Brave until the end
25 January 2014

Tour Down Under (st. 5)

Lobato enters day's break as Plaza (13th) shows courage with late attacks for a fine Movistar Team in Willunga - Gutiérrez unable to start with stomach problems

Only four riders left for the main battle, yet giving everything until the very end. That was the destiny of the Movistar Team into an atrocious 2014 Tour Down Under for the Blues, who started the Queen stage -151km between McLaren Vale and the double passage through the Old Willunga Hill, the place where Valverde got back to winning ways in 2012- with another rider down after a third abandon by Iván Gutiérrez, due to stomach problems.

Juanjo Lobato made part of the early break of the day together with Voigt (TFR), Trentin (OPQ) and Ignatyev (KAT), chased back at the foot of the first ascent and kept alive by a courageous Rubén Plaza, whose two attacks kept the telephone squad at the front and attentive, with three units -Plaza himself, Moreno and Erviti- into the definitive selection of about 30 riders. Plaza, 13th across the finish, will end his participation with an overall top-15 as Gerrans (OGE) enters the streets of Adelaide in ochre after bridging his gap to Evans (BMC). Richie Porte (SKY) was the strongest on the climb to take the stage.