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Tour Down Under 2019: Stage 3

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Hello and welcome to our live coverage from stage 3 of the Santos Tour Down Under, the first race of the 2019 UCI WorldTour.

 

 

Howdy race fans! We're expecting a good one today!

 

Stage 3 of the Tour Down Under is set to start in 20 minutes for a whopper of a lumpy stage with more than 3,330 metres - nearly 11,000 feet - of climbing over 146.2km from Lobethal to Uralida.

 

The day starts with two 17.1km loops that start in Lobethal and take in Charleston along the way. After the second time around the circuit, the race heads north to Cudlee Creek, then turns southwest to Lenswood and Carey Gully, where the race starts the first of seven 13.9km loops. The finishing circuit takes in Piccadilly, Summertown and Uraidla, where the race concludes.

Two intermediate sprints with points and time bonuses on offer come during the opening laps, with the first up for grabs after just 4.7km when the race reaches Charleston for the first time. The second sprint comes in the same spot the next time around. The race then climbs briefly and descends to Cudlee Creek for the start of the ascent to the only KOM of the day at Fox Creek, 37.9km into the stage.

A small descent and climb lead to the lumpy final circuit, which cedes little flat ground to the peloton as the riders tackle 3,337 metres / 10,948 feet of climbing.

 

Current temperatures in Lobethal are 32 C / 89 F for what will be a pleasant diversion from the past two days' rampant heat. Forecasts for Uraidla, where the bulk of today's racing will take place, call for a high of 33 C / 91 F.

 

It's kangaroo-meeting day again at the Tour Down Under, and some of your favourite riders have been getting to know the locals. Our roving reporters have caught the action...

 

Peter Sagan 

 

 Elia Viviani

Unlike the first two stages, which started with neutral roll outs and slowly gathered steam, today's stage begins when the flag drops on Main Street in Lobethal in front of the centennial Hall. 

 

The first intermediate sprint comes at 4.7km, and the second at 18.6. This should be a crazy start!

 

In his stage 3 preview for Cyclingnews, Mitchelton-Scott DS Matt White shared his insights:


"On paper, this stage looks quite challenging. There are over 3,300 metres of climbing, and when you consider that this is the first heavy effort of the season for many of the riders, it could be enough to cause some damage within the peloton.

 

"The finishing circuit is going to be decisive, and overall this is going to be a solid day of racing and one that should separate the men from the boys,"

 

Read the rest of White's preview and check outage course map and profile HERE

 

Dimension Data's Ben O'Connor had this to say before the stage:

 

"I think it's a bit of an opportunistic day today, and I think a group of five or 10 may go. I'm not sure whether I'm punchy enough, as I think today's stage probably suits more of a puncheur. They probably have a better chance than the GC guys, because the climbs are maybe not long enough. The GC riders might actually look to save themselves a bit more, and so a little group may be able to make the most of it. But it's a dangerous day, because sometimes if a puncheur can get over Corkscrew [on stage 4] and Willunga [on stage 6] – someone like [current race leader] Paddy Bevin – then they could probably win the race."

 

We spoke to O'Connot about last season and this year's opportunities. You can read that HERE

 

Aaaaaannnnnnd we're racing! Buckle up...

 

Paddy Bevin (CCC Team) pulled off quite a feat yesterday, winning the stage 2 sprint and pulling on the race leader's jersey. In the latest edition of the Cyclingnews Podcast, we talk about his big day. You can LISTEN HERE

 

Time bonuses are crucial at the Tour Down Under, and Mitchelton-Scott director Matt White told us if Bevin gets another five seconds, the GC battle could be over. Read more about what White said HERE

 

We caught up at the start with neo-pro @MikkelHonore: "I'm enjoying every moment with the guys here. So far it's be… https://t.co/4TNdIKtDph

@deceuninck_qst Thu, 17th Jan 2019 00:37:53

Elia Viviani made quick work of the first sprint in Charleston, beating Kristoffer Halvorsen (Team Sky) and Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates)

 

136km remaining from 146km

Seven riders have broken away after the first sprint and have 1:30 on the field. Those riders are:

 

Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data)
James Whelan (EF Education First)
Nico Denz (AG2R La Mondiale)
Manuele Boaro (Astana)
Leo Vincent (Groupama-FDJ)
Elia Viviani (Decenuninck-QuickStep)
Michael Potter (UniSA-Australia)

 

The second and final intermediate sprint comes with 127.6km remaining

 

Speaking of Dlamani, we spoke with him before the stage:

 

"It's always nice having a few cards to play, and we have Tom-Jelte Slagter, Ben O'Connor and Michael Valgren. We're really looking forward to the stage and to playing all our cards today. So we're going for the stage win – nothing less – so we're going to give it a good go.

 

"We've done the circuits; we've done a lot of recon. We came here a week early and did recces of all the stages. And today's going to be tough. It's hot and will be an attritional race, and so there's going to be a big shake-up in the GC.

 

"I'm here as a support rider this year, as we're trying to win the race. I would have loved to have tried to defend my 'king of the mountains' jersey from last year, but I'm here to try to help the team get a good result."

 

Before we get too far into today's stage, let's look at the current top 10 overall. You can see the full results from yesterday HERE

 

1 Patrick Bevin (NZl) CCC Team 6:34:03
2 Elia Viviani (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:05
3 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal 0:00:09
4 Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb
5 Artyom Zakharov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
6 Jason Lea (Aus) UniSA-Australia 0:00:10
7 Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb
8 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:11
9 Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC Team
10 Jaime Castrillo (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:12

 

The leaders are 1km away from the second sprint with a gap of 2:40

 

Bevin's CCC Team is leading the chase

 

Viviani gets sprint number 2 ahead of Nico Denz and Leo Vincent.

 

That's a quick six seconds for the Italian, who started the day five seconds behind Bevin. He's the virtual leader on the road by one second, plus the current gap.

 

The race will leave the Lobethal loop soon and head toward Cudlee Creek. Then the Fox Creek KOM comes at 37.9km.

 

Nathan Haas (Katusha Alpecin) is expecting a difficult day today. We spoke to him at the start:

 

"It's like a mini-Ardennes stage but the climbing comes in about half the distance. I actually stayed unknowingly on the course over December. I rented a house basically in Somerton and when I got up the gpx file, I realised the house was on the course. I've probably ridden this more than anyone else has done just by accident.

 

"The truth is, the heat is going to become an attrition factor today. It's going to be aggressive, and at the same time I think people's batteries are going to be less charged than they think on the final laps and we're going to see some favourites fall out and some of the underdogs perhaps fill those places."

 

We also caught up with race leader Paddy Bevin before the start:

 

"If we get to the finish, or if I get to the finish and fighting for it, the stage has been a huge success, and at the end of the day we've gone out and taken time, other teams have to go and do that now.

 

"It has the potential to get a bit messy out there, but if we come to the finish with the main group, we've had a really good day as a team and we live to fight again tomorrow."

 

 Patrick Bevin at the start of stage 3

2018 Tour Down Under champion Daryl Impey was ready to go this morning in his South African champ's kit

 

 

113km remaining from 146km

The leaders are seeing 5km to the KOM at Fox Creek

 

Jason lea currently leads the KOM contest by a healthy margin, bit Boaro is back in the breakaway today.

 

1. Jason Lea (Aus) UniSA-Australia 20 pts
2.  Artyom Zakharov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 12
3.  Patrick Bevin (NZl) CCC Team 4
4.  Jaime Castrillo (Spa) Movistar Team 4
5.  Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb 2
6.  Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Pro Team 2

 

Once again, our seven rider breakaway includes:

 

Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data)
James Whelan (EF Education First)
Nico Denz (AG2R La Mondiale)
Manuele Boaro (Astana)
Leo Vincent (Groupama-FDJ)
Elia Viviani (Decenuninck-QuickStep)
Michael Potter (UniSA-Australia)

 

At last check, they had 2:55 over the bunch and were closing in on the Fox Creek KOM at 37.9km

 

It looks like Boara has beaten Potter to take maximum points at the Fox Creek KOM. We'll check back with official results.

 

It's Officially Manuele Boaro, Michale Potter and then James Whelan at the one and only KOM of the day.

 

103km remaining from 146km

The gap is up to 3:15 to our seven leaders

 

Daryl Impey had this to say when we caught up with him this morning on Lobethal:

 

"The objective is still the same as from the start of the race. We have to get through these stages before we start to think about the end goal. We'll take it day-by-day. Bevin has a nice buffer now and it's going to be difficult to get some time on him. He's fast and he climbs pretty well. He's like me.

 

"I guess it's a strong team that's going to try and derail his chances, and we're going to try and put pressure on him when we can. Today is a good opportunity. It's realistic, it's good opportunity to win. I was close last year. It suits me but it also suits a lot of people. It's a stage where we want to get some time"

 

What's that? You want to see more pictures of Peter Sagan and the baby roos. Well, you've come to the right place.

 

 

Richie Porte is expecting some fireworks today on the final circuits, although he doesn't;t think it will be a big GC day. We spoke with hi at the start:

 

"Obviously, we went to have a look at it. It's not an easy course, it's a technical course, it's up and down. I think it's going to be a good test, but I don't think it's going to be the stage that decides the overall GC. But you know, Patrick Bevin yesterday was brilliant and it's not going to be easy to beat him from here."

 

 

90km remaining from 146km

The gap is down to 2:37 as the race heads through Piccadilly for the first time.

 

Although Porte expects a tough stage that won't be decisive for the GC, EF Education First's Michael Woods disagrees. Here's what he told us at the start:

 

"It's going to be a crucial GC day with the heat. It's going to be a tough stage to control just because of how much climbing there is. It's a real day where you can mess up. We'll start hard and it's a really tight race. Guys like Impey and Bevin will go on the attack. We plan to play it cool."

 

#TourDownUnder With temperatures above 35 degrees, @TMarczynski picks up bottles for his teammates at the car… https://t.co/ScgfiyEVcl

@Lotto_Soudal Thu, 17th Jan 2019 01:53:55

Marco Haller was one of the riders caught up in yesterday's crash near the finish. We spoke with the Katusha rider this morning at the start:


"It wasn't perfect. I had a tough night with a sore neck. I can't complain, though, because it could have been a lot worse. I'm all good and ready to go.

 

"Today I'll be back on domestique duties. We have a couple of guys who have a strong finish and are decent on the climbs. We want to support them and we want to be there in numbers."

 

 

Ah Stage 3 of the #TDU I have my mug of chai so I'm set. #CouchPeloton

@icemanbb Thu, 17th Jan 2019 02:04:15

The race is going under the finish banner for the second time. Inside the final kilometre there is a downhill with a hard right turn that leads to a slightly uphill finish. If it's a bunch kick, it will be FAST!

 

81km remaining from 146km

The seven leaders maintain a gap of 1:45

 

This circuit includes a tricky 12 per cent climb up Spring Gully Road in Piccadilly.

 

73km remaining from 146km

The leaders are looking strong on the circuit, a rolling, winding road that is lined with trees on occasion. Currently their gap is 1:45. 

 

There are the seven riders in the breakaway:

Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data)
James Whelan (EF Education First)
Nico Denz (AG2R La Mondiale)
Manuele Boaro (Astana)
Leo Vincent (Groupama-FDJ)
Elia Viviani (Decenuninck-QuickStep)
Michael Potter (UniSA-Australia)

 

72km remaining from 146km

The leaders are on the final climb before the finish on the circuit. They've got a few more laps to go, but this long grind could be tough for the sprinters in the finale. 

 

This morning at the start in Lobethal a shop had its own tribute to Paul Sherwen. You can read Phil Liggett's memorial to the late TV commentator and broadcast partner HERE

 

 

67km remaining from 146km

Five more circuits to go for the seven race leaders and the 126-rider peloton.

 

Caleb Ewan has faded back to the rear of the peloton to seek service for an unspecified problem

 

Several teams are pushing quite the tempo in the peloton, keen to bring back the escapees before the business end o… https://t.co/gKVeWkZAWY

@deceuninck_qst Thu, 17th Jan 2019 02:31:33

62km remaining from 146km

The leaders are feeling the pain on Spring Gulley Road now.

 

58km remaining from 146km

The CCC Team chase for race leader Paddy Bevin has pulled the seven-rider breakaway group back to 1:10. Is CCC riding a little too fast? There's still a long way to go.

 

Our leaders are going through the feed zone with 57km to go. It's a little cooler today with more cloud cover, but it's still blazing hot. 

There was a discussion between team managers at the start, but the majority decided not to ask for the stage to be shortened like the previous two days.

 

Viviani continues to be the virtual leader on the road. He started the day in second, five seconds behind Bevin. But he's also already won both of the stage 3 intermediate sprints, and with them six bonus seconds. If he finishes with Bevin in a bunch kick with the same time, he could retake the lead.

 

And just like that, Viviani has pulled the pin on his day in the breakaway and is fading back to the peloton.

 

 

54km remaining from 146km

Our six leaders now have one minute on the bunch. Left to trudge on are:

 

Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data)
James Whelan (EF Education First)
Nico Denz (AG2R La Mondiale)
Manuele Boaro (Astana)
Leo Vincent (Groupama-FDJ)
Michael Potter (UniSA-Australia)

 

50km remaining from 146km

With 50km remaining to race, our six leaders have 1:15 on the peloton, which has been showing signs of splitting under the pressure of this course and the heat. Caleb Ewan made it back to the peloton, but he's tail gunning at the moment.

 

Here's the finish line in Uraidla, a small town in the Adelaide Hills. 

 

 

Bevin's CCC Team continues to lead the chase back in the peloton. The race leader and crew are holding the leaders' advantage to right around 90 seconds, watching the kilometres tick by and waiting for other teams to take up the chase in search of a stage win, or for an opportunistic rider to try and springboard up the road to victory.

 

#hardasnails #hallerlujah https://t.co/RV6yNlY2f1

@katushacycling Thu, 17th Jan 2019 03:11:04

There's been a crash in the peloton! Many riders down and they're blocking the road. It's allow-speed affair and it looks like everyone is OK.

 

37km remaining from 146km

The crash has caused split in the main field, while the six leaders may take advantage of the current chaos.

 

Despite the crash, the breakaway's gap is down to 35 seconds.

 

35km remaining from 146km

Spring Gulley Road was too much for Leo Vincent (Groupama-FDJ) this time. He's had enough of the pace up front and is drifting back to the bunch.

 

Viviani has made it back to the main peloton after the crash.

 

The breakaway is crumbling quickly now, leaving just three to carry on:

 

Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data)
James Whelan (EF Education First)
Michael Potter (UniSA-Australia)

 

As the peloton closes in on the bunch, riders are trying to jump across to the break. We'll wait for names.

 

Dlamini, Whelan and Potter (AUS) have been caught by three chasers - Alberto Bettiol (EF), Davide Ballerini (Astana) and Manuele Boaro (Astana)

 

The EF Education First duo of James Whelan and Alberto Bettiol are out front by themselves now, nearly a minute ahead of the peloton, which now contains all the previous breakaway riders

 

21km remaining from 146km

Whelan has fallen off the pace on the final lap, leaving Bettiol to soldier on alone with 50 seconds.

 

Alberto Bettiol wil get the Bell for the final lap with 11.6km to go and 33 seconds in hand

 

13km remaining from 146km

Bettiol has blown!. He sat up and was immediately caught.

 

8km remaining from 146km

Mitchelton-Scott has taken hold of the front of the peloton and has things strung our for Daryl Impey, who was second on this stage last year.

 

They'll be hitting Spring Gulley Road soon.

 

EF's Lachlan Morton is forcing the pace up the climb, hoping to set up Michael Woods.

 

6km remaining from 146km

Morton is still on the front grinding out the climb, and the field is thinning out. And Morton's flicked his elbow.

 

5km remaining from 146km

Mitchelton-Scott is back in charge with Alex Edmondson leading the line.

 

One more climb before that tricky finish in Uraidla

 

There are about 40 riders in the lead group now. Last year's winner, Sagan, is there.

 

Jumbo riders are moving up for George Bennett

 

 

2km remaining from 146km

Team Sky's Kenny Elissonde has attacked, and Jumbo-Visma's Robert Gesink is trying to bridge. Elissonde has a good gap

 

Michael Woods attacks and sweeps past Elissonde

 

2km remaining from 146km

Woods has a gap and they're trying desperately to get on terms.

 

1km remaining from 146km

They've caught Woods and more attacks are coming. It's anybody's race. Sagan is still there, as is Bevin and Impey

 

Impey goes with Sagan on his wheel.

 

Sagan wins!!! Just like last year. 

 

1. Peter Sagan

2. Luis Leon Sanchez

3. Daryl Impey

 

Stage 3 Top 10:

 

1 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe 3:48:08
2 Luis Leon Sanchez (Esp) Astana
3 Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott
4 Danny van Poppel (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
5 Patrick Bevin (NZl) CCC Team
6 Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
7 Ruben Guerriro (Por) Katusha Alpecin
8 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
9 Christopher Hamilton (Ausl) Team Sunweb
10 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida

 

Bevin keeps the race lead by a single second over Sagan. Sanche is now third, nine seconds back.

 

Top 10 GC after stage 3:

 

1 Patrick Bevin (NZl) CCC Team 10:20:08
2 Peter Sagan (Cze) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:01
3 Luis Leon Sanchez (Esp) Astana 0:00:09
4 Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb) 0:00:10
5 Daryl Impey (RSA)Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:11
6 Danny van Poppel (Jumbo-Visma 0:00:15
7 Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
8 Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension Data
9 Christopher Hamilton (Ausl) Team Sunweb
10 George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-Visma

 

It was a close one!

 

 

Full Results are in the stage 3 report HERE

 

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