Oscar Onley of Team dsm-firmenich PostNL claimed the 129.3km THINK! Road Safety Stage 5 after a thrilling finish at Willunga Hill in the Santos Tour Down Under on Saturday.
The 21-year-old finished ahead of Israel Premier Tech’s Stephen Williams and Jhonatan Narváez of Ineos Grenadiers following a fast and gruelling climb.
Williams’ second place finish sees him take the Santos Ochre Leader’s Jersey heading into the final stage as previous leader, 20-year-old Mexican Isaac Del Toro (UAE Team Emirates), finished the stage in eighth – six seconds behind Onley.
In the race to the finish Onley took on experienced specialist climber Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal Quick-Step), sprinting up Willunga Hill ahead of the Frenchman who finished fourth.
Onley paid tribute to his team and a focus on tactics and strategy heading into the race.
“To be honest I came here with quite high expectations,” he said.
“Obviously you came into every race wanting to win but I really felt I had a good shot if I played it right. It was more about making sure I played it smart and didn’t waste energy in the wrong points.
“I really have to credit the team over the winter. (They) have kind of helped me with this kind of tactical game because I think in the past maybe I’ve had the legs to get better results but maybe I’ve not been tactically smart, so it’s something I’ve really focussed on the last few weeks."
Williams was thrilled to have snatched the overall lead with his second-place finish.
“I’m really, really glad, over the moon,” he said.
“We knew it was going to be close, obviously we’re on the same time, so I got it on a count back – luckily that sprint on Stage 2 came in handy.
“I’m really pleased to be in this jersey and (I can) give this back to the boys who (have) done such a good job today.”
The riders set a blistering pace following the Christies Beach start and it wasn’t long before Casper Pedersen (Soudal Quick-Step), Johan Jacobs (Movistar), Samuele Battistella (Astana Qazaqstan Team) and Liam Walsh (ARA Australian Cycling Team) broke away.
The group led the peloton and maintained a consistent gap either side of three minutes, with Walsh and Jacobs each claiming Ziptrak® Sprint wins.
The peloton was stretched around the halfway mark of the stage as average speeds topped 46km/h. The main group began to reel in the breakaway riders around the 85km mark as the climbers prepared to ascend Willunga Hill.
efex King of the Mountain leader Luke Burns from ARA Australian Cycling Team claimed the first King of the Mountain on lap one of Willunga Hill, while Alaphilippe won the second.
“We had a few different plans today and it just worked well that the break was caught at the bottom,” Burns said.
“And it wasn’t too flat out up the climb and I could sneak across for maximum points.”
22km: Ziptrak Sprint 1 - Main Road at Willunga Show Hall, Willunga
ARA Australian Cycling Team’s Liam Walsh took out Ziptrak® Sprint #1 ahead of Movistar’s Johan Jacobs and Astana Qazaqstan Team’s Samuele Battistella. The trio were part of an early breakaway which led from the outset of THINK! Road Safety Stage 5.
80.1km: Ziptrak Sprint 2 - Esplanade at Snapper Point near Butterworth Road, Aldinga Beach
Movistar’s Johan Jacobs claimed the second Ziptrak® Sprint of THINK! Road Safety Stage 5. Liam Walsh from ARA Australia Cycling Team and Samuele Battistella of Astana Qazaqstan Team crossed second and third respectively.
106.6km: efex King of the Mountain 1 - Willunga Hill (Category 1)
efex King of the Mountain leader Luke Burns took out the first climb of THINK! Road Safety Stage 5, powering across the line ahead of Jardi Christiaan van der Lee of EF Education-Easypost and Burns’ teammate Luke Howson.
129.1km: efex King of the Mountain 2 - Willunga Hill (Category 1)
French climber Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal Quick-Step) won the second efex King of the Mountain climb ahead of stage winner Oscar Onley from Team dsm-firmenich PostNL and Israel Premier Tech's Stephen Williams.
All the jerseys
Overall Stage Winner – Oscar Onley (Team dsm-firmenich PostNL)
Santos Leader’s Jersey – Stephen Williams (Israel Premier Tech)
efex King of the Mountain – Luke Burns (ARA Australian Cycling Team)
Ziptrak Sprinter’s Jersey – Sam Welsford (Bora-hansgrohe)
Zwift Young Rider’s Jersey – Oscar Onley (Team dsm-firmenich PostNL)
Most Competitive – Casper Pederson (Soudal Quick-Step)