Richie Porte won the Tour Down Under for the second time Sunday, though for the first time in seven years he failed to win the grueling stage to the top of Willunga Hill.
Porte finished second behind Matthew Holmes on a stage he has won for the last six years after a massed breakaway on the 151.5 kilometer finishing stage threw the overall race standings into turmoil.
Two-time defending champion Daryl Impey entered the last of six stages with a 2 second lead over Porte on general classification in the first World Tour event of the season.
But Impey’s chances of an unprecedented third-straight win dissolved on the second of two climbs up Willunga Hill while Porte launched his trademark attack on the second climb to put the overall result beyond doubt.
Porte’s chance of extending his winning streak on the Willunga stage was lost when Holmes, riding a World Tour event for the first time, swept passed him over the crown of the hill and beat him to the finish line by three seconds.
The 26-year-old from Wigan was part of a 26-rider break which sowed panic among teams whose riders were in contention for the tour win. The breakaway maintained a lead of more than four minutes over the peloton until the first of the two climbs up Willunga Hill.
The break began to fall apart on the first climb up Willunga Hill and completely broke up on the second as Porte drove to the front of the race.
”It was a little bit panic stations there in the middle (of the stage),” Porte said. ”We had to do the ride for the whole day.
”My team today were absolutely fantastic. It’s been an incredible week. People are quick to single out Mads Petersen because he’s the world championship and he’s there helping me but everyone’s been incredible.”
Tour Down Under 2020 – stage 6 results (McLaren Vale – Willunga Hill):
|1||Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal)|
|2||Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo)|
|3||Manuele Boaro (Astana)|
|4||Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ)|
|5||Michael Storer (Team Sunweb)|
|6||Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates)|
|7||Simon Geschke (CCC)|
|8||Rohan Dennis (Team Ineos)|
|9||Dylan Van Baarle (Team Ineos)|
|10||Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)|
Tour Down Under 2020 – final general classification:
|1||Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo)|
|2||Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates)|
|3||Simon Geschke (CCC)|
|4||Rohan Dennis (Team Ineos)|
|5||Dylan Van Baarle (Team Ineos)|
|6||Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|7||Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|8||George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma)|
|9||Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|10||Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain McLaren)|