The winner of the third stage of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, Carlos Barredo (Liberty Seguros), credited his cool head for allowing him beat the other 10 riders in the breakaway. Barredo, a third year pro who had had only one win to his credit before yesterday, is renowned as a strong rider, one who often makes long but ultimately unsuccessful breakaways. He did so in several of the big classics last year, and there is no question that he has excellent endurance.
Barredo took advantage of the fact that he was nearly 24 minutes down on the general classification to start the breakaway after just four kilometres of the 154 km stage between Strathalbyn and Yankalilla. "From the first day I was looking for a break and was a little disappointed at not managing it, so today I decided to do it. I had a strong desire, because I am feeling very strong. This winter, I trained with a lot of intensity and started the race at a lighter weight than last year.
Barredo attacked the break with 50 km to go, taking Matt Hayman with him. But when he dropped his chain, the group came back together and he was forced to attack again, taking Botcharov, Becke, Pauwels, Evans and Jerome with him. Finally, he managed to ride everyone off his wheel with 10 km to go to win by a minute and a half.
"Today I was surprised because in the break there was some very good riders, but for the first time in my career I have raced coolly, not like last year. Besides, today I had with me a rosary that Nosti, a member of my cycling club, gave me for doing the Tour of Flanders last year. 'Take it when you want,' he said to me, and today I decided to put it into my jersey, so when I came to the finish, I put it on to celebrate the victory.
"The difference between last year and this one is that in 2005 I was getting into all the breaks but I never won. Now, I have won in the first one of the year. My objective this season is to continue progressing - that especially - but I would also be happy with riding one grand tour for the first time . And yes, I dream more of riding the classics again, especially the Tour of Flanders, but I know that I must continue learning."