Allan Davis Defies Expectations and Annihilates Competition on TDU's Stage Five

James ThompsonCorrespondent IJanuary 24, 2009

On today's Stage Five of the Tour Down Under, the stage that was expected to shake up the classification leading into tomorrow's finale, current race leader Allan Davis (QuickStep) defied expectations and solidified his lead with his third stage win of the year.

In today's queen stage, with two laps up Willunga Mountain late in the race, the climbers were expected to put in attacks to wither away the sprinters and take over the classification. 

Early in the stage, a group of  riders consisting of Jack Bobridge, Travis Meyer (UniSA-Australia), Anders Lund (Saxo Bank), Sergey Klimov (Katusha), and Matthieu Sprick (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) took off ahead of the peloton to work up an advantage.

However, Davis's QuickStep team took a firm hold of the peloton and chased down the breakaway in ernest before their arrival at Willunga.  This pace shattered the main peloton, which split in two, and previous stage winner and runner-up in the GC, Graeme Brown (Rabobank) was isolated in the group behind and lost all chances of victory.

On the second lap up Willunga, Matt Lloyd (Silence-Lotto) and David Moncoutie (Cofidis) set off, with Lance Armstrong (Astana) trying to join them, but ended up back in the peloton.

Team QuickStep was still driving the peloton hard, and reined in the breakaway riders to set it up for a sprint finish after the grueling climb.  Allan Davis was set up perfectly and took his third win, ahead of Jose Joaquin Rojas (Caisse d'Epargne) and Martin Elminger (AG2R).

Stuart O'Grady (Saxobank) once again got fourth, but with Brown now off the menu, O'Grady moves up to second overall behind Davis.

Davis wholeheartedly thanked his team for keeping the race under control and allowing him a platform to win on the race's most important day.