Tour Down Under Stage 5 Preview

Tour Down Under Stage 5 Preview

Friday 20 January 2012 - 21:26
Tour Down Under Stage 5 Preview

Tour Down Under Stage 5 Preview

Friday 20 January 2012 - 21:26

Santos Tour Down Under Stage 5, the 151.5km "Queen Stage," will be a crucial day for Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team. The team has three riders in general classification (GC) contention: Gerald Ciolek (4th place, +6 seconds), Serge Pauwels (18th place, +12 seconds) and Julien Vermote (30th place, +12 seconds) after an aggressive, smart, and strong race by the team in stage 4. The race begins at McLaren Vale. There's one aspect of Stage 5 that makes it particularly daunting: Old Willunga Hill, a reported 3km, 7.6 percent gradient climb. This is the SKODA King of the Mountain (KOM) point, but also where the race will finish. If the peloton remains together up to the KOM, expect it to splinter quickly. The climb up Old Willinga Hill could determine who holds, and may very well keep, the Santos Tour Down Under Ochre Leader's Jersey.

There is only .5km neutral start. There are Jayco Sprint points at Esplanade, Snapper point (63.4 km mark and the 103.4 km mark). The race begins at 11:10 a.m. CST and will end at approximately 3:02 p.m. CST.

"Tomorrow is a very challenging stage; it won't be easy for me to stay out front," Ciolek said. "The final climb is long and hard. I'm going to try and do my best and eventually help out Serge Pauwels, who's pedaling really well and who can stay ahead on a climb with these characteristics. Then on Sunday on the circuit in Adelaide I'll try again."