Tour Down Under: Losing The Battle To Win The War
Richie Porte kicks-off the season with a big home win
The Australian from team Trek Segafredo unleashed his trademark surge up the steep three-kilometre climb in a bid for a seventh win in the demanding Willunga Hill stage, but was overtaken by England’s Matthew Holmes in the final stretch.
“To win the race again is a fantastic feeling,” Porte said. “It was a hard day for our team. There were times when I thought maybe the general classification was over and done with because it was a big group up the road. But credit to the guys, almost single-handedly, they brought that all back. It would have been nice to have been King of Willunga for the seventh time, but I will take the ochre (leader’s) jersey any day. At the end of the day, we didn’t win the battle, but we won the war.”
Impey, who was chasing three straight TDU victories, was a beaten man as he laboured towards the finish line. “I came over the line spent. I knew I was out of it there once I got dropped and I just kept fighting to the line, trying to limit the damage and trying to save the podium,” Impey said. “I wasn’t on a great day today. I struggled a bit there on the bottom slopes, perhaps paying for quite a busy week but, that being said, we gave it our all.”
Italian Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) finished second overall, 25 seconds behind Porte, with Germany’s Simon Geschke (CCC Team) third. Australian individual world time trial champion Rohan Dennis, riding for Team Ineos, finished fourth overall and said he had work to do ahead of the
“I felt good for January, but I’ve got a bit of work to do before July and my big goal of the Tokyo Olympics and for the Giro I have to get better at climbing again,” he said. “I did alright today, but it’s only a 3km climb, not 10-15km like the final week of the Giro d’Italia.”
1. Matthew Holmes (GBR/Lotto Soudal) 3hr 24min 54sec
2. Richie Porte (AUS/Trek-Segafredo) +3 sec
3. Manuele Baro (ITA/Astana) +4
4. Bruno Armirail (FRA/Groupama-FDJ) +7
5. Michael Storer (AUS/Team Sunweb) same time
6. Diego Ulissi (ITA/UAE Team Emirates) s.t.
7. Simon Geschke (GER/CCC Team) s.t.
8. Rohan Dennis (AUS/Team Ineos) s.t.
9. Dylan van Baarle (NED/Team Ineos) s.t.
10. Simon Yates (GBR/Mitchelton-Scott) +23
1. Richie Porte (AUS/Trek-Segafredo) 20hr 37min 08sec
2. Diego Ulissi (ITA/UAE Team Emirates) +25 sec
3. Simon Geschke (GER/CCC Team) same time
4. Rohan Dennis (AUS/Team Ineos) s.t.
5. Dylan van Baarle (NED/Team Ineos) s.t.
6. Daryl Impey (RSA/Mitchelton-Scott) +30
7. Simon Yates (GBR/Mitchelton-Scott) +37
8. George Bennett (NZL/Team Jumbo Visma) +46
9. Lucas Hamilton (AUS/Mitchelton-Scott) +52
10. Hermann Pernsteiner (AUT/Bahrain-McLaren) +54
1. Jasper Philpsen (BEL/UAE Team Emirates) 63 pts
2. Daryl Impey (RSA/Mitchelton-Scott) 48 pts
3. Caleb Ewan (AUS/Lotto Soudal) 47 pts
1. Joseph Rosskopf (USA/CCC Team) 51 pts
2. Richie Porte (AUS/Trek-Segafredo) 38 pts
3. Bruno Armirail (FRA/Groupama-FDJ) 18 pts