Wout Poels secures third Down Under

Tour Down Under stage six: McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill (151.5km)
Wout Poels finished second on the final stage of Tour Down Under to seal third overall as Richie Porte took the honours on Willunga Hill.

Foto: Gerhard Plomitzer 15.4.18 Wout Poels beim AGR 2018
Poels worked hard to break the Porte monopoly on the iconic climb, but despite a strong game plan and excellent support from Kenny Elissonde and Dylan van Baarle in particular, Poels was overtaken by the former Team Sky rider in the final kilometre.
Daryl Impey finished third to top the General Classification, with previous race leader Patrick Bevin (CCC Team) dropped on the final ascent of WIllunga, clearly still suffering from the injuries sustained in the closing kilometres of stage five.

After an early breakaway failed to sustain their advantage as the ascent to Willunga Hill started, the Team Sky duo of Elissonde and Poels tested the water with an attack over the summit, however the pair eased up on the descent.
This let up was short-lived however as Van Baarle then led the way with a fierce tempo on the second climb of Willunga which prevented any attacks from the other GC contenders, Elissonde then broke free of the leaders and allowed Poels to bridge to him and launch his decisive attack.

Porte was the only rider able to match Poels and the pair were inseparable until the Australian rider kicked on again and sealed his sixth successive stage win on this climb.
@ Team SKY

Anmerkung Gerhard Plomitzer:
Ich frage mich, wäre es nicht besser gewesen, auf die Attacke bei der ersten Passage des Willunga Hills zu verzichten und so die Kräfte für den Schlußanstieg zu sparen?
Es waren noch 20km bei teils Gegenwind zu fahren. Bei der Attacke bei der erstmaligen Bezwingung des Willunga Hills fuhr Kelly Elissonde vor Wout Poels über die Bergwertung, wäre die Reihenfolge Poels vor Elissonde gewesen, wäre Wout Poels auch Sieger in der Bergwertung geworden, so lag er punktemäßig gleichauf mit Jason Lea, der so die Bergwertung gewinnen konnte. Aber dem jungen Australier vom Team UNISA-Australia sei dieser Erfolg gegönnt und Team SKY hatte sicherlich nur den Etappensieg bzw. Rundfahrtsieg vor Augen.