Propelled by the strong legs of Movistar’s Francisco Ventoso, the as-yet-unnamed 11-speed Campagnolo electronic derailleur system just captured its first WorldTour win. And it was a good one — the Santos Tour Down Under’s 131km fifth stage from McLaren Vale to Willunga, including two ascensions of the daunting Old Willunga Hill, is regarded as the race’s “queen stage.” Spanish riders, albeit ones using non-electric cables to move their derailleurs, have a great recent record of success in this stage; Luis León Sánchez won it last year, and Alberto Contador, followed by race-leader Sánchez in second, won it in 2005.
Ventoso said, “This is a massive victory for me, but more important for the team; we have a new sponsor this year.” He could have added that it’s an important milestone for the team’s component sponsor as well. Besides depending on crisp electronic shifting, the team improved its chances by riding the finish section twice in the days leading up to stage 5. Said Ventoso, “I knew the finish well.”