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
Team Sky controlled the race to the foot of Old Willunga Hill. The effort of doing so is clear to see
Unlike Great Britain, riding in Australia in January can be thirsty work
The toll taken on Simon Gerrans by the effort of victory is evident in his expression