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Santos Tour Down Under. Stage 5. Davide Ballerini closes Top-10

Astana’s Davide Ballerini finished 10th at the 5th stage of the Santos Tour Down Under, culminated with a bunch sprint on the streets of Strathalbyn. The team leader Luis Leon Sanchez crossed the line just behind Ballerini, on 11th position.

- The sprint was not bad for me, but I think I could do it better. In the final I’ve got a good help from Luis Leon Sanchez and I would like to thank him. In general, the whole team did a great job for me today. In the last bunch of turns I entered on fourth-fifth position, but later I was boxed in a bit, I had to brake and could not find the way back in front to start the sprint as I wanted. Anyway, it was the last sprint in this race and tomorrow me as well as all the team will be ready to support Luis Leon, - said Davide Ballerini.

As the winner of the stage after relegation of the Australian Caleb Ewan was named the Belgian rider Jasper Philipsen.

The final of stage 5 has been overshadowed by a crash in the peloton; fortunately, nobody of Astana Pro Team was involved in it.

- Indeed, there was a crash with 6-7 km out just before the finish, many riders were involved, including the race leader. But, fortunately, nobody of our riders crashed down. Only Laurens De Vreese was affected a bit having to brake hard, but he did not fall down. In the final, as it was expected everything ended with a bunch sprint. Ballerini had a good position, but in the end he got boxed in on the last straight. Anyway he finished 10th and Sanchez was just behind him. Tomorrow is a big stage and we will see what happens there, - said Lars Michaelsen, sports director of Astana Pro Team.

In the general classification Patrick Bevin, who crashed badly, still keeps the lead, while Luis Leon Sanchez is third, 16 seconds behind.

The final and the most decisive stage 6 with a double Willunga Hill climbing will be held tomorrow: 151,5 km from McLaren Vale to the top of famous Willunga Hill.

Photo credit: © Tim De Waele/Getty Images

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