Richie Porte (Australia/Trek-Segafredo) won the Tour Down Under’s race to the top of Willunga Hill for the sixth consecutive year on Sunday, but it was Daryl Impey (South Africa/Mitchelton-Scott) who took the title for the second year in a row, the first rider to do so in 21 editions.

News came soon before the start in McLaren Vale that overnight race leader Patrick Bevin (New Zealand/CCC) was in good enough shape to start the final stage. Bevin crashed with 10-km to go on Saturday, and the peloton slowed to allow the obviously hurt Kiwi to latch back on.

Sunday was also 2016 Australian Paris-Roubaix winner Mathew Hayman’s last race, the 40-year-old Mitchelton-Scott rider having turned pro with Rabobank in 2000.

The Course and the GC Situation

The 2019 Tour Down Under would conclude with two climbs of Willunga Hill (3.6-km of 7.1 percent), the first starting at 26-km to go. Porte, Michael Woods, George Bennett, Wout Poels, Rohan Dennis and Domenico Pozzovivo were 26-seconds behind Bevin, 19-seconds behind Impey and ten-seconds in arrears of LL Sanchez on GC.

Seven fugitives, including the irrepressible Thomas De Gendt, skipped away early. Poel’s Sky, Porte’s Trek-Segafredo and Woods’ EF Education First all contributed to pace making. With 45-km to go, the gap was 3:30.

Willunga

The first passage of Willunga saw an injection of pace in the peloton that unhitched Bevin.

Poels and teammate Kenny Ellisonde were the first to attack from the field, Ellisonde taking the maximum KOM points. The Sky tandem returned to the streamlined peloton.

Movistar’s Héctor Carretero was the next to try his luck, drawing two others, but the new trio would be brought back before the final skirmish. Astana grabbed the reins for LL Sanchez.

Sky poured it on at the front, and Poels and Ellisonde attacking again with 2-km remaining. Porte then counterattacked just before the red kite. Poels and Woods at first were able to keep up with the Aussie, but Woods fell back while Impey joined the move. Porte, Poels and Impey finished on the same time and Woods came in 15-seconds back.

Woods jumped up three spots to seventh on GC, behind Sunweb’s surprising Aussie Christopher Hamilton. Woods was fifth two seasons ago in his debut with a WorldTour team.

2019 Tour Down Under Stage 6
1) Richie Porte (Australia/Trek-Segafredo) 3:30:14
2) Wout Poels (The Netherlands/Sky) s.t.
3) Daryl Impey (South Africa/Mitchelton-Scott) s.t.
7) Michael Woods (Canada/EF Education First) +0:15

2019 Tour Down Under Final GC
1) Daryl Impey (South Africa/Mitchelton-Scott) 20:30:22
2) Richie Porte (Australia/Trek-Segafredo +0:13
3) Wout Poels (The Netherlands/Sky) +0:17
7) Michael Woods (Canada/EF Education First) +0:38

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