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Photo ©: Bettini

5th Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under - 2.3

Australia, January 21-26, 2003

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Stage 6: Sunday Jan 26, Adelaide City Council circuit, 90km

Complete live report

Start time: 13:00 ACDT
Est finish time: 15:00 ACDT

13:00 ACDT - 0 km / 90 km to go

Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the final day of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under. With just nine seconds separating the top seven riders on general classification, a handful of riders remain within striking distance of winning the 5th edition of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under.

The race comes back to the Adelaide streets for the finale on Australia Day, a 90 kilometre circuit race consisting of 20 laps of a 4.5 kilometre circuit. For what is normally a relatively easy day in most other major tours, the TDU has more than once come right down to the wire on the final day. Dual TDU champion and local hero, Stuart O'Grady, won by a mere two seconds from German Kai Hundertmarck in the 2001 edition, with fellow Australian Michael Rogers protecting an equally slim lead of 22 seconds to win his first ever major tour in last year's edition.

13:08 ACDT - 1.5 km

The peloton has just taken off for in front of a HUGE crowd for the final stage of the JCTDU; the weather considerably milder, around the mid 20s, although rather muggy. On the first of 20 laps, Credit Agricole are leading the peloton along War Memorial Drive, before the riders make their way up the climb of Montefiore Hill.

13:20 ACDT - 13.5 km

The peloton has just completed three laps with Credit Agricole still on the front, setting an unbelievably fast pace. Arvis Piziks (CSC) is just off the front, no more than 100m from the front of the peloton.

Cyclingnews spoke to Graeme Brown just prior to the race start in Adelaide City this afternoon, who said: "I'm feeling good - team morale is good, everyone's gee'd. We've got the plan down, we're just going to try to keep it together [until the final sprint].

"I think O'Grady is up there [to win] because he's only five seconds off the lead, and all he has to do is to win the two intermediate sprints or one and a second in the final. He's definitely the best sprinter out of all of them, so he's probably in the best place," said Brown.

13:30 ACDT - 22.5 km

The first 5 laps have been completed in 28 minutes, with Credit Agricole, United Water and Panaria-Fiordo on the front. It's still early days, but it doesn't look like anyone's going to get away today - the race will most likely come down to the intermediate and final sprint.

Cyclingnews spoke to Lennie Kristensen (CSC) just prior to the race start in Adelaide City this afternoon, who said: "We'll just see how it's going, and I'll just try to be there [at the finish]. Hopefully, I have a little bit of luck to be in front at the end."

Asked if it's possible to win, Kristensen said: "I hope it is, but if you look at it on paper, it shouldn't be. I have to be honest, because I have O'Grady at five seconds behind me and he could win." Talking about the KOM competition, he said: "I won't really go after it now, but of course if I'm there, I'll take it.

About the weather, "Maybe it's going to be a little bit windy, so it's going to be tricky - it can split up, but I have a good team to help me. I look forward to a good race."

13:33 ACDT - 25 km / 65 km to go

On the sixth lap, the searing pace was too much for Ruben Bongiorno (Panaria), who has been dropped. Elapsed race time is 33:40.

Cadel Evans (Telekom) was in an optimistic mood prior to the race start in Adelaide City this afternoon, who said: "I think we're in for probably the most exciting day of racing in the five years of this race."

13:33 ACDT - Lap 7 complete / 31.5 km

Just after the completion of lap 7, Mark Scanlon (Ag2R) attacked, unusual given that Cyclingnews' Gerard Knapp spoke to Ag2R's Directeur-Sportif this morning, who said they were not going to initiate any attacks. "Our plan is to let a break go with more than three riders," he said.

13:44 ACDT - Lap 8 complete / 36 km

At the first sprint of the day, it was Jaan Kirsupuu from Ag2R taking it out, ahead of teammate Eriki Putsep and Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole), O'Grady now four seconds off the race leader Mikel Astarloza (Ag2R). Lap time after 8 laps is 44:35.

13:51 ACDT - Lap 9 complete / 40.5 km / 49.5 km to go

Race leader Mikel Astarloza's team is being incredibly aggressive today, the question now is whether they can continue to control the peloton this well and shut down the sprints for the next hour or so.

A break of 12 riders has just escaped, containing Angel Vicioso (ONCE), Fabio Sacchi (Saeco), Andy Flickinger (Ag2R), Christian Pepoli (Saeco), Alexandre Botcharov (Ag2R), Daniele Nardello (Telekom), Glen D'Hollander (Lotto-Domo), David Canada (Quick Step), Jens Voight (CA), Matt Wilson (FDJeux.com), Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano (ONCE) and Paolo Lanfranchi (Panaria). The gap is now 30 seconds. Filippo Perfetto (Panaria) has abandoned.

14.01 ACDT - Lap 11 complete / 49.5 km / 40.5 km to go

The high pace continues, elapsed time 1:01.30. Credit Agricole and United Water still on the front, really giving it some stick.

Results of the first KOM were: Glen D'Hollander (Lotto-Domo), Paolo Lanfranchi (Panaria), Andy Flickinger (Ag2R), Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano (ONCE) and Fabio Sacchi (Saeco). No change to the top 3 in the KOM classification.

14.07 ACDT - Lap 12 complete / 54 km / 36 km to go

Elapsed time after 12 laps is 1:07.00. The peloton is all back together. Results of the second sprint were: Jaan Kirsipuu (Ag2R), Mark Scanlon (Ag2R) and Paolo Lanfranchi (Panaria). Stuey O'Grady came fourth, which means he needs to place second or better in the final sprint to win overall. Go Stuey!!

14.13 ACDT - Lap 13 complete / 58.5 km

Time after lap 13 is: 1:12.40. Steve Cunningham (UniSA) and Kai Hundertmarck (Telekom) are just off the front.

14.18 ACDT - Lap 14 complete / 63 km / 27 km to go

Rider number 13, U23 Aussie road champion, Gene Bates (UniSA) has a 10 second lead. Elapsed time after 14 laps is: 1:18.20.

14.24 ACDT - Lap 15 complete / 67.5 km / 22.5 km to go

Elapsed time after 15 laps is 1:24.00. The peloton appears to have slowed down a tad.

Just when all looked peaceful, Gert Steegmans (Lotto-Domo) has gone on the attack. The outside temperature has also risen to the high 20s in the last hour or so.

Results of the 2nd KOM were: Alvaro Gonzalez de Galdeano (ONCE), Gert Steegmans (Lotto-Domo), Andy Flickinger (Ag2R), Mark Scanlon (Ag2R) and Inigo Chaurreau (Ag2R). Cadel Evans (Telekom) has therefore won the KOM competition. Onya champ!! Watch out for this tough lad from the Northern Territory at this year's Le Tour.

14.30 ACDT - Lap 16 complete / 72 km / 18 km to go

Elapsed time after 16 laps is 1:30.00. The bunch has is still movin', but is now gruppo compatto, no attacco.

14.36 ACDT - Lap 17 complete / 76.5 km

Elapsed time after 17 laps is 1:35.35; Luca Paolini (Quickstep) has 10 seconds on the main bunch.

14.41 ACDT - Lap 18 complete / 81 km / 9 km to go

It looks like it's going to come down to a massive bunch gallop, with 4 riders in with a shot at taking out this year's JCTDU. Elapsed time after 18 laps is 1:41.20. Luca Paolini (Quickstep) and Daniele Nardello (Telekom) have an advantage of 10 seconds on the peloton, with ONCE leading the charge at the front.

14.47 ACDT - Lap 19 complete / 81 km / 4.5 km to go

On the penultimate lap, it's gruppo compatto; early KOM leader Russell Van Hout (UniSA) goes but gets caught within a matter of seconds. Elapsed time is: 1:47.00.

14.50 ACDT - Final lap / 3 km to go

FDJeux.com are on the front, O'Grady is about 20th wheel.

14.57 ACDT - Final lap / 0 km to go

BROWNIE (Graeme Brown, Panaria-Fiordo) WINS THE STAGE!! IN A CLEAN SPRINT!! Mikel Astarloza (Ag2R) wins the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under; brief results coming soon.

Brief results

1 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria Fiordo             1:52.09
2 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com
3 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est)  Ag2R
4 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole
5 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon
6 Nicola Gavazzi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
7 Stefan Schumacher (Ger)  Telekom
8 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) FDJeux.com
9 Julian Dean (NZl) CSC
10 Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA
11 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Ag2R
Final general classification after stage 6
1 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Ag2R
2 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC
3 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole
4 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski
5 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo
6 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski
Sprints classification
1 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC
Mountains classification
1 Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom
U23 classification
1 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA
Most aggressive rider
1 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom
Best South Australian rider
1 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole


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