Spanish rider Luis Leon Sanchez won the battle, but Andre Greipel looks to have won the war and almost certainly confirmed a second Santos Tour Down Under title in three years after a thrilling Jayco Stage 5.
In one of the best stages in the 12 year history of the Santos Tour Down Under, the second climb of the Skoda King of the Mountain at Willunga Hill saw the race erupt as Cadel Evans, Alejandro Valverde & 2005 winner Luis Leon Sanchez stormed up the road and summited well ahead of Andre Greipel.
Along with the impressive Peter Sagan they built a lead of 40 seconds but once the HTC-Columbia train swung into action that time gap began to drop.
The break managed to stay clear but was joined on the line by Luke Roberts (Milram) who finished 2nd behind Sanchez while the HTC boys stormed into Willunga and ensured Greipel retained the Santos Ochre Leaders jersey.
He takes an 11 second lead into the final stage of the Santos Tour Down Under.
Sanchez drove the 500 metres to win the stage in Noarlunga despite all efforts from Cadel Evans, Sanchez crossed the line with time to celebrate. “I had a great tour. I am very very happy with the job of Valverde who is a very good person to have on this team”.
1 SANCHEZ Luis Leon GCE 3.29’39”
2 ROBERTS Luke MRM 3.29’41”
3 VALVERDE Alejandro GCE 3.29’43”
4 EVANS Cadel BMC 3.29’43”
5 SAGAN Peter LIQ 3.29’45” 6″
11 HUNTER Robbie GRM 3.29’48”
18 IMPEY Daryl RSH 3.29’48”