Result: Simon Gerrans claims home win on Australia Day

Australian Simon Gerrans after winning a race in Milan on March 17, 2012
© AP Photos
Melbourne's Simon Gerrans claims the fifth stage of the Tour Down Under to ensure that Australia Day finishes with a local rider crossing the line first.

Local favourite Simon Gerrans has claimed his first stage victory in this year's Tour Down Under on Australia Day after holding off a late charge from new overall leader Tom Slatger.

Gerrans won the tour outright last season and handled the daunting 151km climb up Willunga Hill to move ahead heading towards the finish line.

A chasing pack featuring Slatger and Team Sky's Geraint Thomas closed the gap in the home straight but Gerrans eased clear to record a memorable stage win.

In a tight tussle for second place Slatger lasted the pace to take a narrow lead over Thomas and Javier Moreno in the overall standings heading into tomorrow's final stage.

The win for Gerrans was Australia's only stage success of their home tour to date and a first triumph for the Orica GreenEDGE team in the Tour Down Under.

Geraint Thomas
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