Impey steals another five seconds as drama unfolds on stage 5 of Tour Down UnderSat 19 Jan 2019
Defending champion and yesterday’s stage winner Daryl Impey has claimed five bonus seconds on the intermediate sprints before drama unfolded in the finale of stage five of the Tour Down Under.
Race leader Patrick Bevin (CCC Team) also claimed equal bonuses to give the pair an extra buffer on the pure climbers ahead of tomorrow’s decisive Willunga stage.
But it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Bevin who crashed with 10km remaining and managed a brave chase to reconnect with the bunch ahead of the line to avoid any immediate damage to his general classification bid.
Adding to the drama, initial winner Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) was relegated in the sprint and the stage victory was awarded to Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates).
Knowing that every second counts at the Tour Down Under, Mitchelton-SCOTT committed early in the stage to ensure racing remained together for the intermediate sprints.
Impey claimed maximum points on the first opportunity with Bevin in second, before the pair switched positions on the second sprint to gain a total of five seconds each on their competitors ahead of the final stage.
Panic set in with 10km remaining as the race leader went down in a crash. It launched a frantic chase for the CCC Team with Bevin bravely battling back on with just a few kilometres to spare.
Mitchelton-SCOTT’s Mathew Hayman also came unstuck in the crash, but was able to remount and finish the stage will no injuries.
As the sprint launched in the final kilometre, Ewan prevailed, but he was relegated shortly after with commissaires deeming his sprint 'irregular’ after an incident with eventual winner Philipsen.
"(Bevin) crashed just in front of me, I was actually lucky to miss it. I'm not sure what happened there but he came down hard. It's really unfortunate for Paddy because he was riding really well and he had a nice advantage. I'm glad he finished on bunch time and I hope he can bounce back and race tomorrow.
"The way we rode today, we knew we had to take the race by the scruff of the neck and we did that today. We showed that we had the guts that although the sprint was a far way out (from the start) we commited to keeping it together and continue to the second one as well.
"I'm very happy to get five seconds today and the g8uys rode really well. I'm looking forward to tomorrow, hopefully 19seconds is enough, I think it's one second more than I had last year."
Tour Down Under – Stage 5 Results:
1. Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) 3:37:00
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST
3. Danny van Poppel (Team Jumbo Visma) ST
19. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Tour Down Under – General Classification after Stage 5:
1. Paddy Bevin (CCC Team) 17:00:25
2. Daryl Impey(Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:07
3. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team) +0:16
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.