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Tour Down Under 2018: Stage 3

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We're closing gin on the stage of stage 3 at the santons Tour Down Under. The big news today continues to be the heat, which is forecast to top 40 degrees. 

Caleb Ewan will start the day in the ochre jersey after winning stage 2 in Stirling yesterday. You can read more about the stage HERE.

Stage 2 Top 10:

General Classification after stage 2:

Points Classification Top 10:

Mountains Classification:

Young Rider Classification top 10:

Teams Classification:

The start is just half an hour away. Still time for the riders to jump into the ocean and cool off.

Today's stage will start with a 7.2km neutral roll out. Half the distance of yesterday's neutral.

The one and only KOM in stage 3 comes at 38km on Pennys Hill Road. The category 1 climb averages 7.6 per cent over 2.8km. Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data) leads the mountains classification after winning both KOMs so far.

The first sprint of the day comes at 61.6km in Myponga. The second and final intermediate sprint comes at 88.3km in Inman Valley. Just over 20km later the peloton will start their 13km finishing lap on The Esplanade near Albert Place in Victor Harbor. Caleb Ewan currently leads the points competition ahead of Peter Sagan and Nathan Haas.

In the latest episode of the Cyclingnews Podcast – brought to you in association with Prendas Ciclismo and Pinarello – we hear from Andre Greipel, Caleb Ewan, Richie Porte, Adam Hansen and Steve Morabito, who dislocated his shoulder in a crash on stage 2 but then popped it back in and finished the stage. Give it a listen while you're waiting for the stage to start.

There is more Chris Froome news today regarding the case of his salbutamol adverse analytical finding. New UCI President David Lappartient said it's important to protect riders' rights in such cases. Read more HERE.

Things are picking up on the start line. About five minutes to roll out.

Mitchelton-Scott DS Matt White says today's stage is a "sprinter's paradise." That should be welcome news for the fast men, who will need to survive the day's heat and potential winds on the way to Victor Harbor.

We're expecting the peloton to roll out any minute now. Buckle up!

Team Sky recruit Egan Bernal is competing in his first race with the team at the Tour Down Under. You can check out his new Pinarello race machine HERE.

The race is rolling for the 7km neutral start.

Yesterday's breakaway took off immediately following the 14km neutral. Nicholas Dlamini, Will Clarke and Scott Bowden all made the move for the second consecutive day. They were joined by Movistar neo-pro Jaimie Castrillo, who was the sole survivor to be caught at just over 10km to go.

If you missed yesterday's stage or just want to relive the excitement, you can watch the highlights video HERE.

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Our Zeb Woodpower spoke with Caleb Ewan about yesterday's stage win:

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With our two leader out front, Ewan's Mitchelton-Scott team put two riders on the front. Lotto Soudal are lined up behind them.

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Reports from the road say temps have reached 42.5 degrees. That's 108 degrees Fahrenheit for the yanks.

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Dlamini sat up yesterday after winning maximum points on the only KOM early in the race. Is that the same strategy today? That would leave Bowden out front alone with a long, long ways to go.

Bowden is trying to drop Dlamni ahead of the KOM, but the South African is fighting off the attacks. Meanwhile, the gap is now down to 4:10.

Dlamini wins the KOM, adding another 16 points to his total and extending his lead over Clarke. 

There are still some KOM points on the line for the peloton. Will Will Clarke go for it?

Bowden's effort on the climb cost him, and now he's dangling about 20 seconds behind Dlamini

Race organisers just announced that stage 4 will start 1 hour earlier than planned tomorrow, at 10:30 a.m. local time, due to forecasts for extreme heat.

Dlamini's lead is down to 3:30. He's sat up in the feed zone to wait for Bowden. That's probably a good call on this blistering hot day.

The race is now closing in on the first sprint of the day. There are also bonus second up for grabs here.

The gap to the leaders is down to just 2:05

Steve Morabito's Tour Down Under has come to an end after he dislocated his shoulder in a crash yesterday. He finished the stage and even rode to the hotel, but the pain was too much to start today. Read Daniel Benson's report HERE.

A BMC rider launched an attack from the peloton, but he's been quickly reeled back in.

Bora's Sam Bennett snagged third in the intermediate sprint, denying the one-second bonus from Daryl Impey.

52km remaining from 120km

Dlamini is still in no-man's land, 25 seconds behind Bowden

Bowden is in the drops powering on ahead with a 1:40 gap.

The peloton has Dlamini in sight. Another productive day for the South African, but he'll be back in the bunch soon.

Dlamini takes a drink from his bottle as the peloton rolls up on him. The bunch is spread across the road as the riders approach.

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Bowden is enjoying a descent at the moment and has taken his gap out over two minutes

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Bowden is hugging the left side of the road because it's lined with trees and provides a bit of shade, a brief respite from the direct sun.

Bowden is now 5km from the second and final intermediate sprint.

Bowden is enjoying nice descent now. I'm sure it feels good, but in this heat it's probably a lot like having a car heater blowing you in the face.

We're 2 hours and 15 minutes into the stage and there are 34km remaining.

Bowden collects maximum points and a three-second time bonus at the sprint.

There are still bonuses of two and one second on the line, and Katusha's Jhonatan Restrepo, sixth overall, attacks.

Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin) beat Jay McCarthy(Bora-Hansgrohe) to the line. He'll get the two-second bonus and McCarthy gets one. Both riders figure into the GC, with McCarthy currently 3rd (on the road), now 11 seconds back, and Haas in fifth, now at 13 seconds back.

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Race moto showing 43 degrees on the thermometer. Yikes!

Damien Howson (Mitchelton-Scott) is pulling the peloton along now. With a sprinter like Ewan to ride for, Howson spends a lot of time on the front.

20km remaining from 120km

Oooooh they've got him int heir sights now. He's dangling just ahead of the bunch, which is spread across the road.

Will there be a reshuffling now with Bowden back in the fold or will the teams be satisfied keeping an eye on each other over the final circuit?

4km until the peloton reaches Victor Harbor and the final 13km circuit.

It's Tiago Machado off the front now. No reaction at all from the peloton. He's riding away to a nice gap.

Machado took off with about 17km remaining. There still appears to be no real chase in the bunch and his gap keeps going out.

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Riders are approaching the finish line before they start the final 13km circuit. There are a couple tricky turns in the final kilometres that they'll get a preview of now.

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1km to go!!

The peloton is string out with Mitchelton-Scott talking control with four riders ahead of Ewan.

A Lotto Soudal riders has taken the lead.

Ewan in a serious battle for the wheels. He's third wheel and in perfect position.

Elia Viviani takes the win for Quick-Step Floors.

It appears Ewan wanted to let his lead-out man Edmondson win, but Viviani sneaked past at the line and Ewan couldn't recover.

Stage 3 top 10:

Remember, tomorrow's stage 4 starts an hour earlier than initially scheduled. The stage will start at 10:30 a.m.

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