Porte loses Willunga Hill battle, wins Tour Down Under

Adelaide (Australia) (AFP) – Richie Porte lost his unofficial King of Willunga crown but won his 2nd Tour Down Under title in a punishing hill climb finish to the remaining stage of the UCI season-opening occasion in Australia on Sunday.

The Australian from workforce Trek Segafredo unleashed his trademark surge up the steep three-kilometre climb in a bid for a seventh gain in the demanding Willunga Hill stage, but was overtaken by England’s Matthew Holmes in the last extend.

“To acquire the race again is a superb emotion,” Porte claimed.

“It was a tough working day for our crew. There were situations when I thought maybe the basic classification was about and finished with for the reason that it was a massive team up the road. But credit to the fellas, practically solitary-handedly, they brought that all back again.”

“It would have been good to have been King of Willunga for the seventh time, but I will consider the ochre (leader’s) jersey any working day. At the finish of the day, we did not win the battle, but we gained the war.”

Porte, the 2017 winner, went into the final stage trailing defending winner and race chief Daryl Impey by two seconds but the South African Mitchelton-Scott guide rider couldn’t go the speed on the ultimate climb and misplaced more than 30 seconds to end sixth all round.

Holmes, who was aspect of a 26-robust breakaway group which taken care of a gap of up to four minutes on the most important peloton for much of the stage, stuck to Porte’s back wheel as the Australian introduced his attack the next time up Willunga Hill.

The Lotto Soudal rider swept past Porte by way of the closing corner to just take his initially expert win.

“I have in no way truly raced up a climb,” Holmes explained. “This is my 2nd hilltop complete this 7 days, and it appears to accommodate me.”

Impey, who was chasing 3 straight TDU victories, was a beaten guy as he laboured towards the end line.

“I came in excess of the line spent. I realized I was out of it there the moment I acquired dropped and I just held fighting to the line, making an attempt to restrict the hurt and hoping to help you save the podium,” Impey explained.

“I wasn’t on a terrific working day currently. I struggled a bit there on the base slopes, possibly paying out for rather a occupied 7 days but, that becoming said, we gave it our all.”

Italian Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) completed 2nd all round, 25 seconds at the rear of Porte, with Germany’s Simon Geschke (CCC Group) 3rd.

Australian personal planet time demo winner Rohan Dennis, riding for Staff Ineos, finished fourth all round and reported he had work to do in advance of the global time.

“I felt great for January, but I have bought a little bit of get the job done to do prior to July and my major aim of the Tokyo Olympics and for the Giro I have to get much better at climbing once again,” he stated.

“I did alright currently, but it truly is only a 3km climb, not 10-15km like the ultimate 7 days of the Giro d’Italia.”

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