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10th Tour Down Under - ProT

Australia, January 20-27, 2008

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Stage 5 - Saturday, January 26: Willunga - Willunga, 147 km

Complete live report

15:39 CST   
Please join us on Saturday, January 26 for Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 5 of the 10th Tour Down Under. It is the really decisive stage of the Tour, including the tough climb of Old Willunga Hill - the obstacle that has always created a selection in previous Tours. It's expected that the crowds will be out for Australia Day, January 26, lining the hill to cheer on the field. Will there be a winner decided today? Of the fast men who dominate the top of the GC, the one rider who can get over climbs better than most sprinters is Allan Davis of UniSA - Australia. A rider no less than Stuart O'Grady predicted that 'Alby' is in an excellent position to win, and Stuey should know. It should make for a great day's racing.

10:56 CST   
Kiwi rider Timothy Gudsell
Photo ©: Greg Johnson
(Click 
for larger image)
Good morning and Happy Australia Day (January 26). Welcome to the Cyclingnews' live coverage of the fifth stage of the 10th Tour Down Under, the decisive 147km loop that begins and ends in the town of Willunga. Today's course includes the climb of the Old Willunga Hill, coming 20km before the finish and surely it will once again have a major impact on the overall outcome of this year's race.

10:59 CST   
Our current race leader, Credit Agricole's Mark Renshaw (Aus) holds a slender 4 second lead on GC to Team High Road's German powerhouse, Andre Greipel, with UniSA - Australia's Allan Davis snapping at their heels, only 7 seconds off the lead in third. Renshaw knows what's in store for him today, as he said earlier this week, "It's going to be hard, that's for sure, I'm not looking forward to it. But I'm going to take it by the horns, I think if I can stay within a minute over the top then my team-mates can drag me back up. We're just going to have to bank on that."

11:06 CST    2km/145km to go
UniSA rider Luke Roberts
Photo ©: Greg Johnson
(Click 
for larger image)
And the gun has fired with 129 riders leaving Willunga and with only a 2km neutral the pace is already very high. There have been no attacks beause the pace is too high - 70kmh.

11:09 CST    3km/144km to go
Nonetheless a group of three riders have attacked and managed to pull a 200 metre gap. It includes Erki Putsep (Est) of Bouygues Telecom and Heinrich Haussler (Ger) from Gerosteiner, and one other. They're not making too much progress off the front at this early stage.

11:10 CST    4km/143km to go
Well they were caught fairly quickly but there has been a slight split in the main peloton, with about 20 riders separating from the main field.

11:12 CST    5km/142km to go
Current race leader, Mark Renshaw
Photo ©: Greg Johnson
(Click 
for larger image)
The peloton has closed that down but immediately, a rider from Euskaltel - Euskadi has attacked - Andoni Lafuente (Spa). Yesterday, one of the EE boys, Javier Aramendia put in a really brave, solo effort in the hot and dry conditions.

11:15 CST    8km/139km to go
Lafuente didn't get that far, either. He's now back in the main field. We'll try to bring you some of the comments from the riders at the start this morning, but with all these attacks ... we do have time for a weather report: today is going to be fine and mostly sunny, with the chance of a late thunderstorm. The temperature is expected to get up to 33 degrees, so it's going to be another warm day in the saddle.

11:19 CST    10km/137km to go
A pensive Graeme Brown
Photo ©: Greg Johnson
(Click 
for larger image)
Lloyd Mondory (Fra) of Ag2R-La Mondiale has opened up a gap of about 100 metres on the main field. As we mentioned in the intro, all eyes will be on Allan Davis, the sprinter from UniSA - Australia who is in third position on GC, only 7 seconds behind. Davis is lightly built for a very fast finisher, and he can get over climbs of the short-but-sharp variety, almost as well as 'real' climbers and certainly bettter than most sprinters. He has also a very motivated and talented team at his disposal. The Cyclingnews reporters caught up with several of his team-mates at the start and we'll bring you those comments throughout the stage.

11:21 CST    12km/135km to go
Mondory of France has been joined by Benoit Joachim (Lux) of Astana, Sebastien Portal (Fra) of Cofidis and Andoni Lafuente (Spa) of Euskaltel - Euskadi. They have about 200 metres but going on past mornings, we'll probably neeed a few more attacks before one goes clear.

11:24 CST    15km/132km to go
Team High Road manager
Photo ©: Greg Johnson
(Click 
for larger image)
And yes, they didn't get too far at all. The peloton is back together. So back to Alby Davis and the team plan. One of his team-mates, Matt Wilson, said this morning, "Everyone's come here with good form and we are really motivated so hopefully we can pull something off up the (Willunga) hill." Back in the peloton, Nick Gates (Aus) of Silence - Lotto needs a front wheel.

11:27 CST    18km/129km to go
The peloton is only together for a couple of k's before the attacks go off the front - this time riders from Lampre and Euskeltel have a dig. Our race leader, Mark Renshaw (Credit Agricole) said this morning, "today we have a few tactics, we don't know which way we are going to roll with yet, but hopefully it will work out. I don't want to lose this jersey."

11:30 CST    20km/127km to go
Another three riders have snuck away and pulled 200 metres on the peloton, including Greg Henderson (NZl) of Team High Road, Carlo Westphal (Ger) of Gerolsteiner and Aitor Galdos Alonso (Spa) of Euskaltel - Euskadi. Nick Gates got a good wheel change and has got back on, while back at the front, Julien Mazet (Fra) of Astana is having a go. Good to see this team in the action as they've been pretty quiet this week. CN's Paul Verkuylen is spending the day in the team car with manager Sean Yates, so we should get some good insights during the day.

11:31 CST    22km/125km to go
OK - this break is looking promising as it's now grown to five riders and has 40 seconds on the peloton. Renaud Dion (Fra) from Ag2R-La Mondiale has got across and joined the four others.

11:34 CST    23km/124km to go
So our lead group of five now includes Greg Henderson (NZl) of Team High Road, Carlo Westphal (Ger) of Gerolsteiner and Aitor Galdos Alonso (Spa) of Euskaltel - Euskadi, along with Julien Mazet (Fra) of Astana and Renaud Dion (Fra) from Ag2R-La Mondiale. They have grown their lead to 1.20 and may stay clear.

11:36 CST   
This morning, CN's Greg Johnson caught up with race director, Mike Turtur, who said, "we have got 87 riders that can win the race. We have never been in that position before, so I think today will be an interesting day."

11:40 CST    27km/120km to go
And the gap has grown to 2.10, so they are working well, while the race directors don't see this group as too large a threat to the overall standings - yet. Another rider we spoke to this morning was Silence - Lotto's Australian road champion, Mattthew Lloyd. "It's been hard to make bigger moves and show yourself due to the characteristics of the sprinters. It's going to be an interesting day."

11:43 CST   
One of our reporters on the course said that apart from being quite warm, today the the breeze is much stronger than in previous days of the TDU. The peloton is currently heading straight towards the coast and is facing a cross-headwind. Team High Road's Adam Hansen said this morning, "I'm feeling fresh. Today will be the hardest day of the Tour - hopefully I can do something on the climb."

11:47 CST    29km/118km to go
After a couple more km's down the road the break has stretched to 2.35 on the peloton. There are many spectators out today: it's a weekend, a public holiday, and a big international sporting event coming through rural areas - the locals are out in force. This morning we also spoke to Rabobank's Will Walker, "we will miss Mat (Hayman) today, but we have moved on and (Graeme) Brownie ... I think he will get over the climb OK today". Rabobank has had a Tour of mixed fortunes: its sprinter Graeme Brown spent a day in the leader's jersey, but then yesterday Mathew Hayman was taken out in the bunch gallop by Milram's Elia Rigotto, who was kicked out of the race. 'Brownie' is still only 14 seconds behind on GC, so he's in with a very good chance.

11:51 CST    32km/115km to go
The latest time check has the break at 2.40 and holding steady. Our reporter at the start was having a really hard time at the start; he was forced to talk to one of the podium girls, Rebecca. "I'm having a lot of fun," she said. "This year has been a lot of fun." A previous podium gal from the TDU is now Mrs Stuart O'Grady.

12:01 CST    37km/110km to go
And that lead is now at 3.20 as our leaders put their heads down and hammer away. This morning Simon Clarke, another of Alby Davis' team-mates on UniSa said of today's stage, "it's going to be hot, hard, and it's going to hurt".

12:06 CST    39km/108km to go
The time gap has increased slightly to 3.45 and as we mentioned earlier, CN's Paul Verkuylen is riding in the team car today with Astana manager sean yates. Paul reports that they're still drinking from bidons marked 'Discovery' - showing the team's management history - and Yates is also not keen on his man in the break, Frenchman Julien Mazet, doing too much work in the break. Yates is keen that his riders stay well-hydrated in today's stage while on the course, the team managers are being told to go easy on the k's as they speed along the route. There are many people out today.

12:13 CST    42km/105km to go
Their lead is 4 minutes and looking good, for now. This morning, UniSA's Luke Roberts told us, "we have really come together this week. A couple of young guys have stepped up to the mark and are doing well". Team High Road's Andre Greipel, who's currently in second on GC, said, "yeah, I'm feeling good, the climb is not so big, it will be okay". His team-mate, Greg Henderson, who's currently in the break, said, "I'm getting slightly better as the Tour goes on. The team has been going very well; Greipel is on fire and we have got a good team to support him." With Henderson in the break, this takes the pressure off High Road, somewhat, to do any chasing.

12:20 CST    47km/100km to go
On the front of the peloton, which is now 4.10 behind, we have four riders from Credit Agricole doing most of the work. Interestingly, no riders from UniSA decided to go across. Also back in the peloton is the full team from CSC. This morning, Paul Verkuylen spoke to CSC's Kurt Asle Arvesen (Nor) who said, “it’s my second year here, and I am really enjoying it. Nice to be here and ride in the sun”.

12:22 CST    52km/95km to go
Our leaders are approaching the first intermediate sprint on the coast at sunny (and a little windy) Aldinga Beach - their lead is hovering at 4.05. Here, the course runs parallel to the beachfront and there's a strong crosswind; it'll be a tactical sprint for sure.

12:26 CST    58km/89km to go
And at that first sprint in Aldinga Beach, it was taken out by Westphal of Gerolsteiner, following by Dion of Ag2r and then Galdos Alonso of Euskaltel. Henderson decided to save his strength, as you would normally back him in a sprint like this. Their gap to the peloton is now down to 3.05.

12:31 CST    60km/87km to go
We also spoke to Team CSC's young Australian sprinter, Matthew Goss, who's not been that active in the TDU so far. "The first couple of days were really quick and chaotic. I am starting to feel better so it is good to know that I am sprinting well. Today, it will be tough.I expect it to fall apart on the climnb; it might come back together over the top and I hope to be there". This climb up Old Willunga Hill is only 20km from the finish line and if a break can go clear on the climb, they can also stay away, as has been the case in previous years. After 60km, the gap from the lead group back to the peloton is now back to 4 minutes.

12:38 CST    64km/83km to go
The time gap is now at 3.50, so their lead is fluctuating a tad but generally stable. We've had some emails this morning and Dave asks the very pertinent question, is Silence - Lotto really in this year's TDU? Well, of course, our diarist, Matthew Lloyd, has been filing reports every day and providing some good insights. But he was more concerned about the relative silence of Robbie McEwen, who's usually in the thick of everything at the TDU. One thing is for certain, Dave, it's unlikely Robbie will make his move on the climb. Perhaps look for him tomorrow on the flatter street circuit.

12:46 CST    66km/81km to go
So the gap is now down to 3.35 after 66km as our leaders pound away along the coast, obviously not paying too much atttention to the people who've left their beach-towels to line the road and cheer them on, they wouldn't want to be too distracted by some of the appropriately-dressed spectators. Another reader, Phil, asked what I meant by a 'tactical sprint', when referring to the first intermediate sprint. Simply that if there is a strong headwind, a rider just can't blast away from 200 metres out, as the draft is too great; they can lead out and fox a bit and wait for another rider to come around and then use their draft. Or if there's a cross-wind, the riders will hug the barrier and force other riders to come around them into the wind, which is harder, and it also creates a draft for the riders being overtaken.

12:48 CST   
Whoops - up in the lead Galdos Alonso was taking a bottle from his EE team car and it looks like a gust of wind made him bump heavily into his team car, but he stayed up and has continued on.

12:51 CST    73km/74km to go
Another reader, John, has written in with his theory and comments on today: "This is going to be very interesting. There are about 88 riders who could theoretically win with a gap over Willunga Hill. The tactics are going to be critical. The first part of the hill is the hardest. A team that could force the pace there might split things up. I'm looking past the sprinters duel, CSC has some cards to play (O'Grady and Goss) and High Road with Adam Hansen, and don't forget Matt Lloyd (Silence - Lotto) has been quiet so far. This is not to mention the Europeans - Luis Sanchez (Caisse D'Epargne)is right there".

12:55 CST   
In case you missed it and with all this talk of Willunga Hill, it's worth pointing out today's stage profile. It kind of trundles along, a bit up-and-down, and themn wham! Hello Willunga. TheStage 5 profile is totally dominated by this climb and according to the race director, he's never seen so many people already on the climb, so much that organisers are restricting the number of official vehicles that are allowed on to the climb.

12:57 CST   
We've just heard that Mat Hayman from Rabobank has been released from hospital and will be waiting at the finish to greet his team-mates. Mat has a plate in his shoulder, courtesy of a very heavy fall in yesterday's bunch gallop into Strathalbyn. We covered this story yesterday in our daily news.

13:10 CST    80km/67km to go
The gap is staying the same, the latest check has it at 4.25. Our leaders are about 20km from the next intermediate sprint, back in Aldinga Beach. None of the riders in the break are figuring in the points competition, so they'll be dividing up whatever primes are on offer from the organisation and local businesses. We've had several comments about the final sprint yesterday, and particularly the 'head butt' that caused Mat Hayman to fall. What Elia Rigotto, the then team leader of Milram, managed to do was actually make contact with Hayman's arm, and as we know that controls his bike. So a good, swift head butt up-and-under one's arm will only do one thing - make the rider turn the 'bars sharply at a right angle. Most vehicles don't cope too well with such suddden changes in direction at speed, especially one with a contact patch of a few cm's of rubbber. The Italian has pleaded it was a mistake and Hayman, to his credit, has given the old "that's bike racing" shrug of the shoulders.

13:18 CST    89km/58km to go
The other topic for discussion is sprinters - and their (lack of) climbing ability. Of the sprinters who dominate the top-end of the GC in this year's TDU, Allan Davis from UniSA is probably the lightest, and that certainly helps when you're fighting gravity. This 3km climb up Willunga Hill is quite steep at the outset, and it will be quite warm, too, factors that affect all of the field. It's just that some riders cope with it better than others. Davis will also have some very good riders as he hits this climb: the two Tasmanians, in particular, Wes Sulzberger and Richie Porte, are both good strong young riders who can climb, while Matt wilson is also no slouch in the hills.
And riders may not be 'sprinters' for their whole careers, either. To fully explain why a 'sprinter' like Laurent Jalabert can morph himself into a Classics specialist and then win 2 KoM competitions in the Tour de France would require a lot more discussion. Their gap is now at 4.45.

13:21 CST    94km/53km to go
The gap is still at 4.10 as our leaders approach the second intermdiate sprint at Aldinga Beach. There was a crash in the peloton involving Nicolas Crosbie (Fra) of Bouygues Telecom and Igor Astarloa of Milram. Crosbie is on his way to hospital with a suspected broken collarbone, while Igor is back on his bike and being attended to by the race doctor.

13:23 CST   
Cyclingnews' reporter Paul Verkuylen, enjoying his day out with Sean Yates in the Astana team car, said Jose Luis Rubiera (Spa) came back for some bidons and pedalled along while he had a quick chat. "It must be fun to spend Christmas here in the heat, eh? Watching movies about Santa Clause in the snow ... I can tell you, it's really hot out here!"

13:25 CST   
From that crash beforehand, Igor Astarloa (Milrram) has finally abandoned, though details of his injuries are unknown, while Crosbie is already in the ambulance on his way to hospital. The latest time gap has the leaders at 3.15 to the peloton.

13:30 CST    98km/49km to go
The gap has now fallen to 2.30 as the peloton approaches the second intermediate sprint. Back up the road, the result of the second sprint was the same as the first, as our leaders seem to be holding a very defined pattern. First was Carlo Westphal (Ger) of Gerolsteiner, Renaud Dion (Fra) of Ag2r, then Aitor Galdos Alonso (Spa) of Euskaltel - Euskadi.

13:31 CST    100km/47km to go
The chase is on - the gap has come down to 1.50 as the peloton picks up the pace. Other teams are now contributing to the chase and helping out Credit Agricole.

13:36 CST    103km/44km to go
The gap is now at 1.40 as the peloton gets into gear. Although it is still over 20km to the start of the climb, the close nature of the GC means that a lot of teams have to get themselves in a good position so they can either launch or protect their GC man on the climb. It would be starting to get a little tense in the main field now ...

13:39 CST    106km/41km to go
Gerolsteiner, Saunier Duval - Scott and UniSa are also assisting in the chase. One wonders what Gerolsteiner is doing up the front, given they have a man in the break, but they may be just taking a non-assisting presence. The gap is now 1.15 as our leaders keep their heads down.

13:41 CST   
The riders are being told to stock up on their drinks NOW before the climb, because they won't be able to get any service from their team cars until well after the climb. Up the front, the Shimano neutral service motorbike is handing out the bidons and keeping the leaders well watered. It's a hot day for an attack.

13:43 CST    109km/38km to go
Ever so slightly, this gap continues to fall. Our five riders in the break are holding the peloton to 1 minute. How much longer can they hold on?

13:44 CST    110km/37km to go
Well I think this answers that question - the gap is down to 40 seconds and this is hard, rolling country. It's hot, there's wind, and there's a nasty climb coming up.

13:45 CST    112km/35km to go
The gap is now at 35 seconds as many of the team cars overtake each other to get up to their riders and hand out the drinks. They're going to need them very soon, as the climb starts in about 10km.

13:47 CST    114km/33km to go
Looks like the break is over for the day as the gap is closing to 100 metres, so who'll be next to immediately attack once the break does come back?

13:48 CST   
And they are back in the peloton. That was a good attack as they were off the front from the 20km point and were only caught after 90km plus of hard riding on a hot and windy day.

13:53 CST    115km/32km to go
The peloton is still together as - surprise surprise - nobody has launched a counter attack. In the Astana team car, discussion has turned to a likely victor and Sean Yates has nominated Credit Agricole's Simon Gerrans; not a bad call, he's won this race before and he can certainly climb (and he trails the GC by 24 seconds). On the front on the road, UniSa sets the tempo.

13:54 CST   
Damn - what a time for a flat. Wim Vansevenant of Silence - Lotto needs a rear wheel. The peloton is still together.

13:59 CST    119km/28km to go
The peloton is altogether and Yates also thinks that Allan Davis won't make it over the climb with the leaders. He epxects Caisse D'Epargne will put the hammer down on the climb, and that's exactly who is on the front right now. Back down the road, our reporter, Greg Johnson, was given a real spray by Katie Mactier, former world track champion and partner of Greg Henderson, using a giant supersoaker as she stood on the side of the road.

14:00 CST    122km/25km to go
And they've hit the climb and already two riders are in difficulty, Denis Flahaut (Fra) of Saunier duval - Scott and Greg Henderson (NZl) of High Road, no surprise there after his long escape.

14:02 CST    123km/24km to go
Meanwhile, Hendo's team-mates in High Road have hit the gas on the climb and are putting the field under real pressure.

14:02 CST   
The climb is jam-packed with spectators, wildly cheering the field on. Three riders have broken free and have 50 metres ...

14:04 CST   
The three who've attacked are Adam Hansen (Aus) of High Road, Alessandro Proni (Ita) from Quick Step, and Philippe Gilbert (Bel) of FDJ. Back in the field, race leader Mark Renshaw (Credit Agricole) has lost contact with the leading bunch as the peloton blows to pieces on the climb.

14:06 CST   
The leaders have 400 metres until the top while Renshaw is 1km behind. The rest of the field is in a virtual single file as they struggle up the climb. The crowds and noise are unprecedented.

14:07 CST   
And now a Cofidis rider has attacked what's left of the main field - it's David Moncoutie.

14:11 CST    127km/20km to go
And now Moncoutie has gone clear with a small gap over Luis Leon Sanchez (Caissse D'Epargne), behind them, it's utter chaos as the field has broken apart. There's been a crash back in the field ... it's a Caissse D'Epargne rider ...

14:14 CST    128km/19km to go
The field is now all over the top of the climb and it looks like Moncoutie has got away up the front. Back in the field, riders are struggling to get back on and making their way through the race convoy. We'll have the results of that KoM as soon as and how the main contenders on GC are looking, but Renshaw went into difficulty pretty early.

14:16 CST    130km/17km to go
Moncoutie from Cofidis and Sanchez of Caisse D'Epargne have opened up a 10 second gap over a chase group of 25 riders, while Renshaw is 400 metres behind this chasing group. An equally brutal descent coming up.

14:19 CST    133km/14km to go
The chasing group has roped in Moncoutie and Sanchez, and this bunch includes Andre Greipel of High Road (second on GC) while Renshaw trails by 400 metres in the second major group.

14:23 CST    137km/10km to go
They're on the descent and flying - single-file and working together to keep their gap to the chasing group, which includes the ochre jersey of Renshaw. It's going to be close. There's also a small rise coming in to Willunga that could also play a part.

14:25 CST    142km/5km to go
The lead group of 30 or so made it down the descent safely and is now 5km from the finish; it has 26 seconds on the Renshaw group and the front group is being led by UniSA.

14:27 CST    143km/4km to go
There is a large crowd awaiting their arrival in Willunga. The second group is of made up of 20 very desperate riders trying to pull back the 25 second gap to the front group, which is going hard. It's unlikely it will come back together as the front group is at 50kmh.

14:28 CST    145km/2km to go
The gap between the lead group and the ochre jersey group is now at 30 seconds and it looks like we're going to have a new leader tonight.

14:29 CST    146km/1km to go
The gap is now at 33 seconds and it will stay clear as it's 1km from the finish line. There are counter-attacks and one rider from Saunier Duval has opened up a gap!

14:30 CST   
There is a Saunier Duval rider holding them off and will he make it? He's being chased by an EE rider ...

14:31 CST    147km/0km to go
No - he doesn't as the peloton steams down and catches him, coming through the peloton is the black-clad figure of ... Andre Greipel .... he's flying through and he gets another stage, and with it, probably the overall victory!

14:35 CST    147km/0km to go
The bunches are still coming across the line ... the Renshaw group was led home by Dion of Ag2r. The conditions have taken their toll on the field today as the riders come across in ones and twos. It looks like Andre Greipel has a 7 second lead on GC heading into tomorrow's final stage, with Allan Davis of UniSA in second. The big German sprinter showed that he was more than capable of holding a wheel on that climb.

14:52 CST   
So it looks like Andre Greipel of Team High Road will go into tomorrow's sixth and final stage of the TDU with a 7 second time advantage to second-placed Allan Davis of UniSA. Last year we went into the final stage on the streets of Adelaide with Martin Elmiger of Ag2r holding only a one second advantage on GC to Karl Menzies, but he managed to keep that slender lead and emerge victorious. So it's quite likely that Greipel will also finish the final stage tomorrow with the ochre leader's jersey. It's been a great Tour for High Road and indeed, a great start to the year down under, ironic given its sponsorship woes from late last year when T-Mobile withdrew its support. But the team has obviously pulled together and shown great spirit, and it's worked really well in the Tour, under the management of team manager Alan Peiper.

14:53 CST   
We've just received the provisional results and we'll get those up soon. After the finish, Greipel said, "this is unbelievable, I didn't expect to win today. The work from (Adam )Hansen was amazing. I can be very proud today". His team manager, a delighted Alan Peiper said, "I definitely didn't expect this from Greipel before the start of the race".

15:25 CST   
So thanks for joining us again on Cyclingnews for the live coverage of the exciting fifth stage of the Tour Down Under. Please join us tomorrow for the sixth and final stage of the Tour Down Under, coming to you from the streets of Adelaide city. Until then, bye for now.

Summary

After several attacks from the gun, after 20km a lead group of five formed including Greg Henderson (NZl) of Team High Road, Carlo Westphal (Ger) of Gerolsteiner and Aitor Galdos Alonso (Spa) of Euskaltel - Euskadi, along with Julien Mazet (Fra) of Astana and Renaud Dion (Fra) from Ag2R-La Mondiale.

At the 114km point, they were caught after spending over 90km off the front, even though their lead was over 4 minutes at one stage. The peloton cam back together for the climb of Willunga Hill and as expected, the fireworks started. After the climb two riders got away: David Moncoutie of Cofidis and Luis Leon Sanchez of Caisse D'Epargne, but a chasing group of 25 caught them. This group included Andre Greipel of Team High Road, while current race leader Mark Renshaw (Credit Agricole) was dropped on the climb.

The chasing group caught Moncoutie and Sanchez and then started to put time into the ochre jersey group of Renshaw. As they approached, a rider from Saunier Duval attacked and opened up a gap, chased by a rider form Euskaltel - Euskadi. But the peloton had too much momentum and caught these escapees, and emerging from the field was the black-clad figure of Andre Greipel, who took the stage win and with it, the overall leader's jersey.

Provisional results of stage 5, Tour Down Under, January 26, 2008

1 Andre Greipel (Ger) Team High Road                            3.26.46
2 Allan Davis (Aus) UniSA -  Australia                               st
3 Jose Alberto Benitez Roman (Spa) Saunier Duval - Scott
4 Philippe Gilbert (Fra) 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

General Classification after Stage 5

1 Andre Greipel (Ger) Team High Road                            16.55.18
2 Allan Davis (Aus) UniSA -  Australia                               .07
   

 

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