Nizzolo won the 5th stage, Impey is the new leader
Giacomo Nizzolo (NTT Pro Cycling) profited from the GC battle lead by Mitchelton Scott and won the sprint of a tired and reduced field. “I don’t know if it’s enough but we’ll know tomorrow but we have given ourselves every chance to try and win this bike race,” told Daryl Impey (Mitchelton Scott), who is back in the lead of the Santos Tour Down Under. He did it with grit and determination at the intermediate sprints. Daryl did what he’s done year after year since Richie Porte won the title in 2017. He did it in a way everyone is becoming accustomed to but that doesn’t mean the other teams have an answer to what the South African from the Australian-registered WorldTour team, Mitchelton-SCOTT, has done so well in January in recent years.“We did exactly as we planned on the climb,” continued Impey who stole the Santos Ochre Leader’s Jerseyoff Portewith one day remaining in the six-stage event.“Lucas did a hell of a tempo up the climb,” said Impey of the rise that peaked 20km from the finish of 100% Stage 5in Victor Harbor. “We had a very select group and I was praying that group would make it to the line because I fancied my chances there.“The sprinters brought us back in the end but I’m really chuffed with today.”Impey began the day three-seconds shy of Porte’s cumulative time. At the firstZiptrak Sprint(at McLaren Flat, 33.8km) he couldn’t overcome the world champion, Porte’s team-mate Mads Pedersen, who earned first place and the three-second time bonus. But the two-second bonus for second meant he was closing in on the virtual lead of GC: just one second separated Porte from Impey –and more was yet to come. At the second Ziptrak Sprint, Impey was first, propelling him into the virtual lead thanks to the time bonus. And, try and Pedersen did to absorb more bonuses, he crossed the line in Meadows in third place after 56km of racing. It can get complex but the basics is this: time bonuses have often helped seal the title of the Santos Tour Down Under. Again, these extras from the Ziptrak Sprints are having an impact on the final GC result, but that doesn’t mean the pure sprinters –i.e. the guys who know they won’t be able to climb with Porte or Impey on the ramp to the finish on Old Willunga Hill tomorrow –are still also vying for the points on offer.
Martin Laas (Bora Hansgrohe) got dropped on the climb of the day and finished on 112th position loosing more than 6 minutes to the winner.
Photo: Santos Tour Down Under