Porte smashes Willunga Hill to take the trifecta23. January 2016, Adelaide (AUS) — Road Team
Richie Porte has made history by taking the win on Willunga Hill on stage 5 of the Santos Tour Down Under for the third consecutive year.
Porte attacked 1.3 kilometers from the top of Willunga Hill, finishing six seconds in front of Sergio Henao (Team Sky).
“To be honest I never expected that one. Obviously it didn’t go to plan yesterday with a time gap on the line but then today the BMC guys were absolutely incredible. They backed me here which is nice and I’ve only just started in this team. It’s always nice to win in Australia and on top of Willunga it’s three in a row,” Porte said.
Porte now sits second overall on the General classification, nine seconds behind race leader Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE).
For Porte, it was a perfect start to the season with BMC Racing Team.
“The crowds are just incredible. The Australian public get behind this race so much. It does feel like riding the Tour de France up this climb, it’s an incredible feeling. I’m happy with how it’s gone. I didn’t target this race so it’s just nice to get the first win in the BMC jersey.
“Full credit to Rohan. He said yesterday that he didn’t have great legs and was willing to sacrifice himself. He’s been a brilliant teammate this week and to be honest the whole BMC crew has been fantastic. It’s not easy to change teams. BMC has really supported me and embraced me and I’m really happy.”
A perfectly executed win
“I think the plan went perfectly today. Richie and Rohan discussed it with me last night and laid out how they wanted to do it and how they thought it could work,” BMC Racing Team Sports Director Allan Peiper explained.
“Richie has adapted really well. He’s getting along with everyone and he’s already showing his leadership skills, working with the guys, congratulating them, giving them a moral boost when they need it. I think that’s really important.
For defending champion Rohan Dennis, it was a disappointing day in the saddle finishing in 28th place, 54 seconds behind Porte.
“I spoke to Allan and I spoke to Richie and I said I don’t think I’m going to be able to hold on to third. Our best bet was to put the leadership with Richie for at least a stage win here and whatever comes with that.
“I probably am not in the same shape as last year. I think that slight different lead up with the hour record last year maybe gave me a bit more punch. I’m fitter in some ways but not in others. “
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