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6th Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under - 2.3

Australia, January 20-25, 2004

Home    Stage profile    Start list    Results

Stage 6 - January 25: Adelaide City Council circuit, 81 km

Complete live report

Commentary by Jeff Jones with additional reporting by Gabriella Ekström and Karen Forman

Start time: 12:35 ACDT
Estimated finish: 14:30 ACDT

12:37 ACDT - 2 km/88 km to go
Welcome to our live coverage of the final stage of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, the traditional 90 km circuit race which consists of 20 x 4.5 km laps around King William Road, War Memorial Drive, Montefiore Hill, Pennington Tce and Sir Edwin Smiith Ave. The stage is always a fast one, with an expected average speed of 45 km/h. It's definitely favourable to the sprinters, although breakways can sometimes succeed in this stage.

The official start was given at 12:35pm, and straight away UniSA got to the front to protect race leader Patrick Jonker, who should have no problems in maintaining his 1'30 plus lead. Jonker is 81 kilometres away from a dream finish to his professional cycling career: "I'm very motivated and it's going to be the hardest two hours of the whole race, but my boys are going to work really hard for me," he told Cyclingnews this morning.

12:42 ACDT - 5 km/85 km to go
The first rider to attack is Francesco Secchiari (Domina Vacanze), and he is joined by six other riders. At the end of lap 1, there are 7 clear of the peloton.

12:50 ACDT - 11 km/79 km to go
They're on the third lap now, as Massimiliano Gentili (Domina Vacanze), Andy Flickinger (Ag2r Prevoyance), Bernhard Eisel (FDJeux.com) and a BankGiroLoterij rider have attacked. The gaps are small though, and the situation at the front is constantly changing.

12:55 ACDT - 15 km/72 km to go
Pat Jonker (UniSA) has bridged up to the leaders! There is an immediate reaction, and the group is brought back to the peloton.

At the end of the fourth lap, there are nine riders including Matt Wilson (FDJeux.com) with a small lead over the peloton.

Wilson's teammte Baden Cooke, one of the favourites for the stage, told Cyclingnews at the start: "We're going to try and defend our third and fourth overall positions. We don't want anyone coming up from behind nicking them, so we're going and try and put our guys not in GC positions up the road. If they can't get away, we'll sprint, of course."

Asked about how he's feeling in the sprints, he said: "Not awesome. I haven't done any sprint training, so I'm climbing alright, but I have to practice my sprint more."

13:03 ACDT - 23 km/58 km to go
Pat Jonker has got great legs today, his UniSA team director Michele Primaro tells Cyclingnews from the team car. Jonker is determined to go out on a high. There is a crash: James Hannam and Laszlo Bodrogi are involved and are now off the back of the peloton. Gert Steegmans (Lotto-Domo) has attacked off the front.

13:08 ACDT - 26 km/55 km to go
There are less than 13 laps to go now, and Erki Putsep (Ag2r Prevoyance), Eric Leblacher (Credit Agricole), Massimo Giunti and Massimiliano Mori (Domina Vacanze), Bernhard Eisel (FDJeux.com) and Jeff Louder (Navigators) have a 20s advantage over the peloton. A Credit Agricole soigneur has just thrown a bucket of water through the window of the Navigators team car.

13:12 ACDT - 27 km/54 km to go
With 12 laps to go, the break's lead has reduced to 150 metres, with Quick.Step controlling the peloton and leading the chase.

Last year's stage winner of the final stage, Graeme Brown (Panaria-Magres), told Cyclingnews today that "I want to be up there and I want to win. It's going to be a hard stage, but it's likely we can keep it together so I can repeat my success from last year."

13:19 ACDT - 32 km/49 km to go
The Quick.Step team is pegging the gap to the break at 20 seconds as they hit 11 laps to go. The riders again are Erki Putsep (Ag2r Prevoyance), Eric Leblacher (Credit Agricole), Massimo Giunti and Massimiliano Mori (Domina Vacanze), Bernhard Eisel (FDJeux.com) and Jeff Louder (Navigators). Massimo Giunti is the best placed rider on GC, 9th at 1'48.

Robbie McEwen, a favourite for today's stage, told us this morning "We all expect it to come down to a sprint today; Pat Jonker's boys will control the race for the first hour, and then I guess they expect the sprinters' teams to take over. I feel really good, but I wouldn't mind seeing some other guys in the team get in a break and win, because they have been working really hard [for me] this week."

13:26 ACDT - 36 km/45 km to go
Massimo Giunti (Domina Vacanze) wins the first sprint from Eric Leblacher (Credit Agricole) and Erki Putsep (Ag2r Prevoyance). 10 laps to go now. Quick.Step really want to get this break back in time for the second sprint and they succeed. All together again.

Quick.Step-Davitamon's Aurelien Clerc, who is on equal points with Robbie McEwen in the points classification, was feeling confident when we spoke to him this morning. "If it comes down to bunch sprint, I'll be up to it. But I will also be racing for points at the intermediate sprints to try to get ahead of Robbie in the sprints competition."

13:30 ACDT - 39 km/42 km to go
Philippe Gilbert (FDJeux.com) attacks, and Kirk O'Bee (Navigators) and Graeme Brown (Panaria-Margres) chase him.

James Hannam (UniSA) is out the back of the peloton again, after being involved in an earlier crash. Mark Jamieson (United Water) and Addy Engels (Bankgiroloterij) are also dropped. Richard Moffat (United Water) has a mechanical problem.

13:36 ACDT - 46 km/35 km to go
46.3 km were ridden in the first hour and as a result, a lot of riders have been shelled out the back. The peloton is very strung out now.

13:45 ACDT - 52 km/ 29 km to go
The huge throng of people lining the finishing straight is cheering on the riders as they head up King William Street with 6 laps to go. There is a bit of wind blowing today and the sprinters will have it in their faces in the finale.

There is a break of 10 riders away with Christophe Le Mevel (Credit Agricole) Erki Putsep (Ag2r Prevoyance) Francesco Secchiari (Domina Vacanze) Kevin Hulsmans (Quick.Step-Davitamon) Matthew Wilson (FDJeux.com) David McPartland (Team Australia) Glenn D'Hollander (Lotto-Domo) Frank Van Dulmen (Bankgiroloterij) Bernhard Eisel (FDJeux.com) and Peter Dawson (United Water). They have 10 seconds on the peloton.

13:50 ACDT - 56 km/ 25 km to go
The King of the Mountain sprint was won by Allan Davis (Team Australia) from Graeme Brown (Panaria-Margres), Massimiliano Gentili (Domina Vacanze), Kirk O'Bee (Navigators Insurance Cycling Team) and Massimiliano Mori (Domina Vacanze).

The break of 10 has just passed the second sprint with 5 laps to go. Peter Dawson (United Water) took it out ahead of Glenn D'Hollander (Lotto-Domo) and David McPartland (Team Australia) .

13:54 ACDT - 59 km/ 22 km to go
There are now 13 riders in the leading group, including Massimo Giunti (Domina Vacanze), who is only 1'45 off Pat Jonker's yellow jersey. Others in the group include Dave McPartland (Team Australia), Bernhard Eisel and Matthew Wilson (FDJeux.com). The gap is 250m now - approximately 20 seconds.

The break: Erki Putsep (Ag2r Prevoyance), Christophe Le Mevel (Credit Agricole), Massimo Giunti and Francesco Secchiari (Domina Vacanze), Glenn D'Hollander (Lotto-Domo), Kevin Hulsmans (Quick.Step-Davitamon), Matthew Wilson and Bernhard Eisel (FDJeux.com), Frank Van Dulmen (Bankgiroloterij), Graeme Brown (Panaria-Margres), David McPartland (Team Australia), Ashley Humbert and Peter Dawson (United Water).

13:59 ACDT - 63 km/ 18 km to go
McPartland attacks the break and has 7 seconds lead with 4 laps to go. Navigators are driving the peloton 20 seconds behind the leaders.

Kevin Hulsmans (Quick.Step-Davitamon) and Matthew Wilson (FDJeux.com) join McPartland in front. The trio have 200 metres lead on the rest of the break. But it all comes back together again.

Siro Camponogara (Navigators) attacks.

14:01 ACDT - 68 km/ 13 km to go
Just 3 laps to go now, and it's looking like it will be a bunch sprint. The speed is very high in the peloton now. Pat Jonker doesn't have many teammates left, so it's up to him to finish it off.

The results of the second KOM: David McPartland (Team Australia), Matthew Wilson (FDJeux.com), Kevin Hulsmans (Quick.Step-Davitamon), Kirk O'Bee (Navigators Insurance Cycling Team), Peter Dawson (United Water).

Ciaran Power (Navigators) attacks on the climb with two and a half laps to go. He is joined by six others, but they are recaught. Power goes again!

14:08 ACDT - 72 km/ 9 km to go
Two laps left, and Pat Jonker is well placed in the bunch. He has 9 kilometres to go in his professional cycling career, and will finish it off in the best possible way.

But the battle is on for the stage win. A bunch sprint looks likely now, although there will be a few riders wanting to spoil the party as usual.

There is a crash at the back of the peloton and Clerc (Quick.Step) is down.

14:14 ACDT - 77 km/4 km to go
Last lap! The peloton is complete, except for Clerc who crashed on the previous lap. His team has all dropped back to help him. FDJeux.com is leading it out. Half a lap to go.

Michele Primaro (UniSA) team director is going wild in the team car. "We did it!"

14:16 ACDT - 81 km/0 km to go
The final sprint is taken out by Baden Cooke (FDJeux.com), who came powering up the finishing straight into the wind. Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Domo) has to settle for second place.

Pat Jonker (UniSA) crosses the line in the bunch, winning the final race of his career in grand style. Congratulations Pat!

"The suicidal attack I did on the first stage brought me into this position and the guys in the team have done an awesome job, because we're really just a composite team of young Australians and most of the guys don't have any experience. But they've been riding against European pros and I give them a lot of credit. Now I'm an ex-pro!" a delighted Jonker told Cyclingnews post-race.


1 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com
2 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Domo
3 Allan Davis (Aus) Team Australia

Final general classification

1 Patrick Jonker (Aus) UniSA
2 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Domo
3 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com

Results    Mail the commentary team