The general classification remains open at the Australian race with two days to go.
Dries Devenyns continued to make inroads in the overall standings at the season’s first World Tour event, on a day that was all about the infamous Corkscrew climb (2.3 kilometers, 8.9%). After tackling the Stirling, Aldgate and Hahndorf hills, where they allowed the six-man breakaway to nudge their maximum advantage to 4:30, the peloton began showing their intentions and trimmed the gap to a minute in the run-in to the stage’s main difficulty.
At the same time the lead group was splintering on the tough slopes of Corkscrew, Rémi Cavagna was going on the attack from the bunch, and even though he got caught after around 150 meters, his acceleration wasn’t without consequences, as more and more riders found the pace set by the pack behind the Frenchman too much and lost contact.
Four riders decided to throw caution to wind and attacked on the tough section of the climb, going over the top in the lead and putting some daylight between them and the chasers, which included also Dries Devenyns. The Belgian rode again a smart race, always alert and near the front of the group which made the catch on the fast and tricky descent, as they passed the 2km-to-go mark.
In the reduced sprint that followed, Dries squeezed himself between the other favourites and concluded the stage just outside the top 10, same time as the winner Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott), who overtook overall leader Patrick Bevin (CCC Team) on the flat finish in Campbelltown. In the general classification, Devenyns continues to be the highest-placed Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider, in 12th position, after gaining five places following his strong effort on stage 4, ridden at an average speed of 42.26km/h.
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