and Mitchellton waited too long ? Joey Roskopff is 3 minutes 29 seconds into the race lead now.
58 km to go
highlights Stage 6
Joey Rosskopf trailed Daryll Impey by 58 seconds at the start of the day.
There was only 40 kilometres to and finally a difference in the time gap from the Peloton to the breakaway, 3:43.. this is because the World Champion Mads Pedersen was taking matters into his own hands for the benefit of his team leader Ritchie Porte. There are still two big ascents of Willunga Hill to come & Porte has won there 6 years in a row!!!
9 kilometres from the 1st KOM and the gap was falling, now only 2:54. Joey Roskopff wanted to get to the top of the climb before the peloton but it seemed the dream of the overall victory was slipping away.
30 kilometres to go and that was all Pedersen could do as he dropped to the back of the peloton and into the convoy of cars. Pedersen however seems to have 9 lives?? He managed to drag himself back to the front of the peloton for the first rush to the bottom of Willunga!
Over the top of Willunga Hill and Joey Roskopff led through the Subaru KOM and wins the King of the Mountains trophy.
The gap to the peloton with one circuit of 22km to go and the gap was 2:02 minutes! Luis Leon Sanchez (AST) slightly off the front of the peloton by some 30 seconds trying to go across to the breakaway by himself.
Have the peloton waited to long?
Has Impey played the right cards by letting the time bonus sprints go to the breakaway today? Win or lose the stage, Ritchie Porte only needs to rid himself of Impey by 2 seconds to win the Tour provided of course they don’t let Roskopff cross the line 59 seconds or more in front of them!!
18 kilometres to go!
15 kilometres to go and the break goes out again to 2:30 minutes!
Trek – Segafredo chasing!
10 kilometres to go the fast descent is over and now just 7 kilometres to the base of the final ascent of Willunga Hill, 2 min 37 sec is the gap!
5 km to go only 10 riders remain in the breakaway and now the gap is 1 min 44 sec as Mitchellton-Scott have taken control of the chase.
3 kilometres to go and the climb starts the gap is 1:07!
EF Education First rider Jonas Rutsch is alone in front at the base of the climb he has 50 seconds on the peloton as the breakaway blows apart!!
Michael Storer (Team Sunweb) now goes on the attack from the break and leads at 2 km to go!!
Impey is being dropped from the peloton as Porte attacks from the front!
Last kilometre and Storer leads a group of 3 which includes Rutsch & Matthew Holmes (LTS) as Ritchie Porte closes to 20 seconds….
Porte is across!!
700 metres to go!
Porte goes again at 500 metres only Matthew Holmes (Lotto – Soudal) who was in the all day breakaway can follow.
The Brit attacks Porte and wins the final stage!! The first person to beat Ritchie Porte on Willunga Hill in 7 years!
It’s not all bad news for Porte though as he wins the overall victory again here at the Santos Tour Down Under!!
SANTOS TOUR DOWN UNDER 2020
1. Holmes M. (LTS) 3h24’54”
2. Porte R. (TFS) +03″
3. Boaro M. (AST) +04″
SANTOS TOUR DOWN UNDER 2020
1. Porte R. (TFS) 20h37’08”
2. Ulissi D. (UAD) +25″
3. Geschke S. (CCC) +25″
Podium Stage 6
Stage Winner :
34 HOLMES Matthew (LTS)
Most Competitive rider :
64 ROWE Luke (INS)
General Classification : PORTE Richie (TFS)
Sprint Classification : PHILIPSEN Jasper (UAD)
King of the Mountain Classification : ROSSKOPF Joseph (CCC)
Young Classification : SIVAKOV Pavel (INS)
An Amazing day for Ritchie Porte. An amazing two weeks for Trek – Segafredo as they win both the men’s and women’s Santos Tour Down Under.
Till next year ladies and gentlemen, Happy Australia Day 🇦🇺
A cura del nostro corrispondente dall’Australia, Matt Poyner