Daryl Impey leads Richie Porte on countback in Tour Down Under


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    Daryl Impey and Richie Porte will fight out the most dramatic finish in the Tour Down Under’s 20-year history.

    Porte won the pivotal Willunga stage for the fifth year in a row on Saturday, beating Impey by eight seconds.

    That leaves Porte and Impey tied for first place overall with one stage left.

    Impey leads on a countback of previous stage results.

    Porte is aiming to become the first champion in the Tour’s 20-year history to defend his title.

    The Australian BMC team leader unleashed his trademark attack on the climb to the summit finish at Willunga in Saturday’s 151km fifth stage.

    Porte started the day 14 seconds behind race leader Peter Sagan on the overall standings, but Sagan wilted early on the climb.

    Sagan’s Australian teammate Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) initially stayed with Porte when he attacked with 1.5km left.

    But McCarthy had no answer when Porte attacked again, just before 1km to go.

    McCarthy was third overall at nine seconds heading into Willunga and was considered Porte’s biggest rival.

    But Impey, the South African strongman who rides for Australian team Mitchelton-Scott, sprung a big surprise.

    He managed to break clear as well near the finish, finishing a clear second and restricted his time loss to Porte.

    Impey had started the stage second overall, two seconds behind Sagan, but his Tour history indicated that he was unlikely to stay with the leaders on the Willunga climb.

    Along with beating Impey by eight seconds, Porte picked up four bonus seconds for winning the stage, putting them level on overall time.

    Impey has placed better in earlier Tour stages this year, meaning he has the race lead on countback.

    It means Porte’s BMC and Impey’s Mitchelton-Scott will have a titanic battle at the intermediate sprint and king of the mountain checkpoints during Sunday’s stage, as well as the finish.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (2)

    • Columnist

      January 20th 2018 @ 6:42pm
      Geoff Parkes said | January 20th 2018 @ 6:42pm | ! Report

      Daryl who Josh?

      After building tension for 3 1/2 hours why would the broadcaster decide that the race for 2nd in the stage and time gaps for the ochre jersey was of no interest to viewers?

      Far better to show Peter Sagan meandering his way up the hill….

      Ridiculous coverage. Obviously directed by someone with no clue about cycling.

    • January 21st 2018 @ 7:19am
      jeff dustby said | January 21st 2018 @ 7:19am | ! Report

      TDU is great, it will be even better when they move it away from that small backward town and to a real city or between real cities

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