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Tour of Korea - 2.2

Korea, May 4-10, 2006

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Stage 5 - May 8: Yangyang - Yangyang, 180km

Fireworks in stage 5

By Rob Young, Drapac Porsche team manager

The first KOM climb
Photo ©: Daniella Mollica
(Click for larger image)

Stage 5 of the Tour of Korea saw the advantage see-saw between the top teams with Drapac Porsche eventually finishing on top with its third stage win for the week.

With the boys in red suffering mechanical problems in the opening section, Giant Asia went on the attack taking a group of 15 with them, including the top three on GC. However, as the lead group began to break up on the steep KOM climb at 60km, Stu Shaw, Darren Lapthorne and Mitch Docker were able to bridge to the leaders, while yellow jersey Tobias Erler fell off the pace, starting the descent with Rob McLachlan and Dean Windsor on his wheel.

After a long technical descent three groups had formed on the road, now with Giant on the defensive. A long chase had the field back together with Erler back in the lead group, but the chase had tired the Giant outfit and Shaw, Park Sun Baek of Seoul City and Yohiyuki Abe of Skil Shimano were able to take advantage on the very steep 8km second climb, opening up a 2 minute lead at the top. Again Giant were forced to chase but were only able to pull the lead back to 1:13 at the start of the last 10km mountain. Nearing the top, Japan National Team rider Yasutaka Tashiro bridged to the lead trio and then Drapac Porsche sent Darren Lapthorne across the gap.

With five riders together at the bottom of the descent and with 1:45 in hand the five were able to hold off the bunch for the final kilometres. With two riders in the lead group Drapac Porsche were able to capitalize on its advantage with Shaw taking his second stage for the week and closing the deficit to the yellow jersey to 1 minute 31 seconds.

The competition for the yellow jersey and for the team classification is now very tight as the race enters the final two stages. Tomorrow’s 160km circuit race (4 x 40km) features a 200m ascent on each lap and it is expected a very aggressive race from Sang Moo, Uzbekistan, Skil-Shimano, Seoul City and Drapac Porsche will test Giant Asia to the limit.

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Daniella Mollica/Drapac Porsche

Results

1 Stuart Shaw (Aus) Drapac-Porsche

General classification after stage 5

1 Tobias Erler (Ger) Giant Asia