Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Serge Pauwels was amongst the strongest riders during the queen stage of the Santos Tour Down Under. Pauwels finished as 22nd, 43 seconds behind stage winner Simon Gerrans (Orica - Greenedge) at Old Willunga Hill.
An early breakaway of 8 riders dominated the stage, but in the finale the GC contenders took command. Pauwels and Peter Velits were in the select front group, which strung out in the final kilometres. Gerrans and Tom-Jelte Slagter (Blanco) battled for the stagewin together. Gerrans beated the young Dutchman, who took over the lead in the overall classification with only one stage to go. Pauwels finished 22nd in the stage, team mate Velits finished 29th.
In the overall rankings Pauwels is standing in 20th position, 1 minute and 16 seconds behind Slagter. Tomorrow is the 6th and final stage over 90 kilometres in Adelaide.