Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) knows a thing or two about close finishes atop Old Willunga Hill.
The Australian lost out by the narrowest of margins there last year, when Spain’s Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) crowned a return from a two-year doping suspension by pipping Gerrans at the line.
This year, however, Gerrans, who went on to win last year’s race, contested a similarly close sprint with Tom Jelte Slagter (Blanco) on Australia Day – and must have known that fate was on his side.
Australia is a country that takes sport seriously, and the significance of victory on the Queen stage of the national tour, from a home-grown winner defending his title, will not have been lost upon the millions enjoying the country’s day of national celebration.
Amid the joyful Aussies was an Italian with a camera – our man, Stefano Sirotti. Here are his images from stage five of the 2013 Tour Down Under.
Old Willunga Hill presents a daunting prospect for even the world’s best road cyclists
World road race champion, Philippe Gilbert, receives final, pre-race instructions
The riders enjoy the Adelaide coast, close to McLaren Vale