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11th Tour Down Under - ProT

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, January 18-25, 2009

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Stage 4 - January 23: Burnside Village - Angaston, 143 km

Complete live report

20:51 CST   
Ahoy, mateys, Cyclingnews will be covering the Tour Down Under live daily around 11:00 local Australia time (CDT), 1:30 European time (CEST)/ 19:30 (USA East). Join us on Friday, January 22 for Stage 4 of the ProTour event.

11:00 CST   
Pop! Welcome back to Cyclingnews.com for Stage 4 of the Tour Down Under. Today we’ll be lifting our glasses, sharing a cheese platter and waiting for the peloton to roll into the Barossa Valley – one of Australia’s top wine producing regions.

11:05 CST   
Chances are if you’re back to put up with me for another day, you’re a real racing fanatic and you’ll already know the following. Just for good measure, those who want to share their predictions, thoughts and deepest dark secrets can contact me at commentator@cyclingnews.com throughout the stage.

Since I enjoyed reading about some of your eye-opening nautical experiences on yesterday’s stage to Victor Harbor, feel free to share some of your wine tour yarns with us throughout the day.

11:06 CST   
The peloton is about to roll out of Burnside Village for the neutral zone, which ends on the outskirts of down.

11:08 CST   
The peloton has a nice 12.3 kilometre neutral zone to warm up the legs in this morning. It’s a good thing too, as the riders have little time once the race begins before it starts heading upwards.

11:11 CST   
The teams are going through radio roll call at the moment, and as was the case yesterday, the non-English speaking teams are better at responding than the English speaking ones. Go figure!

11:13 CST   
Now, just so we're all on the same page, the neutral zone is exactly that. Neutral. Nobody is in front, nobody is behind, nobody is anybody. This means that Lance Armstrong (Astana) is in the exact same spot as everyone else. I couldn't count the amount of e-mails I received during yesterday's neutral asking if he'd attacked yet...

11:14 CST   
Once the peloton gets to kilometre 10 the stage sharply kicks up to nearly 300 metres. From there there’s a gradual 100 metre climb over the following 35 kilometres. During this part of the course riders will contest the day’s first sprint at kilometre 46.7.

11:16 CST   
The day’s second sprint comes on the descent into Williamstown, where the peloton passed through on Tuesday’s opening stage. That sprint comes at kilometre 75.6 on Queen St.

11:18 CST   
Thanks to Paul for being the first comedian in today's wine and cheese tasting class to ask if Lance has attacked yet. There's one in every bunch, isn't there.

11:19 CST   
With the sprints out of the way the only thing between the peloton and the finish line is the day’s only King of the Mountains climb. That comes at 103.5 kilometres into the race on Menglers Hill. From there it’s a wavy 39.5 kilometres to the finish line.

11:20 CST   
As usual we’ll be having a little fun throughout today’s stage. In between glasses of shiraz – oh, and of course the racing – we’ll ask a little bit of triva on the local area and also seek your input for a poll or too.

11:21 CST   
The peloton is half way through the neutral zone (and no, Lance hasn't attacked) so we'll be off and racing shortly.

11:22 CST   
Many have asked about the Police motorbike that caused yesterday's crash. I think it's unlikely that the officer will be sacked as some have suggested, but yes, it was a very unfortunate incident.

We're hoping radio communication will be a bit better today too. UniSA wasn't even told yesterday its leader had been taken to hospital until near the end of the race.

11:25 CST   
Local weather conditions are continuing to deteriorate from yesterday’s blustery day on the bike. The current temperature is around 20 degrees Celsius, with wind gusts of up to 23 kilometres/hour. A high of 29 degrees is predicted for the day, but it’s still feeling pretty cool outside this morning.

11:27 CST   
We caught up with race contender Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank) before today's stage. "We’ll try to conserve every ounce of energy for tomorrow, because we’re going to need it. Yesterday was incredibly hard – I don’t think I’ve ever ridden in wind like that in South Australia before. To have a ProTour race in those conditions… you had to be up the front and stay out of trouble. You can calculate decisions and at least be in control of the situation.

"There was a bit of panic there for a while, and I’m really happy with the outcome and we’ll just see what happens today," he added.

11:29 CST   
Stijn Vandenbergh (Team Katusha) has had a bad start to the day. He's already had to swap a wheel in the neutral zone.

11:30 CST   
Poor old Baden Cooke (UniSA) has just left the hotel, headed for Adelaide airport. The rider hit the pavement in yesterday's big pile up and is missing skin down one side from his shoulder to his ankle.

The rider was in a strong position on general classification at the time of the crash, which also took out Andre Greipel.

11:32 CST   
Pieter Jacobs (Silence-Lotto) is the only retirement overnight, as today's race gets underway. The rider finished yesterday with a broken collarbone after the early crash.

11:32 CST   
Yesterday’s race saw action aplenty. The race leader and defending champion both crashed, one out of the race, with the other launching a race-long fight back to finish on the podium and hold onto the lead. It was Graeme Brown (Rabobank) who walked away with the win, however, after his team missed the key break and drove the peloton so hard it split into two.

11:32 CST   
Mickael Buffaz (Cofidis) has attacked as the race gets underway.

11:33 CST   
George Hincapie (Team Columbia) has already had to stop for a new front wheel, one kilometre into the race.

11:35 CST   
Garmin-Slipstream director Matt White was happy with how his boys rode yesterday. He's expecting today to be a little quieter.

"Super gutsy ride yesterday by Cam. I was really impressed by the team yesterday – it was a long chase, but if we hadn’t done it the race was gone. They had to commit to it, and to bring back that break was impressive. I thought it was gone a few times. Today’s not going to have as much action; the wind’s probably only 50km/h instead of 80 or 90km/h and more of a head crosswind. There’s going to be a lot of splits today, and the race is far from over."

11:36 CST   
After a tough day on the bike, then hitting a Police motorbike, Andre Greipel’s day only got worse when he ran into me in the Hilton lift. I’ve got to give Greipel a bit of credit – this race clearly has a special spot in his heart. Despite being in form and having that form wasted by an ill placed motorbike, the only thing Greipel wanted to talk about was coming back in 2010. Much respect, Andre.

11:36 CST   
Mickael Buffaz (Cofidis) has been joined by six other riders to form a lead group of seven. The group has a margin of just 200 metres at this point.

11:38 CST    7km/136km to go
George Hincapie (Columbia) is back in the main peloton after swapping his front wheel.

11:39 CST   
The seven riders out front are back to 100 metres and it looks like this won't be our group to go away.

11:40 CST    8km/135km to go
The peloton has brought the break back in now.

11:40 CST   
Lance Armstrong (Astana) was expecting a very different race to yesterday when we caught him at the start line. "You can’t predict heat, and you can’t predict wind; when you throw all those things in, it makes it hard and nervous, and we saw that yesterday. Today will probably be a totally different game. No, I don’t think so [about winning the Tour Down Under]. I think, based on the time differences, and looking around the quality field – Allan Davis, Stuart O’Grady, Michael Rogers and Graeme Brown – these locals guys are flying. Time bonuses mean it’s not easy to make up time."

11:43 CST   
Another attack has been formed at the front of the peloton, this time with three riders, but again it only has a small margin.

11:46 CST    10km/133km to go
Seems all that wire holding up the grape vines is interfering with the communications systems. We can confirm the leading group contains Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale), Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel - Euskadi) and Travis Meyer (UniSA) and have now gained 17 seconds over the peloton.

11:47 CST    11km/132km to go
The gap has gone out to 43 seconds already, but Travis Meyer (UniSA) has struck problems. The West Australia is waiting on his team-car getting through the peloton to swap his bike over.

11:48 CST   
Quick Step's Allan Davis was feeling on top of the world at the start this morning. "No wind – that’s the first bonus of the morning. Compared to yesterday, the last thing you want is to crash again. What happened to Greipel is bad to see, and let’s hope he recovers as quickly as possible.

"If the chance arrives, I’ll definitely have a crack, but the plan is to keep it simple. Normal thing is a break will go with some guys who are lower on GC, and they’ll contend the stage then we’ll get ready for the big showdown tomorrow."

11:49 CST    12km/131km to go
Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale), Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel - Euskadi) and Travis Meyer (UniSA) have a 1.20 lead over the peloton as they start the first climb. This one's a sharp kick upward and should allow the riders to pull out a bit more time over the peloton.

11:52 CST   
We must give a big shout out to all those fanatics out there braving the conditions for today’s Mutual Commmunity Challenge riders. Hopefully all 7,100 of you will be sitting back with a bottle of plonk in time to watch the race roll in to Angaston.

We will have the cheese platter fully stocked, waiting for you all (although, with that many people, we might need a table top truck to put that much cheese on).

11:53 CST   
The leaders - Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale), Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel - Euskadi) and Travis Meyer (UniSA) - now have a 1.45 minute lead on the peloton.

Meyer, whose brother Cameron was on the attack yesterday afternoon, has had a bike change and is back with his two break mates.

11:56 CST   
I ran into Garmin-Slipstream’s Chris Sutton after yesterday’s stage…in the lift, of course. The Aussie seemed a little exhausted after how the day unfolded – but that was a common theme amongst many. “It didn’t exactly go to plan,” he said. “But sometimes that happens.”

11:59 CST    17km/126km to go
The leading trio are continuing to work well together as the come over the peak of the first climb and head towards Cudlee Creek. The trio has a 3.20 minute gap over the peloton.

12:02 CST    19km/124km to go
Travis Meyer (UniSA) has set a record for most bike changes on a single stage in this year's race. The youngster is now back on his original bike, and has caught his leading group again.

Their margin stands at 4.30 minutes 19 kilometres into today's stage.

12:05 CST   
From here it's a gradual climb to Mount Pleasant at kilometre 45. Riders out on the Mutual Community Challenge ride this morning said the wind from this point on was strong, which will play into the peloton's hands.

As the race flattens out, then starts to descend at kilometre 68, we will see how this race will unfold. If everyone is like O'Grady and wants to conserve energy for tomorrow, we will probably see the break stay away until the KOM spot at 103.5 kilometres.

12:07 CST   
If we've got a team that wants to push those in contention, the race could come together on the descent into Williamstown. In this case, you can expect attacks to come thick and fast up Menglers Hill. But whether anyone will be successful, now that's the question.

12:08 CST   
Jeff just told me "you'd think if you guys wanted to stay in shape you'd take the stairs". Unfortunately I'm recovering from a dislocated knee cap Jeff, so I don't go to well on the stairs.

I'm not sure what the athlete's excuse is though...

12:09 CST   
One rider I saw coming out of the lift in high spirits this morning was race leader Allan Davis (Quick Step). While I didn’t have the pleasure of riding the lift with Alby, he was in high spirits while talking to an Ag2R rider – both looking fresh after a difficult day in the saddle yesterday.

12:10 CST    22km/121km to go
Our leading trio are out to 5.15 minutes now. This gap should go out to somewhere between six and seven minutes, which is considered to be the safe zone in this race.

12:13 CST   
Speaking of fresh, young Jack Bobridge (UniSA) was surprisingly upbeat despite being bandaged up while in the media center yesterday afternoon. Bobridge was second across the line in yesterday’s trailing group, which lost more than 20 minutes after two crashes and a high pace forced them away from the leaders.

12:15 CST   
Speaking of fresh, young Jack Bobridge (UniSA) was surprisingly upbeat despite being bandaged up while in the media center yesterday afternoon. Bobridge was second across the line in yesterday’s trailing group, which lost more than 20 minutes after two crashes and a high pace forced them away from the leaders.

12:17 CST   
I'm told that four Mutual Community Challenge Tour participants have been involved in four separate incidents this morning and were treated along the race route and then transferred to hospital. I hope all four of you have a speedy recovery!

12:19 CST    27km/116km to go
Interestingly Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale), Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel - Euskadi) and Travis Meyer (UniSA) now have an 8.15 minute lead over the peloton. It's not enough for the peloton to hit the emergency alarm, but they'll surely be watching the gap's progress closely over the next few kilometres.

12:21 CST   
So can anyone out there tell me who named the Barossa Ranges, which is how the Barossa Valley came about, and also what inspired the name?

Also, I've only had a few wine stories so far. Surely a few of you have been out having some fun taste testing around the globe.

And finally, G'day to our friends in the sub-zero conditions in Canada and Alaska. It's made me feel a little warmer just thinking about you!

12:23 CST   
The leading trio are working really well together. It's got a few teams on notice back in the peloton, with Katusha moving from mid-pack to drive the peloton.

The leaders have hit Birdwood, where Lance Armstrong stopped for coffee the other day (although I'm sure the town has a bigger claim to fame than that?), while the peloton is six kilometres behind it.

12:26 CST    31km/112km to go
Hmm, I'm starting to wonder if this break is going to succeed. The gap is now out to 8.40 minutes and the leaders have no reason to chase.

The only guys that will be chasing are the sprint teams that don't stand a chance in the overall competition and are looking for a stage win. All three of these riders finished in the group 20 minutes down yesterday, meaning those going for general classification victory can afford to lose time to them.

12:32 CST   
Audery, I'm not sure I should agree with your comment, but I'll at least share it with the group. "Men are like fine wine. They all start out like grapes,and it's a woman's job to stomp on them and keep them in the dark until they mature into something you'd want to have dinner with."

12:34 CST   
The gap has gone out to 9.30 minutes as the leaders climb to the first sprint of today.

What's the consensus guys and girls? Will one of this trio be joining us for a bottle of Grange and watching the peloton roll in later? Or will the mouse catch the cheese, so to speak?

12:35 CST    39km/104km to go
Katusha has three men on the front driving the peloton. Its efforts aren't gaining too much support from the other teams, but seems to be working nonetheless.

The gap at kilometre 39 has come back to 8.30 minutes.

12:38 CST   
Okay, so the dream of a Travis Meyer (UniSA) stage win might have been a pipe dream, but it was nice while it lasted. The gap is back to 8.10 while Katusha keeps on driving.

Looks like Robbie McEwen wants a shot (pardon the pun) at a ProTour stage win this week.

12:39 CST    46.7km/96.3km to go
Results from the first sprint are in Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel - Euskadi), claimed first over Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale) and Travis Meyer (UniSA).

12:41 CST   
Some have told me the car museum at Birdwood is bigger than Lance Armstrong, but another claims "No way Lance is bigger that the Big Rocking Horse!". I guess the jury is out on that one.

12:41 CST   
The main peloton is now two kilometres away from the intermediate sprint, and closing the gap down slowly.

12:43 CST   
Speaking of Penfold Grange, rumour has it that Graeme Brown (Rabobank) was given a bottle by his manager after yesterday's win. Word on the street is he'll get one for every win this week - no wonder he's been so motivated!

The rider spoke to us at the start line today. "The team rode unreal. I can’t say enough for the way they rode. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be in the equal lead overall; so many times I thought about stopping them, because I didn’t think it was going to come back, but the director spurred them on and said, ‘Look, it’s carnage behind you, just keep going’.

"Ideally a couple of riders will go up the road, but we’ll see. Columbia should ride – they don’t have Greipel, but Renshaw won this stage last year," he added.

12:45 CST   
As the peloton crosses the line at today's first intermediate sprint, it has drawn the break back to 7.10 minutes. It will be interesting to see if it holds the group in that range for a while, or continues to make progress and reels it back early.

12:47 CST   
It's time to get cheesy, lets take a poll on your favourite cheese. Let me know what you think goes best with a glass of plonk?

Just for the record, I don't want to see anyone tell me Sweet-Chilli Philly. We're talking about real cheeses...

12:47 CST   
Katusha may be down a man today, but it's doing the work in the peloton at the moment. They're still at the front working to bring down the leader's gap.

12:49 CST   
Mickaël Buffaz (Cofidis) was the first to attack on today's stage, but now he's back with the doctor's car.

12:52 CST    51km/92km to go
Quick Step has moved to the front and is working with Katusha to reel back the break. It currently stands at 6.05 minutes, 51 kilometres into the race.

It seems Quick Step wants to bank another stage victory for Allan Davis and the 10 bonus seconds that come with it. Davis will likely need those seconds heading into tomorrow's Willunga stage.

12:58 CST   
I can't believe that the leaders in the cheese poll are currently Kraft Singles, followed by (gasp!) Cheezels (an Australian Twisties-like snack for those who don't know).

Don't we have any real cheese lovers out there? Frenchies?

13:01 CST   
A couple of you have been asking about how much climbing is in today's stage. The initial climb is made up of a short, sharp peak over 30 kilometres over which they climb around 430 metres. That's the section they've already done. They then descend back to about 190 metres above sea level, before the day's final climb up to 460 metres above.

It's not a huge amount of climbing, but after a day like yesterday, that probably suites everyone just nicely.

13:04 CST   
Today's stage always draws a good crowd and today's no different. In years gone by I always remember the vineyards having their employees and sometimes even guest entertainment out on their front lawns to support the race, and this year is no different.

On that not a big hello to those at Teusner Wines who are watching today's live with us and also Murray Street Vineyards, who wrote in earlier.

13:07 CST    61km/82km to go
The leader's gap is sitting comfortably at 5.35 minutes at the moment. The leaders are about to come out of the bumpy section at the top of the first climb, and will be starting the descent any minute now.

13:09 CST   
Steven said "Can you get cheese sticks that are hollow in the middle so you can suck the wine through them...just like a Tim Tam?"

You suck wine though a Tim Tam? I've heard of doing it with tea or coffee, but I think a nice bottle of plonk could be wasted if it had bits of biscuit in it. Each to their own.

13:10 CST    64km/79km to go
Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale), Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel - Euskadi) and Travis Meyer (UniSA) are sitting about 5.20 minutes ahead of the peloton.

13:14 CST   
I stand corrected. It seems Tim Tams and Port are a common thing!

13:15 CST    70.6km/72.4km to go
The leading trio are now five kilometres away from the day's second sprint point in Williamstown.

13:17 CST   
Those wanting an update on Robbie McEwen (Katusha) he was in very high spirits after yesterday's stage. Given how many of the other riders - shall we say - weren't, his hand seems to be tolerable.

McEwen actually stood outside the Hilton and signed autographs for the better part of 20 minutes. Not bad given he'd just had a 90 minute transport back to the hotel after a tough day on the bike.

Of course, I was holding the lift for him.

13:18 CST    68km/75km to go
The gap is holding steady - it seems the peloton is happy with the 5.15 minute lead it holds for now. I suspect this will change as the second climb nears.

13:26 CST   
Mark Renshaw (Columbia) will likely fly the team’s flag today if it goes to a sprint. Renshaw is well equipped to tackle today’s stage – he’s won it before. “I know the finish pretty well – it is where I won last year. Then I caught them off guard with 300m to go but this year I think they’ll be onto that. It’s a hard finish, but I think the team’s not too down about losing Andre – we’ve still got two sprinters. We’ve got heaps of depth, so there’s no problem at all. Of course Andre’s a loss, but crashes happen and that’s unfortunate.”

13:27 CST   
The second sprint has finished in the same way the first did. Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel - Euskadi) was again first over the line followed by Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale) and Travis Meyer (UniSA) .

13:33 CST   
Seems you've all guess right, Col William Light was the person to name Barossa Ranges and subsequently the Barossa Valley. It was named after a place in Spain called Barrosa where the Battle of Barrosa took place betwen the British and the French.

Today's race actually hits Light Pass Road, but doesn't go into the suburb Light Pass, which was named after William Light.

13:33 CST    80km/63km to go
Quick Step's work is starting to pay dividends on the descent. The three leaders are back to 4.40 minutes now.

13:35 CST   
We should see something similar to yesterday's stage when the break - which wasn't working well together, due to conflicting agendas - was brought in down the descent and along the flat before the final climb.

While today's break is working well, it doesn't have the strength - or numbers - to hold off the peloton.

13:41 CST   
Cheese poll results:

1 Brie
2 Goat
3 Blue vein

Honourable mentions: Venezuelan Beaver, a variety of Tasmanian cheeses

13:43 CST   
The peloton has taken a couple more seconds out of the leading trio - Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale), Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel - Euskadi) and Travis Meyer (UniSA).

The should continue to chip away at it over the coming 15 kilometres.

The leaders are now on the 'flat', or at least flatish, part of the course while the peloton is close to reaching the bottom of the descent.

13:46 CST   
As I was coming out of the lift this morning (no, really, I was) Mike Tomalaris, from Australian broadcaster SBS, came running towards me screaming "Luis Leon Sanchez, Luis Leon Sanchez, Luis Leon Sanchez".

After looking around to see if Luis was around me and Tomo wanted his autograph, I realised that he meant that's his tip for the day. Sanchez was in yesterday's key break away for a short time, but was soon dropped. I guess we'll see if he's got the legs for today and if Tomo is right.

13:47 CST    90km/53km to go
As the peloton hits the flat the day will likely be over for our three leaders shortly. The peloton is 3.25 minutes behind it, 90 kilometres into the event.

13:56 CST    95km/48km to go
The gap is being brought back at a steady pace, the trio now have a 2.45 minute lead.

13:59 CST    99km/44km to go
The leading trio have just hit the final climb, and already Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel - Euskadi) has been put in the pain box by Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale) and Travis Meyer (UniSA). Lafuente has fallen out of the group, and dropped behind the following media cars.

The other two riders still have a 2.30 minute margin over the peloton.

14:01 CST   
The leading trio is only on the easier slopes of the climb at the moment. In the next kilometre the climb really kicks up.

14:03 CST   
As the riders tackle the day's final climb, lets lift our glasses to them. This time around, the poll is about what's in our glasses. Go on, give me your favourite drop.

14:04 CST   
The peloton is in difficulty as it hits the start of the climb. It hasn't fallen apart yet, but the riders are strung out and some are barely holding in there.

14:07 CST   
Des has asked what Lance has said to me in the lift. Unfortunately, Des, the guy doesn't want to ride with me. The lifts can locked off when he comes in, which means I need to get my towel, toothbrush and pillow and wait outside for a moment.

I did however have the chance to ask him a completely irrelevant question in the press conference on Wednesday. I figured everyone else was asking silly things, why not join in...

14:08 CST   
Matthew Lloyd (Silence - Lotto), Tom Stubbe (Silence - Lotto) and Dries Devenyns (Quick Step) have gone off the front of the peloton. The trio are chasing down leaders Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale) and Travis Meyer (UniSA) on the way up the KOM.

14:09 CST   
Lloyd must be having deja vu after chasing Meyer's brother Cameron up yesterday's KOM.

14:09 CST   
David Moncoutié (Cofidis) has now joined the chase group.

14:11 CST   
Jérémy Roy (Française Des Jeux) has now joined the chase group, which has 450 metre on the peloton.

14:11 CST   
The leading duo Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale) and Travis Meyer (UniSA) have just 100 metres on the chasing riders now.

14:13 CST   
Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Slipstream) has also joined the chase group.

14:13 CST   
KOM results

1 Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale)
2 Travis Meyer (UniSA)
3 Andoni Lafuente (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
4 Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Slipstream)
5 Tom Stubbe (Silence - Lotto)

14:16 CST   
Both groups are being reeled in by the peloton as the ride along the top of the mountain. The gap is now just 45 seconds.

14:16 CST   
The group of six chasing riders have been caught by the peloton.

14:18 CST   
Rony Martias (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and Yoann Offredo (Française Des Jeux) have now attacked the peloton.

14:20 CST   
Leaders Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale) and Travis Meyer (UniSA) have a 15 second gap over chase group - Rony Martias (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), Yoann Offredo (Française Des Jeux) - while the peloton is at 55 seconds.

14:23 CST   
Okay, it's time to poll a winner. How does the wine and cheese party think this is going to go? Will Graeme Brown (Rabobank) sprint to victory, and the leader's jersey? Or can Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank) finally get a win?

Or will this one go to a late break that stays away? Let me know your predictions.

14:25 CST   
Gert Steegmans (Team Katusha) is feeling the pinch over the climb. The Belgian has dropped two minutes behind the main peloton.

14:27 CST    118km/25km to go
Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale) and Travis Meyer (UniSA) have pulled slightly away from both the chase group and the peloton. Chasers Rony Martias (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), Yoann Offredo (Française Des Jeux) are now 25 seconds behind while the peloton is 65 seconds back.

14:30 CST   
Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale) and Travis Meyer (UniSA) have taken another five seconds out of the peloton as they reach the bottom of the descent. The duo now have some small, rolling hills into the finish line in Angaston, which is about 23 kilometres away.

14:34 CST   
So far it looks like we're backing Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank) for a win over George Hincapie (Columbia). Although, Cameron believes "Robbie McEwen should be pissed off enough about his arm injury to fight for a win today".

As for the person who voted for Baden Cooke (UniSA) he's out of the race. Although, he did take a cap to the airport, so maybe he will speed in for a victory before going to get his flight home. With cab drivers, anything is possible.

14:35 CST    123km/20km to go
Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale) and Travis Meyer (UniSA) have lost a little time on the peloton, which is now at 55 seconds. The riders have just crossed the 20 kilometres remaining mark.

14:37 CST   
The peloton is powering home with a tailwind. It's closed the gap to the leading riders to just 35 seconds, meaning the chases have only 100 metres on the peloton.

14:38 CST   
Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale) has been named as the day's most aggressive rider.

14:38 CST   
Rony Martias (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and Yoann Offredo (Française Des Jeux) have been all but caught, as five Katusha riders swing onto the front of the peloton.

14:40 CST   
Just while we have a lull in the information flow, the top drop award goes to any wine from the Barossa Valley, closely followed by beer Coopers. Guess where most of the votes came from!

14:41 CST   
Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale) and Travis Meyer (UniSA) have just 200 metres on the peloton now.

We're gearing up for a sprint finish and McEwen's men look keen to sling him in for a win.

14:42 CST   
Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale) has attacked his break-away mate Travis Meyer (UniSA), in an effort to stay away.

10 kilometres solo with a tailwind? Sounds ambitious, to say the least.

14:43 CST   
Travis Meyer (UniSA) isn't giving up though, he's chased down Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale). They are still within a few hundred metres of the peloton.

14:45 CST    130km/13km to go
As the race hits kilometre 130 the race is all back together. It won't stay that way for long, though, as teams are already attacking.

14:46 CST   
Aaron Kemps (UniSA), Gert Steegmans (Team Katusha), Bernhard Eisel (Team Columbia - High Road), Guillaume Blot (Cofidis), Olivier Kaisen (Silence - Lotto), Scott Davis (UniSA), Markus Eichler (Team Milram) and Willem Stroetinga (Team Milram) have all fallen off the back of the peloton.

14:47 CST   
A new group of riders have attacked and gone off the front of the peloton. It includes: Alexander Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale), Stijn Vandenbergh (Team Katusha), Laurent Lefèvre (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and Jérémy Roy (Française Des Jeux).

14:49 CST   
A chase group is now off the front as well. It includes Michael Rogers (Team Columbia - High Road), Nicki Sørensen (Team Saxo Bank), Jens Voigt (Team Saxo Bank), Imanol Erviti Ollo (Caisse d'Epargne), Dries Devenyns (Quick Step), Francesco Reda (Quick Step), Martin Müller (Team Milram), Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas) and Aleksandr Kuchynski (Liquigas). This group is 100 metres ahead of the peloton.

14:49 CST   
The chase group has been caught.

14:50 CST   
Alexander Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale), Stijn Vandenbergh (Team Katusha), Laurent Lefèvre (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) and Jérémy Roy (Française Des Jeux) are the riders still off the front, with the main peloton 200 metres behind.

14:50 CST   
Maciej Bodnar (Liquigas) is trying to bridge to the group.

14:52 CST   
The leaders have just 50 metres, with the chase being led by Rabobank. Brownie's in the spirit to win another bottle of plonk, it seems!

14:53 CST    137km/6km to go
The break has been brought back, with just six kilometres remaining it's all back together.

14:55 CST   
Garmin-Slipstream has taken to the front of the peloton.

14:56 CST    141km/2km to go
The crowd is massive in Angaston at the finish line. The riders are getting close now, but it's still all together.

14:58 CST   
It's still a single group, but Silence Lotto has attacked.

14:58 CST   
The bunch is unlikely to let it get away.

14:58 CST   
Rabobank is chasing down the attack.

14:59 CST   
Rabobank has shut down the Silence-Lotto move, but has it been forced to go early.

15:00 CST   
Race leader Allan Davis and his Quick Step team are making a move.

15:00 CST   
Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) is coming too. It's going to be a close sprint between the team leaders.

15:00 CST   
Davis in the leaders jersey is past yesterday's winner Graeme Brown (Rabobank).

15:01 CST   
And it's Alby again! Allan Davis (Quick Step) has edged out Graeme Brown (Rabobank) in the final sprint.

15:01 CST   
José Joaquin Rojas Gil (Caisse d'Epargne) has taken third place from local hero Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank).

15:02 CST   
O'Grady has been amongst the action every day this week, but the South Australian has missed out on another win.

15:06 CST   
Well, break me a cracker and put some cheese on it. Allan Davis (Quick Step) and Graeme Brown (Rabobank) have both picked up valuable seconds heading into tomorrow's Willunga stage.

It will be Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank) that enters the day with the upper hand, however. O'Grady can climb better than both the sprinters and has big Jens Voight to help him out.

15:07 CST   
Allan Davis (Quick Step) said after his win: "I'm ecstatic. The crowed has been amazing again. To have the jersey for three days is just amazing."

15:09 CST   
Provisional results

1 Allan Davis (Aus) Quick Step
2 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank
3 José Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne
4 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Saxo Bank

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