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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

5th Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under - 2.3

Australia, January 21-26, 2003

Home    Live report    Results    Previous Stage

Stage 5: Saturday Jan 25, Willunga - Willunga , 147 km

Astarloza in yellow, but JCTDU still up for grabs as McEwen abandons

By Anthony Tan in Willunga

Astarloza having a shower
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

On arguably the most anticipated stage of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, Spanish rider Mikel Astarloza (Ag2R) displaced the leader for the last three days, Fabio Sacchi from, jumping from fifth place overall to the top of the leaderboard. However, five seconds separate the top four places, and nine seconds separate the top seven overall.

The abandonment of Lotto-Domo rider Robbie McEwen, who was in second place on the general classification, after only 40km into the stage also created an opportunity for other riders to move at least higher in rankings and challenge for the overall.

McEwen was suffering from pain in his left knee whenever he tried to pedal while in the saddle and he made the decision to be safe rather than sorry by abandoning the race (see full story).

Stage 5 was characterised by another breakaway that went shortly after the race start, although this time, there were two escapees in the form of Andrea Tafi (CSC) and Nicolas Portal (Ag2R) who escaped after 16 kilometres. The duo's lead went out to four and a half minutes before their 100 kilometre breakaway was brought back within a matter of seconds shortly before the climb of Willunga Hill.

As Cadel Evans (Telekom) flew his way to the top of the hill and grabbed the lead in the King of the Mountains competition in the process, a select group of 10 riders including Lennie Kristensen (CSC), Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) and Patrick Jonker (UniSA) formed less than 20 kilometres from the finish.

Caruso's got it
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

With just under three kilometres remaining, Giampaolo Caruso (ONCE) launched a searing attack just when the packed Willunga crowd (who by this time were dripping with perspiration) believed they were to be treated to a sprint royale. Caruso held off the bunch - albeit by half a wheel - and in doing so, wiggled his way up the overall classification to third place overall, behind Astarloza and Kristensen.

"Manolo [Saiz, ONCE Directeur-Sportif] gave me permission to attack with five kilometres to go, so I owe this stage to him," said a jubilant Caruso.

"I lost four seconds on the first stage and unfortunately that may decide whether I win the race or not. It [the win] would have been my first [stage race win] as a professional. Tomorrow we are going to attack for sure," said Caruso, he and his team unwilling to go down without a fight in tomorrow's final stage around the streets of Adelaide.

How it unfolded

Jolly crowd
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

The start in Willunga was once again characterised by a jovial atmosphere that belied the seriousness of today's stage.

Nearly all teams with riders placed high GC emphasised the penultimate stage of the JCTDU would be all or nothing, and that the climb of Willunga Hill would determine who will don the final yellow jersey after the conclusion of tomorrow's stage.

Patrick Jonker was one of a number of highly placed Australians surprised at the depth of this year's field. "I thought I was in good form coming into this race, but there's so many guys flying right now," said Jonker at the race start.

"Hopefully my form is good enough to stay with the lead group up Willunga. Breakaways might happen before then, but not from anyone high on general classification. Evans, Nardello, and Lanfranchi will be the ones to watch up the climb," added the experienced South Australian.

A stream of early attacks started the race off at a high tempo, however the in-form boys from Saeco-Longoni shut down all early attacks within a matter of minutes.

Tafi and Portal
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

Just when it appeared an unspoken truce had been called between the opportunists and the peloton, Andrea Tafi (CSC) and Nicolas Portal (Ag2R) took off and caught the red guard of Team Saeco unawares. The duo soon established a healthy lead and by the 30 kilometre mark, Tafi became the new leader of the race on the road, their advantage out to a little over two minutes; the Tuscan 1:59 down on race leader Fabio Sacchi (Saeco) at the start of today's stage.

10 kilometres later, the shock of the day came at the 40 kilometre mark when second-placed Robbie McEwen abandoned the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under.

Tafi and Portal continued to work well together, taking 30 second turns on the front in two-up team time trial formation. Their advantage grew to 3:50 by kilometre 47 and 4:40 at the 50 kilometre mark.

After taking out the first sprint at 58.8 kilometres, not only was Tafi the new race leader on the road, he was also the new leader in the sprints classification, the latter job made easier through McEwen's withdrawal. The gap was still 4:23 after 61 kilometres, however panic had not set into the peloton; Saeco were content to set a steady tempo, with Credit Agricole and Telekom riding just behind the red train.

On the undulating terrain, it was Tafi doing most of the pulling when the road veered upwards, the Tuscan realising he needed his breakaway companion for as long as possible to have any hope of making it to the finish line on his own.

Surprise breakaway
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

The second sprint at kilometre 100.7 was a formality, Portal happy to let Tafi come through to take another six points to build an unbeatable lead in the sprints classification. The gap was now down to 3:25, which was more a product of fatigue and the 44.5 degree temperatures than a concerted chase by the peloton.

At 110 kilometres, Tafi and Portal's lead was slowly whittling away, but the softly spoken Classics hero wasn't giving up that easily. Tafi continued to stay in the saddle and turn over the pedals in his inimitable style, his large, tanned frame hunched over his Cervélo racing machine.

The word from race radio had obviously got back to the peloton; Tafi and Portal's lead had gone out once again to over two minutes, spurring ONCE to put down the hammer. Just before the climb of Willunga Hill, Tafi and later Portal were caught as the likes of Cadel Evans (Telekom), Paolo Lanfranchi (Panaria-Fiordo) and Lennie Kristensen (CSC) wound up the speed to a frightening pace.

Evans continued his blistering pace all the way to the top of the climb, and in the process, became the new leader in the King of the Mountains classification on countback, on equal points with Kristensen. After a brief solo effort by Evans, a lead group of ten riders had formed that would decide the winner of the stage and most likely the race as well.

Manolo's order worked
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

At the five kilometres to go banner, Giampaolo Caruso (ONCE) began talking in his earpiece, most likely turning to his wisened Directeur-Sportif Manolo Saiz for instructions. The order from Saiz must have been to attack: less than two kilometres later, Caruso hit hard, timing his effort to perfection as the Spaniard crossed the line less than a bike length ahead of Stefen Wesemann (Telekom) and Paolo Lanfranchi (Panaria).

"It's just happened, but it [the win] hasn't come upon me yet," said a stunned Caruso. "I didn't expect to go this well; the team's going great and that spurred me on - I was right on my limit at the finish."

After McEwen's exit and Sacchi's surrender, there was the predicted reshuffling on the overall classification with Mikel Astarloza (Ag2R) now in yellow, but still a handful of riders remain within striking distance - just nine seconds separate the top seven riders after the conclusion of today's stage.

Images by www.tombalks.com


1 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski                 3.26.43 (42.7 km/h)
2 Stefen Wesemann (Ger) Telekom
3 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo
4 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole
5 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC
6 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Ag2R
7 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski
8 David Canada (Spa) Quickstep-Davitamon
9 Patrick Jonker (Aus) UniSA
10 Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom                            0.06
11 Allan Davis (Aus) ONCE Eroski                        0.36
12 Brad McGee (Aus) FDJeux.com
13 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon
14 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) CSC
15 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Lotto Domo
16 Angel Vicioso (Spa) ONCE Eroski
17 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom
18 Christopher Jenner (NZl) Credit Agricole
19 Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA
20 Bobby Julich (USA)  Telekom
21 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2R
22 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA
23 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon
24 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA
25 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R
26 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R
27 Christian Werner (Ger)  Telekom
28 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quickstep-Davitamon
29 Kai Hundertmarck (Ger)  Telekom
30 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Credit Agricole
31 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2R
32 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R
33 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
34 Brendan Cato (Aus) United Water                      0.44
35 Christian Pepoli (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport           1.31
36 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC                                4.21
37 Glenn d'Hollander (Bel) Lotto Domo
38 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water
39 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon
40 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto Domo
41 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport              5.37
42 Joerg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco-Longoni Sport
43 Stefan Schumacher (Ger)  Telekom                     5.39
44 Dirk Reichl (Ger) Telekom
45 Davide Bramati (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon             5.42
46 Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole                   6.30
47 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Credit Agricole              6.47
48 Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski         11.49
49 Alvaro Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski
50 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE Eroski
51 Aaron Kemps (Aus) United Water
52 David Betts (Aus) United Water
53 Jakob Piil (Den) CSC
54 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole
55 Sergey Matveyev (Ukr) Panaria Fiordo
56 Scott Davis (Aus) Panaria Fiordo
57 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Lotto Domo
58 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Domo
59 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Credit Agricole
60 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Lotto Domo
61 Stephen Cunningham (Aus) UniSA
62 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA
63 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Panaria Fiordo
64 Matt Wilson (Aus) FDJeux.com
65 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est)  Ag2R
66 Erki Putsep (Est) Ag2R
67 Arvis Piziks (Lat) CSC
68 Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den) CSC
69 Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Mex) Panaria Fiordo
70 Ashley Hutchinson (Aus) United Water
71 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water
72 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) United Water
73 Nick Gates (Aus) Lotto Domo
74 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria Fiordo
75 Julian Dean (NZl) CSC
76 Regis Lhuillier (Fra) FDJeux.com
77 Mickael Pichon (Fra) FDJeux.com
78 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC
79 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com
80 Ruben Bongiorno (Arg) Panaria Fiordo
81 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) FDJeux.com
82 Jacky Durand (Fra) FDJeux.com
83 Juan Fuentes (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport              13.26
84 Nicola Gavazzi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport            14.33
85 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
86 Dario Pieri (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
87 Filippo Perfetto (Ita) Panaria Fiordo
88 Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJeux.com                  14.34
DNF Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto Domo
The Esplanade near Butterworth Rd, Aldinga Beach - 58.8 km
1 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC                                6  3 pts/secs
2 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R                            4  2
3 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R                           2  1
The Esplanade near Butterworth Rd, Aldinga Beach - 100.7 km
1 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC                                6  3 pts/secs
2 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R                            4  2
3 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom                       2  1
Main Road at Kell Street, Willunga  - 147.0 km - FINISH
1 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski                   8  6 pts/secs
2 Stefen Wesemann (Ger) Telekom                        6  4
3 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo                4  2
Old Willunga Hill Rd - Willunga - 127.4 km
1 Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom                               16 pts
2 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo                   12
3 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC                              8
4 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski                       6
5 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski                       4
Most aggressive rider 
1 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2r-Prevoyance
General classification after stage 5
1 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Ag2R                        15.25.36
2 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC
3 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski                    0.04
4 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole                  0.05
5 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski                    0.07
6 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo
7 Patrick Jonker (Aus) UniSA                            0.09
8 David Canada (Spa) Quickstep-Davitamon                0.13
9 Stefen Wesemann (Ger) Telekom                         0.15
10 Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom
11 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport               0.16
12 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R                           0.32
13 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA                         0.39
14 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom                       0.43
15 Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA                             0.44
16 Angel Vicioso (Spa) ONCE Eroski                      0.45
17 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quickstep-Davitamon
18 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA
19 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) CSC
20 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2R                              0.49
21 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon
22 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R
23 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Credit Agricole
24 Brad McGee (Aus) FDJeux.com                          0.58
25 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R                            2.17
26 Christopher Jenner (NZl) Credit Agricole             2.21
27 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2R
28 Bobby Julich (USA)  Telekom
29 Christian Werner (Ger)  Telekom
30 Kai Hundertmarck (Ger)  Telekom                      2.31
31 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC                                5.54
32 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon                 6.06
33 Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole                   6.28
34 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Lotto Domo                     6.58
35 Joerg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco-Longoni Sport              7.22
36 Dirk Reichl (Ger) Telekom                            7.24
37 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport              8.57
38 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon               9.36
39 Glenn d'Hollander (Bel) Lotto Domo                  11.05
40 Allan Davis (Aus) ONCE Eroski                       11.50
41 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC                           11.58
42 Brendan Cato (Aus) United Water
43 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) FDJeux.com                     12.23
44 Christian Pepoli (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport          12.45
45 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com                        13.28
46 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water                     13.30
47 Erki Putsep (Est) Ag2R                              13.34
48 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE Eroski
49 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Domo                     13.45
50 Regis Lhuillier (Fra) FDJeux.com                    13.50
51 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria Fiordo                   13.56
52 Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den) CSC                      15.45
53 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole                    15.47
54 Alvaro Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski       16.15
55 Stefan Schumacher (Ger)  Telekom                    16.53
56 Scott Davis (Aus) Panaria Fiordo                    17.21
57 David Betts (Aus) United Water                      18.18
58 Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski         18.33
59 Sergey Matveyev (Ukr) Panaria Fiordo                21.00
60 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Lotto Domo                     22.01
61 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est)  Ag2R                           23.03
62 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water
63 Davide Bramati (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon            24.11
64 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport            24.45
65 Arvis Piziks (Lat) CSC                              24.58
66 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Credit Agricole             25.16
67 Stephen Cunningham (Aus) UniSA                      26.49
68 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Panaria Fiordo                26.50
69 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Credit Agricole
70 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Lotto Domo                     28.02
71 Mickael Pichon (Fra) FDJeux.com                     30.18
72 Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Mex) Panaria Fiordo
73 Matt Wilson (Aus) FDJeux.com                        31.29
74 Nicola Gavazzi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport            33.02
75 Juan Fuentes (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport              33.07
76 Dario Pieri (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport               34.14
77 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA                          49.25
78 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto Domo                   53.08
79 Ashley Hutchinson (Aus) United Water                53.19
80 Julian Dean (NZl) CSC                               57.08
81 Aaron Kemps (Aus) United Water                      57.26
82 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) United Water
83 Ruben Bongiorno (Arg) Panaria Fiordo              1.00.36
84 Jakob Piil (Den) CSC
85 Nick Gates (Aus) Lotto Domo
86 Jacky Durand (Fra) FDJeux.com
87 Filippo Perfetto (Ita) Panaria Fiordo             1.03.20
88 Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJeux.com                1.03.21
Sprints classification
1 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC                                   34 pts
2 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com                            16
3 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski                      14
4 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport                  12
5 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA                            12
6 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA                              12
7 Matt Wilson (Aus) FDJeux.com                            12
8 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole                     8
9 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R                               8
10 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R                               8
11 Stefen Wesemann (Ger) Telekom                           6
12 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski                      4
13 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo                   4
14 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom                          4
15 Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole                      4
16 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon                  4
17 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria Fiordo                       4
18 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole                        4
19 Ashley Hutchinson (Aus) United Water                    4
20 Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA                                2
21 Stephen Cunningham (Aus) UniSA                          2
Mountains classification
1 Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom                               44 pts
2 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC                             44
3 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo                   24
4 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA                            16
5 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski                      12
6 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R                               8
7 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport                  8
8 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski                       6
9 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon             6
10 Brad McGee (Aus) FDJeux.com                             6
11 Regis Lhuillier (Fra) FDJeux.com                        6
12 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport                  4
U23 classification
1 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA                            15.26.21
2 Dirk Reichl (Ger) Telekom                             6.39
3 Brendan Cato (Aus) United Water                      11.13
4 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) FDJeux.com                      11.38
5 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water                      12.45
6 Stefan Schumacher (Ger)  Telekom                     16.08
7 David Betts (Aus) United Water                       17.33
8 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water                      22.18
9 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Lotto Domo                      27.17
10 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA                          48.40
11 Aaron Kemps (Aus) United Water                      56.41
12 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) United Water
13 Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJeux.com                1.02.36
Teams classification
1 ONCE-Eroski                                       46.17.55
2 Team Telekom                                          0.12
3 Ag2r Prevoyance                                       0.18
4 Credit Agricole                                       0.27
5 UniSA                                                 0.32
6 Quick Step-Davitamon                                  0.40
7 Team CSC                                              4.08
8 Saeco-Longoni Sport                                   9.53
9 Lotto-Domo                                           16.29
10 FDJeux.com                                          25.24
11 Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo                            29.57
12 United Water                                        30.49