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.
keep him in the lead, ahead of Will Clarke (Drapac) also on 20 and Evans who claimed 16 points on today's stage.
"I wasn’t so good, actually," said Hansen. "BMC set a high pace on the climb and I went hard too early but I was still with the big names in the first group.
"Now I hope for a good GC (overall placing) at the end of the Santos Tour Down Under, that’s my priority."
Frenchman Kenny Elissonde (FDJ.fr) has taken over the lead in the Cycle Instead Young Rider competition. He is sitting 18th overall at 1:01 from Evans and is 17 seconds clear of his nearest rival.
"This was very hard," he exclaimed after the presentation. "We rode so fast before the Corkscrew climb. But my team-mates positioned me very well even though it was a short climb and not exactly to my taste.
"It shows the trust they have in me, so the jersey I get now belongs to the team more than to myself," said Elissonde. "This is not high mountains, so I’m not in my comfort zone, but that’s how I can improve my cycling."
The Europcar Most Competitive award of the day went to the oldest rider in the peloton, Jens Voigt, who at 42 is racing what is tipped to be his last year in the professional ranks.
"I picked today’s stage to break away because nobody else did but I knew that it was close to impossible to go for the stage win," said Voigt who is one of the most popular figures in world cycling. "We never had more than two and half minutes lead because Andrey Grivko was at 21 seconds (off the overall lead), he wouldn’t get any freedom.
"I might be getting old but I still have high expectations about myself," said Voigt. "It’s because of self respect that I feel obliged to show my face to the people. I don’t want to be just a number in the bunch. On the road side, every second or third spectator yelled my name. The crowd has enjoyed the show, apparently!"
Spaniard Rafael Valls was unable to start today's stage after scans revealed a fractured humerus bone in his arm. Instead he headed to SportsMed SA for surgery to pin the break he sustained when he crashed during yesterday's racing.