Matthew Holmes surprises on Willunga Hill, Porte final winner Tour Down Under

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Matthew Holmes surprises on Willunga Hill, Porte final winner Tour Down Under

Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 5:01 AM

Richie Porte is the winner of the Tour Down Under for the second time in his career. In the famous final stage with arrival at Willunga Hill, he was only ahead of the surprising winner Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal). Porte, who already won this competition in 2017, took his competitors for almost half a minute on the final climb.

A large leading group of 26 names formed the leading group of the day. Among the escapes again Joey Rosskopf (CCC), Iljo Keisse (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), Kenneth Van Bilsen (Cofidis), Bert-Jan Lindeman (Jumbo-Visma) and the final stage winner Holmes. Their maximum lead would peak towards the five minutes.

In the peloton it was all hands on deck to make up the gap. World champion Mads Pedersen performed executioner work and the Jumbo-Visma collective also did a considerable part of the pursuit work.

First climb Willunga Hill
In the run-up to the first ascent of Willunga Hill, the peloton formed true classification trains in the hope of being the first to start the 3.7-kilometer-long hill. At the foot, the backlog was just over a minute and a half.

Half a minute of it was consumed at the top. The leading group was split into two groups by the climb and Luis Leon Sanchez made a unsuccessful attempt to drive to the leading group from the peloton.

At the foot of the second and last climb of Willunga Hill the difference had shrunk to just over a minute. The early flight was shattered; Jonas Rutsch (EF Education First), Luke Rowe (Team Ineos) and Michael Storer (Team Sunweb) whipped in front, while in the peloton outgoing winner Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) could not follow the pace.

Antwan Tolhoek is accelerating
The first gear from the peloton was placed by Dutchman Anwtan Tolhoek (Jumbo-Visma). Porte took matters into his own hands one kilometer from the end. The Tasman drove in powerful pedal strokes to the remaining early refugees. Only Holmes was able to keep on hooking, for Storer the pace of Porte was just a little too high.

The leader of Trek-Segafredo seemed on his way to a double blow. However, at one hundred and fifty meters, Holmes grabbed his chance by accelerating once more. The 26-year-old WorldTour rookie caused a thunderous surprise by taking the win on Willunga Hill. For Porte it was still a party with a new overall victory in the Tour Down Under.

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