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Martin Kohler said he did everything he could to hang onto the race lead. (©Sirotti.)
Martin Kohler said he did everything he could to hang onto the race lead. (©Sirotti.)

Tour Down Under, Stage 5: Kohler Does His Best

21. gennaio 2012

Old Willunga Hill, South Australia

Martin Kohler and his teammates on the BMC Racing Team did their best to keep the overall lead Saturday at the Santos Tour Down Under. But the challenging finish climb up Old Willunga Hill proved to be too much for the Swiss national time trial champion on the race's penultimate day.

'Tried Very Hard'

Kohler was part of a select group of about 40 riders that reached the lower slopes of the climb for a second, and final, time. But when attacks began late in the 151.5 km race, he lost contact. "Of course I am a little bit disappointed, but the team did a really good job and I did the very best I could," Kohler said. "The last two kilometers I didn't have the legs to follow the really good climbers." Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) narrowly beat Simon Gerrans (GreenEDGE) in the uphill dash to the line. Kohler finished 17th, 1:18 later, as Gerrans became the new race leader with only a 90 km circuit race to come. "It was a good two days for Martin in the leader's jersey," BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Rik Verbrugghe said. "The team did real good work and Alessandro (Ballan) sacrificed himself for Martin. We can't win all the races, but we at least tried very hard."

Click here to see photos of the stage: