Richie Porte wins stage 5 of Tour Down Under

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) " Australia's Richie Porte emphatically won the fifth stage of the Tour Down Under cycle race Sunday to take an unassailable lead on general classification with one stage remaining.

Porte won the 151.5 kilometer (94 mile) stage from McLaren Vale to the peak of Old Willunga Hill for the fourth year in a row, powering away from the bunch on the climb to the finish line to lift his tally of stage wins on his home tour to five.

He made his break almost a kilometer out which might have been risky for any other rider. But Porte was strong enough to stay away, turning to check over his shoulder as he crested the summit and crossed the line 20 seconds ahead of compatriot Nathan Haas.

He increased his overall lead from 22 seconds at the start of the stage to 48 seconds over Esetban Chaves of Colombia who is three seconds ahead of Haas. Barring freak circumstances, there seems no chance for anyone making up the time on Porte in the final stage on Sunday " a 90 kilometer street circuit in downtown Adelaide.

"That hurt more than the other three (times) I've ridden up here," Porte said. "I went from quite a long way out and it's just incredible team work today. I'm just happy to finish it off for the guys.

"That street circuit in Adelaide is not easy and anything can happen there too," he said. "I'm happy with where I am at the moment. I've put some good time into the other guys and it will make tomorrow feel a little more relaxed for us."

Saturday's stage saw a break after 10 kilometers by Thomas De Gendt of Belgium, Will Clarke of Australia, Jeremy Maison of France and Jack Bauer of New Zealand. The quartet built a lead of up to four minutes and stayed away until the first of two climbs up Willunga Hill when Clarke dropped back to the bunch.

The remaining three riders stayed clear until five kilometers from the finish when the climbers such as Porte surged to the front of the peleton and began the vie in earnest for the stage win.

The climb up Willunga Hill is a stiff one " 3.5 kilometers of narrow and winding road " but one in which Porte rejoices and which he was able again on Saturday to make his own.

Gorka Izaguirre of Spain who started the day in second place on general classification lost touch with the leaders and dropped down the standings while Chaves and Haas moved up.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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