Tour Down Under Results - Stage 5
The 2003 Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under is set to sizzle tomorrow when the final 90 kilometre stage on the Adelaide City Council circuit kicks off with only 16 seconds separating the top eleven riders in the field.
Spaniard Mikel ASTARLOZA (AG2R - Prevoyance) will wear the leader's jersey after officials resorted to a count-back of previous stage places to split he and Denmark's Lennie KRISTENSEN (CSC) who are tied at 15hr25min36sec after 645km of racing over five days.
Today's 147km stage saw the riders endure searing temperatures as they battled for race honours along the spectacular Fleurieu Peninsula setting off from Willunga and taking in McLaren Vale and the coastline along St Vincent's Gulf three times before heading up Old Willunga Hill and back into Willunga for the finish.
"90,000 people turned out to cheer on the field in recognition of their amazing endurance and fitness as they put on a spectacular day's racing," said Belinda DEWHIRST, General Manager, Australian Major Events. "People set themselves up with picnics, cold drinks, shade shelters and sunscreen well before the start of the day's racing and they were passionate in their support of every single competitor in the Tour."
The 45 degree heat didn't deter the riders with Italian Andrea TAFI (CSC) and Frenchman Nicholas PORTAL (AG2R Prevoyance) attacking off the front at the 15km mark.
The pair rode away to a lead of more than 4mins with TAFI obviously out to win back the lead in the SA Lotteries Sprint classification from overnight leader Robbie McEWEN, 30, (AUS - Lotto Domo).
He need not have bothered however as his sprint rival McEWEN was suffering pain in his left knee and after 40 kilometres of racing decided to abandon the race rather than risk possible further damage. In 1995 and again in 1999 McEWEN underwent left knee surgery for a cartilage problem and he was concerned it might be the same problem recurring. Scans later revealed it was a pinched lining of his joint and that it should mend itself in a coupled of days.
Back out on the road TAFI was the winner across the line at Aldinga on the first intermediate sprint before a huge crowd enjoying the sea breeze.
The next time through it was again TAFI who claimed the points and time bonus but the main field was beginning to get twitchy and the chase was on.
The lead whittled down as the climb up Old Willunga Hill approached. TAFI had already been caught by the bunch as PORTAL made a last ditch effort to stay in front but to no avail. By the bottom of the climb he was swallowed up and soon after Australian Cadel EVANS (Telekom) surged away up the climb cresting the summit on his own to take maximum points and the lead in the Laubman and Pank King of the Mountain classification in which he is the defending champion.
"It was amazing to see the people who trekked up the climb on foot to witness the decisive attack," said Ms DEWHIRST. "Also the design of today's race route meant they had time to then get back to Willunga and witness the finish as well."
But a chase group was soon on his tail including several rivals for overall honours. But noticeably absent was overnight race leader Fabio SACCHI (ITA - Saeco).
In the group was Stuart O'GRADY (AUS - Credit Agricole), Patrick JONKER (AUS - UniSA), Steffen WESEMANN (GER - Telekom), Lennie KRISTENSEN (DEN - CSC), Mikel ASTARLOZA (ESP - AG2R Prevoyance), Paolo LANFRANCHI (ITA - Ceramiche Panaria - Fiordo), David CANADA (ESP - Quick Step Davitamon) Xavier FLORENCIO (ESP - ONCE Eroski) and Giampaolo CARUSO (ITA - ONCE Eroski).
The group of ten gave SACCHI no chance of catching them as they wheeled towards the finish line.
As the line came into view CARUSO dug deep and rode off the front trying to gain every second he could in his bid to move into the overall lead but whilst he held them off to claim the stage victory all ten were awarded the same finishing time of 3hr26min43sec.
"On the first road stage I lost four seconds and unfortunately that might be the one that's going to decide that I won't win the race," said CARUSO who's win pushed up to third overall. "I really didn't think I could make it and I was really on the limit right on the finish.
"Manolo (ONCE Team Director Manolo Saiz) told me to attack at five kilometres to go and the win is thanks to him and thanks to his call on the tactics."
Second across the line was WESEMANN with LANFRANCHI third.
Overall the race lead is now held by ASTARLOZA who has the same accumulated time after 645km as KRISTENSEN but on countback technically leads the race. CARUSO is third overall at 4sec and O'GRADY fourth at 5sec.
"That's fantastic I've been working towards it and now that it's just happened I suppose it hasn't sunk in," said ASTARLOZA. "I didn't really expect to go this well but the thing is the team's going great and so that spurred me on."
In terms of his prospects of still being in the lead after tomorrow's final stage ASTARLOZA was restrained.
"I suppose the truth is that I'm the favourite because I'm the leader but it's going to be very difficult and we'll have to see what we can do," he said.
But three more riders, FLORENCIO (7 seconds), LANFRANCHI (7 seconds) and JONKER (9 seconds) are within striking distance setting up one of the most exciting final stages ever. Bonus seconds are on offer for the two intermediate sprints tomorrow and for the stage win.
O'GRADY has been in this position before in 2001 when he went in trailing narrowly and ended up winning overall by a mere three seconds.
Meantime overnight leader SACCHI finished 31 seconds behind CARUSO on the stage and has now dropped to 11th, 16 seconds off the pace and likely out of contention.
"ONCE really attacked the climb and I decided I was going to get shelled so I just tried to get a rhythm," said a disappointed SACCHI. "I just tried to defend myself the best I could."
Stage 5 - January 25, 2003: Willunga - Willunga, 147 km:
1 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski 3.26.43 (42.7 km/h)2 Stefen Wesemann (Ger) Telekom3 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo4 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole5 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC6 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Ag2R7 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski8 David Canada (Spa) Quickstep-Davitamon9 Patrick Jonker (Aus) UniSA10 Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom 0.0611 Allan Davis (Aus) ONCE Eroski 0.3612 Brad McGee (Aus) FDJeux.com13 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon14 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) CSC15 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Lotto Domo16 Angel Vicioso (Spa) ONCE Eroski17 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom18 Christopher Jenner (NZl) Credit Agricole19 Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA20 Bobby Julich (USA) Telekom21 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2R22 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA23 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon24 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA25 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R26 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R27 Christian Werner (Ger) Telekom28 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quickstep-Davitamon29 Kai Hundertmarck (Ger) Telekom30 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Credit Agricole31 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2R32 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R33 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport34 Brendan Cato (Aus) United Water 0.4435 Christian Pepoli (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 1.3136 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC 4.2137 Glenn d'Hollander (Bel) Lotto Domo38 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water39 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon40 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto Domo41 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport 5.3742 Joerg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco-Longoni Sport43 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Telekom 5.3944 Dirk Reichl (Ger) Telekom45 Davide Bramati (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon 5.4246 Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole 6.3047 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Credit Agricole 6.4748 Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski 11.4949 Alvaro Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski50 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE Eroski51 Aaron Kemps (Aus) United Water52 David Betts (Aus) United Water53 Jakob Piil (Den) CSC54 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole55 Sergey Matveyev (Ukr) Panaria Fiordo56 Scott Davis (Aus) Panaria Fiordo57 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Lotto Domo58 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Domo59 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Credit Agricole60 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Lotto Domo61 Stephen Cunningham (Aus) UniSA62 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA63 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Panaria Fiordo64 Matt Wilson (Aus) FDJeux.com65 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R66 Erki Putsep (Est) Ag2R67 Arvis Piziks (Lat) CSC68 Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den) CSC69 Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Mex) Panaria Fiordo70 Ashley Hutchinson (Aus) United Water71 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water72 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) United Water73 Nick Gates (Aus) Lotto Domo74 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria Fiordo75 Julian Dean (NZl) CSC76 Regis Lhuillier (Fra) FDJeux.com77 Mickael Pichon (Fra) FDJeux.com78 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC79 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com80 Ruben Bongiorno (Arg) Panaria Fiordo81 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) FDJeux.com82 Jacky Durand (Fra) FDJeux.com83 Juan Fuentes (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport 13.2684 Nicola Gavazzi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 14.3385 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport86 Dario Pieri (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport87 Filippo Perfetto (Ita) Panaria Fiordo88 Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJeux.com 14.34DNF Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto Domo
Overall rankings after stage 5:
1 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Ag2R 15.25.36
2 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC
3 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski 0.04
4 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole 0.05
5 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski 0.07
6 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo
7 Patrick Jonker (Aus) UniSA 0.09
8 David Canada (Spa) Quickstep-Davitamon 0.13
9 Stefen Wesemann (Ger) Telekom 0.15
10 Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom
11 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 0.16
12 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R 0.32
13 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA 0.39
14 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom 0.43
15 Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA 0.44
16 Angel Vicioso (Spa) ONCE Eroski 0.45
17 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quickstep-Davitamon
18 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA
19 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) CSC
20 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2R 0.49
21 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon
22 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R
23 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Credit Agricole
24 Brad McGee (Aus) FDJeux.com 0.58
25 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R 2.17
26 Christopher Jenner (NZl) Credit Agricole 2.21
27 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2R
28 Bobby Julich (USA) Telekom
29 Christian Werner (Ger) Telekom
30 Kai Hundertmarck (Ger) Telekom 2.31
31 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC 5.54
32 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon 6.06
33 Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole 6.28
34 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Lotto Domo 6.58
35 Joerg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco-Longoni Sport 7.22
36 Dirk Reichl (Ger) Telekom 7.24
37 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport 8.57
38 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon 9.36
39 Glenn d'Hollander (Bel) Lotto Domo 11.05
40 Allan Davis (Aus) ONCE Eroski 11.50
41 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC 11.58
42 Brendan Cato (Aus) United Water
43 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) FDJeux.com 12.23
44 Christian Pepoli (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 12.45
45 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com 13.28
46 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water 13.30
47 Erki Putsep (Est) Ag2R 13.34
48 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE Eroski
49 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Domo 13.45
50 Regis Lhuillier (Fra) FDJeux.com 13.50
51 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria Fiordo 13.56
52 Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den) CSC 15.45
53 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole 15.47
54 Alvaro Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski 16.15
55 Stefan Schumacher (Ger) Telekom 16.53
56 Scott Davis (Aus) Panaria Fiordo 17.21
57 David Betts (Aus) United Water 18.18
58 Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski 18.33
59 Sergey Matveyev (Ukr) Panaria Fiordo 21.00
60 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Lotto Domo 22.01
61 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2R 23.03
62 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water
63 Davide Bramati (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon 24.11
64 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 24.45
65 Arvis Piziks (Lat) CSC 24.58
66 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Credit Agricole 25.16
67 Stephen Cunningham (Aus) UniSA 26.49
68 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Panaria Fiordo 26.50
69 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Credit Agricole
70 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Lotto Domo 28.02
71 Mickael Pichon (Fra) FDJeux.com 30.18
72 Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Mex) Panaria Fiordo
73 Matt Wilson (Aus) FDJeux.com 31.29
74 Nicola Gavazzi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 33.02
75 Juan Fuentes (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport 33.07
76 Dario Pieri (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport 34.14
77 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA 49.25
78 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto Domo 53.08
79 Ashley Hutchinson (Aus) United Water 53.19
80 Julian Dean (NZl) CSC 57.08
81 Aaron Kemps (Aus) United Water 57.26
82 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) United Water
83 Ruben Bongiorno (Arg) Panaria Fiordo 1.00.36
84 Jakob Piil (Den) CSC
85 Nick Gates (Aus) Lotto Domo
86 Jacky Durand (Fra) FDJeux.com
87 Filippo Perfetto (Ita) Panaria Fiordo 1.03.20
88 Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJeux.com 1.03.21