Lloyd takes climber's lead in Sun Tour

Matt Lloyd took over the lead in the 'King of the Mountains' classification after finishing second on stage 3 of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour. The 23 year-old Victorian was beaten in a two up sprint by Sydney's Trent Wilson (Jayco Australian National Team) who won the 158.5km stage from Bendigo to Nagambie, but Lloyd had done enough on the stage to secure the climber's jersey.

"There were a lot of attacks at the start of the stage but they were all quite large and a few of them potentially had guys who could challenge for overall honours, so there was a reluctance by the bunch to let them get away," said Lloyd. "At the first major climb I attacked a few times and then got clear with a bunch of around 15."

Lloyd picked up the maximum points over the climb and then settled in with a group of five others to increase their lead on the bunch. "We all worked together until about 20 kilometres from the finish when the attacking started," explained Lloyd. "Trent Wilson and I finally managed to escape to contest the finish and unfortunately I was beaten."

Lloyd had hoped to be contesting overall honours but a crash on the opening criterium stage on Sunday saw him lose time and he has now refocused on stage and climbing goals. "Obviously I would have like to have won the Tour but you have to be realistic and after the crash I had to reassess," said Lloyd who is still sporting a sore hip from the crash. "Now I'll concentrate on the mountains and any stages that suit my style."

Lloyd recently signed a contract with ProTour team Davitamon-Lotto to begin in 2007. The deal came after his success with Southaustralia.com-AIS in 2006 which included third overall in the U26 Giro d'Italia and fifth overall in the Tour of Japan.

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