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Tour Down Under 2008 - Stage 5
 
By Staff
Date: 1/26/2008
Tour Down Under 2008 - Stage 5
 
Tour Down Under 2008 - Stage 5
Team High Road's Griepel collects a hat trick of wins Down Under and the G.C. leaders Jersey in another sprint finish. A battle 'to the last centimeter' promises Allan Davis, 2nd on G.C.

Willunga - Willunga 147 km
'Andre the Giant' stomps on Australia Day hopes for local win

Germany's Andre Griepel stomped on hopes of a local win to celebrate Australia Day when he claimed his third stage victory to take over the lead in the Tour Down Under. He may have added a new nick name with the press referring to him as 'Andre the Giant' after collecting his third stage win in the Australian pro tour event and his likely capture of the ProTour leaders jersey.

The Team High Road cyclist sprinted home in a time of 3:26:46 edging out Australian Allan Davis (Australia-UniSA) and Spaniard Jose Benitez (Saunier Duval) after a 147 kilometre stage through the McLaren Vale wine growing region on South Australia's Fleurieu Peninsula. Griepel's win put him in the ochre jersey of leader of the G.C. with 7 seconds over Davis in second place. Spain's Jose Rojas (Caisse d'Epargne) is sitting in third overall, 20 seconds off the race lead.

The stage took riders on three circuits out from Willunga to Aldinga Bay and along the coast before the final 25 kilometres headed up Old Willunga Hill. 85 thousand fans lined the course, most with Australian flags in the hope of an Australian win.

Today's stage duplicated yesterday's dry conditions with the temperature hovering around the mid 30's and, as expected, a small group escaped early in the stage and stayed away to nullify the bonus seconds on offer in the two 'SA Lotteries' sprints of the day at Snapper Point on lap two (58.8km) and lap three (100.7km).

Three riders, Kiwi Greg Henderson (Team High Road), Carlo Westphal (GER - Gerolsteiner) and Aitor Glados (ESP - Euskatel Euskadi) broke away at the 20 kilometre mark and were soon joined by Renaud Dion (FRA - AG2R Mondiale) and Julien Mazet (FRA - Astana).

Across the line at the first sprint Westphal took the maximum points ahead of Dion and Galdos. The group continued to build a gap that approached 5 minutes by the 90 km mark.

With fifty kilometres to go the sprinters teams took the head of the peloton to reel in the trio. The trio managed to keep a gap to take the points for second intermediate sprint, where it was again Westphal, followed by Dion and Galdos across the line. The peloton meanwhile were eating up the gap and in full chase mode to insure a sprint finish.  With 33 km to go our brave trio were reeled in and the race was in control by the sprinters teams as they approached the final climb of the race only 20km from the finish.

As the race approached the summit David Moncoutie (FRA - Cofidis) and former Tour Down Under winner Luis Sanchez (ESP - Caisse d'Epargne) broke away and gained a small gap but there was still 20 kilometres of racing to go and Team High Road was on a mission to get Greipel to the line with the leaders.

Greipel's team mate Adam Hansen (AUS) forced the pace at the bottom of the climb with 'South Australia - A Brilliant Blend King of the Mountain' leader Philippe Gilbert (FRA - Francaise des Jeux) and Quickstep's Alessandro Proni going after him but a big group was close behind. However that group didn't include overnight race leader Australia's Mark Renshaw (Credit Agricole) who was struggling to stay in touch.

Renshaw never regained contact with the leaders and crossed the finish line in 50th place, 56 seconds after the stage winner.

"I went over the top 15-20 seconds behind the second group which included Davis and Greipel," said a disappointed Renshaw. "We worked really hard to get back on and we nearly got there but didn’t have the legs on the climb. "I’m disappointed now, but I think later on I’ll be okay because never did I imagine I’d come to this week and … I’d hope to win, but never to wear the leader’s jersey and be a chance at winning the race," said Renshaw who now sits 39th overall at 1:02.

"This morning I thought if I am not in the front group, that would be ok, but I felt good on top of the climb and we were able to chase back the front group, for me, I don't know why I feel really good here," said Greipel who praised Hansen for his work to keep the race together at the front. "That was awesome, he chased every rider and did a fantastic job."

"I worked with the UniSA boys to keep the gap because we heard that Renshaw was with the back group at 20-something seconds, so we made sure the gap was as big as possible. I finished with 800m to go, my work was done, I just rode in," said Hansen.

"Last year I would have told you that would be impossible," said Greipel who hopes be the first rider awarded the UCI ProTour Leader's Jersey for 2008. "Now I am the leader of the Tour Down Under, this is fantastic."

Tomorrow the riders contest the sixth and final stage of the Tour Down Under, an 88km race around a 5.5 kilometre circuit on the Adelaide City Council Street Circuit. A maximum of 26 seconds is up for grabs in time bonuses for the two intermediate sprints and the stage finish with Davis and Greipel expected to do battle right to the line to decide the 2008 Tour Down Under Champion.

With a tightly packed G.C. its a case of anything can happen in tomorrow's stage. The Bartercard Teams Classification has Francaise des Jeuxon top but eight teams are currently at the same time.

After Race Comments:
"I look forward to tomorrow, I think it will be a fantastic final stage in Adelaide," said Greipel.

Davis says he's very pleased with the way his team rode today and the race is far from over. "We’ve got 88km to go yet and we’ll be fighting to the last centimetre,' said Davis. "We’ve had a stage win so far and if we pull the overall off … even if we stay second … it’s still an awesome tour for (Australia) UniSA.
"We’re here to win and we’ll sit down tonight with Davo (Team Director Dave Sanders) and talk through a few tactics," said Davis. "On the day is when it really counts and as long as we go down fighting."

Tomorrow Greipel will wear ochre as the race leader and he also leads in the 'SA Lotteries Sprint' classification, Gilbert has won the 'South Australia - A Brilliant Blend King of the Mountain' contest and Jose Rojas (Caisse d'Epargne) is still on top of the 'Share the Road Best Young Rider' standings.

The Hindmarsh Most Aggressive Rider for Stage 5 was awarded to Gerolsteiner's Carlo Westphal who picked up both intermediate sprints of the day.

Caisse d'Epargne
Luis León Sánchez Attempts a Surprise in stage 5

The rider of the Team High Road, André Greipel, won the 5th stage of the Tour Down Under, Willunga-Willunga, of 147 km. Doing so, he won his third stage in the Australian race, which enables him to become the new leader of the race, on the eve of the last stage.

"Today stage was the only one which could favour a breakaway", declared the rider of Caisse d’Epargne, Luis León Sánchez, after he crossed the finishing line. «I knew the Old Willunga Hill, a difficulty situated at 20 km from the line but today it was not possible to make a gap over there. The Frenchman David Moncoutié attacked immediately after the top and I followed him because I thought that it was the ideal moment to break, and also the only opportunity to try something. But the pace of the group chasing behind us was too fast and once more we witnessed a sprinter’s victory ", concluded the runner from Murcia.

Saunier Duval/Scott
Benítez, Camaño and Durán fight for victory. Benítez climbs to 6th in the GC.

Brilliant performance by Saunier Duval/Scott in stage 5 of the Tour Down Under, well known for the tough climb over the Willunga hill.

Andalusian rider José Alberto Benítez was the third rider to cross the finish line in the 40-man mass sprint towards victory just after the climb. The leading bunch conquering the mountain top included four red birds: Benítez, Durán (who launched an attack during the climb), Jufré and Camaño. After Durán's second charge, Camaño tried to make a surprise move in the final stretch, but he was caught.

Thanks to their great show, Saunier Duval/Scott are now second in the Teams Classification, with the same time as leader Française Des Jeux, and José Alberto Benítez is sixth in the GC. The first UCI ProTour race this year is coming to a close tomorrow, with a short stage in the Adelaide East End Circuit (88 kilometres). It´ll be a new chance for Denis Flahaut to show what he can do. Today, the sprinter of the yellow squad fell from his bicycle, sustaining several bruises.

Team CSC Comments
Another Sixth Place for O'Grady

For the third time during this year's edition of Tour Down Under Team CSC's Stuart O'Grady took a sixth place, when the fifth stage was won by German André Greipel (High Road) after yet another bunch sprint.

"I'm really pleased with Stuart's efforts down here. He's on the right course towards top form for the spring, where he should be peaking after having fought his way back following his accident last year. But his results in this race speak for themselves: It's been dominated solely by the sprinters' fight for bonus seconds so we're happy with our efforts and the fact hat we've gotten some good training," said Scott Sunderland after the stage.

Tour Down Under Stage 5 Results
Willunga-Willunga, 147 kilometres
1 Andre Greipel (Ger) Team High Road 3.26.46
2 Allan Davis (Aus) Unisa - Australia
3 Jose Alberto Benitez Roman (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott

4 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Francaise Des Jeux
5 Michael Albasini (Swi) Liquigas
6 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Csc
7 Mickael Delage (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
8 William Walker (Aus) Rabobank
9 Jerome Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
10 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne
11 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Ag2R-La Mondiale
12 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Bouygues Telecom
13 Mickael Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone
14 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Silence-Lotto
15 Ivan Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
16 Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott
17 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre
18 Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) Liquigas
19 Jon Bru Pascal (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
20 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Credit Agricole

SA Lotteries Sprint Jersey classification
1 Andre Greipel (Ger) Team High Road 24 pts
2 Allan Davis (Aus) Unisa - Australia 24
3 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Credit Agricole 24

4 Mickael Delage (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux 12
5 Mickael Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone 12
6 Carlo Westphal (Ger) Gerolsteiner 12
7 Yoann Offredo (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux 10
8 Nicolas Crosbie (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 10
9 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne 10
10 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank 10

A Brilliant Blend
King of the Mountains Jersey classification
1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Francaise Des Jeux 38 pts
2 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone 22
3 Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse D'Epargne 18

4 Mickael Delage (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux 16
5 Arkaitz Duran Daroca (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott 16
6 Stephane Poulhies (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale 16
7 Kjell Carlstrom (Fin) Liquigas 12
8 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne 12
9 Jon Bru Pascal (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 12
10 Yoann Offredo (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux 12
11 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Team High Road 12

Share the Road
Young Rider's Jersey classification
1 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne 16.55.38
2 Mickael Delage (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux 0.04
3 Richie Porte (Aus) Unisa - Australia 0.08

4 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Silence-Lotto 0.10
5 William Walker (Aus) Rabobank
6 Arkaitz Duran Daroca (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott
7 Simon Clarke (Aus) Unisa - Australia
8 Ivan Santaromita Villa (Ita) Liquigas
9 Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse D'Epargne
10 Davide Vigano (Ita) Quick Step 1.06

General classification after stage 5
1 Andre Greipel (Ger) Team High Road 16.55.18
2 Allan Davis (Aus) Unisa - Australia 0.07
3 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne 0.20

4 Mickael Delage (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux 0.24
5 Mickael Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone
6 Jose Alberto Benitez Roman (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott 0.26
7 Kjell Carlstrom (Fin) Liquigas
8 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne 0.28
9 Richie Porte (Aus) Unisa - Australia
10 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Francaise Des Jeux 0.29
11 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team Csc 0.30
12 Martin Elmiger (Swi) Ag2R-La Mondiale
13 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Lampre
14 Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) Liquigas
15 Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Silence-Lotto
16 William Walker (Aus) Rabobank
17 Michael Albasini (Swi) Liquigas
18 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Bouygues Telecom
19 Ivan Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
20 Jeremy Roy (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
21 Jerome Pineau (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
22 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Credit Agricole
23 Josep Jufre Pou (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott
24 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Silence-Lotto
25 Arkaitz Duran Daroca (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott
26 Simon Clarke (Aus) Unisa - Australia
27 Mario Aerts (Bel) Silence-Lotto
28 Mauro Facci (Ita) Quick Step
29 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
30 Jon Bru Pascal (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
31 Ivan Santaromita Villa (Ita) Liquigas
32 Jose Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Astana
33 Leonardo Scarselli (Ita) Quick Step
34 Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Liquigas
35 Amael Moinard (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone
36 Mathieu Perget (Fra) Caisse D'Epargne
37 Luke Roberts (Aus) Unisa - Australia 0.51
38 Iker Camano Ortuzar (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott 0.53
39 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Credit Agricole 1.02
40 Adam Hansen (Aus) Team High Road 1.03
41 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank 1.16
42 Renaud Dion (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale 1.22
43 Davide Vigano (Ita) Quick Step 1.26
44 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Gerolsteiner
45 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Team Csc
46 Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
47 Koen De Kort (Ned) Astana
48 Nicki Sorensen (Den) Team Csc
49 Scott Davis (Aus) Team High Road
50 Matthew Wilson (Aus) Unisa - Australia
51 Laurent Mangel (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale
52 Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Den) Team Csc
53 Kurt Asle Arvesen (Nor) Team Csc
54 Sergio Ghisalberti (Ita) Team Milram 1.35
55 Alessandro Proni (Ita) Quick Step 1.48
56 Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step 2.13
57 Matthias Russ (Ger) Gerolsteiner 2.16
58 Yoann Offredo (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux 2.52
59 Aaron Kemps (Aus) Astana 2.57
60 Heinrich Friederich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner
61 Jose Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne
62 Thomas Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner
63 Massimiliano Mori (Ita) Lampre
64 Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Credit Agricole
65 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Caisse D'Epargne
66 Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Liquigas
67 Sebastien Portal (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone
68 Volker Ordowski (Ger) Gerolsteiner
69 Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukr) Quick Step
70 Christian Murro (Ita) Lampre 3.34
71 Steve Morabito (Swi) Astana 4.34
72 Nicolas Hartmann (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone
73 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone
74 Sylvain Calzati (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale 5.00
75 Pablo Lastras Garci (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne 5.12
76 Joan Horrach Rippoll (Spa) Caisse D'Epargne
77 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ukr) Ag2R-La Mondiale 5.30
78 Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Team High Road
79 Martin Muller (Ger) Team Milram 5.35
80 Yann Huguet (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone 6.03
81 Rene Haselbacher (Aut) Astana 6.33
82 Jean-Eudes Demaret (Fra) Cofidis Le Credit Par Telephone 7.01
83 Enrico Poitschke (Ger) Team Milram
84 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Silence-Lotto
85 Allan Johansen (Den) Team Csc
86 Benoit Joachim (Lux) Astana
87 Andoni Lafuente (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
88 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) Credit Agricole
89 Theo Elltink (Ned) Rabobank 7.31
90 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Credit Agricole 7.43
91 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Credit Agricole 8.15
92 Emanuele Bindi (Ita) Lampre 8.55
93 Aurelien Clerc (Swi) Bouygues Telecom 9.16
94 Carlo Westphal (Ger) Gerolsteiner 12.12
95 Jan Robert Forster (Ger) Gerolsteiner 12.15
96 Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Unisa - Australia 12.16
97 Denis Flahaut (Fra) Saunier Duval-Scott 12.18
98 Erki Putsep (Est) Bouygues Telecom
99 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale
100 Timothy Gudsell (NZl) Francaise Des Jeux
101 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Team Csc
102 Rick Flens (Ned) Rabobank
103 Fabio Baldato (Ita) Lampre
104 Christophe Mengin (Fra) Francaise Des Jeux
105 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Silence-Lotto
106 Jesus Del Nero Montes (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott
107 Paolo Fornaciari (Ita) Lampre
108 Christophe Kern (Fra) Credit Agricole
109 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre
110 Dennis Haueisen (Ger) Team Milram 13.52
111 Jan Boven (Ned) Rabobank 14.06
112 Nick Gates (Aus) Silence-Lotto 15.23
113 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Team High Road 15.30
114 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team High Road 15.44
115 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Team Milram 15.45
116 Aitor Galdos Alonso (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 16.20
117 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Silence-Lotto 16.22
118 Javier Aramendia Lorenti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi
119 Ruben Lobato Elvira (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott
120 Greg Henderson (NZl) Team High Road 16.41
121 Dimitri Champion (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 16.44
122 Julien Mazet (Fra) Astana 16.48
123 Bram De Groot (Ned) Rabobank 18.07
124 Tom Stubbe (Bel) Francaise Des Jeux 18.21
125 Stephane Poulhies (Fra) Ag2R-La Mondiale 19.29
126 Karl Menzies (Aus) Unisa - Australia 20.58
DNF Igor Astarloa Ascasibar (Spa) Team Milram
DNF Nicolas Crosbie (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
DNS Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank

Bartercard Winning Team Jersey classification
1 Francaise Des Jeux 10.20.18
2 Saunier Duval-Scott
3 Liquigas

4 Euskaltel - Euskadi
5 Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone
6 Unisa - Australia
7 Silence-Lotto
8 Caisse D'epargne
9 Ag2R-La Mondiale 0.56
10 Astana
11 Quick Step
12 Team High Road 1.29
13 Team C S C 1.52
14 Rabobank 2.05
15 Credit Agricole 2.09
16 Team Milram 3.32
17 Lampre 4.54
18 Gerolsteiner 5.09
19 Bouygues Telecom 8.47

For more information, race routes and results visit the official website at www.tourdownunder.com.au

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