Ewan retains lead with 5th on stage 6 in KoreaFri 12 Jun 2015
Three-time stage winner Caleb Ewan has retained his overall lead heading into the penultimate day of the Tour de Korea, managing a fifth place on a tough stage six today.
Whilst the parcours supported another sprint finish, hot and windy conditions made it a more difficult than expected day of racing for much of the peloton.
Once again it was the tireless work of ORICA-GreenEDGE, led by Michael Hepburn, that ensured the bunch sprint.
The strong body of Wouter Wippet (Drapac Professional Cycling) was victorious in the final whilst ORICA-GreenEDGE battled behind in a scrappy final.
“For us it was not so much the wind that made the difference,” sport director David McPartland said of the conditions that saw many in the peloton struggle.
“We had to ride the front all day, with Michael Hepburn doing the bulk of the work, and in the final we were a bit exposed. We were one or two guys down and that affected our train for the sprint.
“It was a really scrappy final for us today, it was nothing like the coordinated, cohesive finals that we have had at this Tour up until now.”
The peloton seemed unthreatened by the day’s breakaway, allowing them up to seven minutes advantage in the first 50km of racing.
As expected, the break tired in the conditions on the long 193.7km stage and the gap began to tumble at speed.
Controlling at the head of the peloton, ORICA-GreenEDGE tackled head and crosswinds before bringing the race back together with 20km remaining.
A brief secondary move was unsuccessful in the final ten kilometres as the race came back together after a hard day of racing for the desired bunch sprint.