Team Garmin-Cervélo faces a battle in the final day of the Tour Down Under tomorrow (Sunday) to defend the overall lead of Cameron Meyer. Meyer leads the race over HTC’s Matt Goss ahead of a circuit stage in Adelaide, Australia.
“It’s a good situation,” said Meyer. “It’s better to have the jersey on my shoulder than his.”
Meyer finished 13th today in Willunga on the same time as stage winner Francisco Ventoso (Movistar)
Meyer leads the race by eight seconds over fellow Australian, Goss and 10 seconds over Laurens Ten Dam (Rabobank). Two bonus sprints awarding three, two and one seconds are on offer tomorrow. The winner of the stage receives 10 seconds; second and third places take six and four seconds.
Garmin will call sprinter Tyler Farrar into action tomorrow. Farrar has won stages at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España and will want to win tomorrow to protect Meyer’s win.
“It’s going to come down to the bonuses tomorrow. We’ll see what I can do to try to pick them up instead of him,” Farrar said of Goss.
Farrar said Meyer stands a good chance to keep the leader’s orange jersey and win the 13th edition of the Tour Down Under.
The overall lead has only changed once on the final day in the race’s 13-year history. In 2001, Aussie Stuart O’Grady grabbed his second overall win from German Kai Hundertmarck via intermediate sprints to win by two seconds.
“Goss is on really good form right now, but I came here to do the sprints anyway. I am definitely going to try. I think it is possible [for Meyer] if the tactics play out right for us and if I can do a decent sprint and keep Goss from getting too much time.”
Meyer, 23, is a two-time national time trial champion. He has won four gold medals at the track world championships: the team pursuit, the Madison and twice the points race.
He was active today on the race’s queen stage. He formed part of an 18-man chase group behind three leaders, including team-mate Jack Bobridge and Richie Porte, on the final climb of Willunga Hill. Goss and Sky’s Ben Swift were also in the group with eventual stage winner, Spain’s Ventoso.
“I did a maximal effort over the climb to get into that group,” said Swift. “There was a block head-wind, it was so hard to do anything.”
Swift had the help of Simon Gerrans and Mick Rogers. Spaniard Gorka Izagirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi) attacked into the head-wind with one kilometre remaining, but failed to get far. Ventoso took the win ahead Michael Matthews (Rabobank) and Goss – both stage winners in this tour.
Tour Down Under 2011, stage five: McLaren Vale to Willunga, 131km
1. Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar in 3-06-10
2. Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank
3. Matt Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad
4. Jose Rojas (Spa) Movistar
5. Luke Roberts (Aus) Uni SA-Australia
6. Robbie Hunter (RSA) RadioShack
7. Blel Kadri (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale
8. Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing
9. Ben Hermans (Bel) RadioShack
10. Ben Swift (GB) Team Sky all same time
Overall classification after stage five
1. Cameron Meyer (Aus) Garmin-Cervelo in 16-00-40
2. Matt Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad at 8secs
3. Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank at 10secs
4. Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank at 12secs
5. Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar at 17secs
6. Ben Swift (GB) Team Sky at 18secs
7. Blel Kadri (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale at 26secs
8. Andre Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 27secs
9. Allan Davis (Aus) Astana at 28secs
10. Luke Roberts (Aus) Uni SA-Australia at 28secs
Francisco Ventoso takes the penultimate stage of the 2011 Tour Down Under
Tour Down Under 2011: Related links
Tour Down Under 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index
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Tour Down Under 2011: Start list
Farrar heads Garmin-Cervelo’s Down Under assault
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Cavendish to start 2011 Tour Down Under
Farrar to ride Tour Down Under
Tour Down Under 2011: Stage reports
Tour Down Under 2011: Photo galleries