22 Jan 2012

Valverde edges stage, Gerrans claims lead

8:32 am on 22 January 2012

Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde claimed an emotional Tour Down Under stage five victory by the narrowest of margins over local favourite Simon Gerrans but could not prevent his Australian rival from seizing the leader's Ochre jersey on Saturday.

At the end of the 151.5 kilometre trek from McLaren Vale to Old Willunga Hill, Moviestar rider Valverde crossed the line a few centimetres ahead of Gerrans in three hours, 45 minutes and 48 seconds in the penultimate stage south of Adelaide.

Both riders are tied for the lead in terms of overall time but a countback of previous stage placings has put the GreenEdge rider in top spot ahead of Sunday's final stage, a 90km criterium around the streets of Adelaide.