As it has done in previous editions, the 2017 Tour Down Under‘s key climbing stage to Willunga Hill proved to be the decisive feature of the race.

Overall race leader Richie Porte (BMC Racing) used the final ascent to leave his rivals standing and all but sew up a first general classification victory in the opening WorldTour race.

Porte attacked in the final kilometre of the climb, in an also identical high-powered move that had already seen him net stage two and with it the ochre jersey of overall leader.

>>> Tour Down Under 2017: Latest news, reports and info

Although they knew it was coming, his rivals could not match his move with Team Sky‘s Sergio Henao failing to capitalise on his squad’s earlier work. Porte took his fourth consecutive win on the hill unchallenged.

A group of four riders led by a resurgent Nathan Haas (Dimension Data) came home 20 seconds down on Porte. Colombian hope Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) finished just behind Haas.

>>> Richie Porte sets up Tour Down Under overall win with emphatic victory on Willunga Hill

Chaves now sits at 48 seconds behind Porte overall, with Haas in third at 51 seconds.

The 2017 Tour Down Under concludes on Sunday with a fast 90km criterium around Adelaide that is expected to finish with a bunch sprint.