BMC’s strength in numbers and desire to take the Tour Down Under by the scruff of the neck paid off on stage three with Rohan Dennis soloing to his first individual win for the team and Cadel Evans taking second on the uphill finish in Paracombe.
The American registered team came into the first WorldTour race of the 2015 season with cards to play and on Thursday’s stage they used their hand to perfection, with Dennis catching the main GC rivals by surprise before Evans won the battle for second. The result sees Dennis take over the race lead with Evans three second in arrears.
“We had a plan and covering on two bases but I want to lend a favour to my teammates where I can and when it’s favourable and Rohan and Peter [Stetina] were ready to do to a attack anywhere they could and it really worked out for us and I’m sure Rohan will be really happy about that,” Evans said at the finish.
Asked if Dennis’s move had been planed, Evans confirmed that BMC had been looking to go on the front foot in the first truly decisive stage in the overall batlle.
“It’s a risk, and it’s pretty windy here and last year at Willunga where I had to make a selection early it cost more when I had to cover the attacks for the wining moves and today might have been a bit the same with this climb. There’s only so many big digs you can do so with Rohan it was one less dig that I had to do.”
With BMC holding the top two places in GC their chances of overall success has certainly increased but the stage to Willunga Hill will ultimately determine the final race winner.
“We’ll look to stay where we are and maintain it but there’s still a lot of racing to go and particularly Saturday on Willing.”
“We’ve got a reasonable GC rider in the wings ready to take over if Rohan can’t hold it together for the next few days but he’s a guy who has the physical talent and with some time he can learn to harness that.”