Evans Soars to Stage 3 Victory at 2014 Tour Down Under
Australian Cadel Evans has wrenched the leader's jersey from the shoulders of compatriot Simon Gerrans with a stunning solo victory across the line at the end of stage 3 of the Santos Tour Down Under 2014.
but Saturday is another hilltop finish, I am quite hopeful we have the team to at least get up there on the podium.
"Yesterday, they were saying the same thing about Simon [that the race is over]. I guess Saturday will decide it all," said Porte.
The head of the BMC Team Performance Director, Australian Allan Peiper, says it was a fantastic day for the team.
"Cadel did all that was expected of him, and more," said Peiper. "We're excited about his win, and it should make for a more exciting race.
"Tactically, we made it hard in the last part of the stage, and we had the whole team there for Cadel," explained Peiper of the plan hatched to put Evans in the lead.
"It's still four months to go to the Giro, but this is all part of the effort to build up Cadel for May.
"This win is important for his confidence," said Peiper. "Everyone can see the happiness that he has when he's riding his bike. He might underestimate the boost he's had from the Australian public, from the national championships, and racing this week."
Fans turned out in force today with 118 thousand making their way out to support the riders who have been treating them to a feast of world class cycling. The 150 kilometre stage began in the Adelaide shopping precinct of Norwood, headed into the Adelaide Hills and circled back to contest the aptly named Corkscrew Rd climb before a fast, downhill run to the finish line in Campbelltown.
Soon after the peloton rolled out for the start the expected early attack was launched this time by Australian Travis Meyer (Drapac) who was joined by French cyclist Jérôme Cousin of Team Europcar. Astana's Andriy Grivko (UKR) headed out to join them and a short time later Germany's Jens Voigt (Trek Factory Racing) completed the quartet in front.
The four riders set up a lead of between two and three minutes with the peloton riding tempo to keep them within striking distance. At the first of the day's two Adam Internet intermediate sprints at Kersbrook (39km) it was Meyer who claimed the top points ahead of Grivko and Cousin.
The second sprint at Williamstown, 53 kilometres into the stage went to Grivko with Meyer second and Cousin third across the line.
Soon after the halfway mark Cousin dropped back to the peloton while the lead trio rode ahead in the hope of staying clear. But with overall honours and the Skoda King of the Mountain on the line their lead dwindled and with 17 kilometres remaining the race regrouped.
Lotto Belisol drove the pace to give their man Adam Hansen the best possible chance to defend his lead in the Skoda King of the Mountain classification while the teams of Evans, Porte, Gerrans and Ulissi assigned lieutenants to their leaders for the decisive ascent.
Hansen didn't figure in the placings at the top of Corkscrew as Gerrans, Porte and Haas trailed Evans across the summit but Hansen's overnight points tally of 20 was enough to