The final stage six of the 2020 Tour Down Under was set up perfectly for a scintillating GC battle to crown the winner.
Defending champion Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) had overturned Richie Porte’s initial race lead by gaining bonus seconds at intermediate sprints and now led the Trek-Segafredo rider by two seconds.
The 151.5km stage six route starting from McLaren Vale was backloaded with the day’s entertainment. Following a circuit featuring two intermediate sprints at Snapper Point, the peloton would climb Willunga Hill twice, the second time being the summit finish of the stage.
The first category climb is 3.7km in length with an average gradient of 6.8 per cent. Whoever’s legs proved strongest up the second ascent would surely win the ochre jersey.
As well as Impey and Porte, Simon Yates was only 13 seconds down on GC and would provide a second option for Mitchelton-Scott should Impey falter.
Meanwhile, George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) and Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) were only a little more than 15 seconds behind. Ineos’ Rohan Dennis would also be looking to leave everything out on the road in his first race for his new team, and only sat 17 seconds down at the start of the stage.
You can read our full race report here.
Richie Porte has won the Willinga Hill stage for six years running, but last year it was Impey who finished the stage in third on the same time as Porte and secured the overall victory by 13 seconds.