ADELAIDE, Australia, Jan 23, 2014 AFP / Yuzuru Sunada
Former Tour de France winner Cadel Evans seized control of the Tour Down
Under with a dominant win in thethird stage from Norwood to Campbelltown in
South Australia on Thursday. Evans, 37, also took the overall lead in the
season-opening UCI World Tour race when he powered away from the pack on the notorious
Corkscrew Road Hill,then held on over the last five kilometres (three miles) to win by
15 seconds. Second place went to Australia’s Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp) with Italian
Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) in third.
Australian Simon Gerrans, who took the ochre leader’s jersey into
Thursday’s stage, came in fifth and now trails Evans on general classification
by 12 seconds. Ulissi is a further three seconds behind in third place overall.
“It wasn’t quite optimal but it was pretty good,” Evans said of his ride.
“With the time bonuses available the race is still a long way from over,
but today went almost perfectly.”
Evans, whose BMC Racing team rode the Corkscrew Road Hill and descent seven
times in the lead-up to the race, said he had targeted this stage to make his
“I had an idea of what we might have an opportunity to do and it’s always
might, if, maybe,” Evans said. “But in this sport when you have an opportunity
you have to run with it. Right to the last 300 metres I wasn’t sure if I had it.
The stage win is of course great, but GC (general classification) is what
we’re really here for.”
With three stages remaining, Evans is now a firm favorite to hold on to
the ochre jersey until Sunday’s final stage on the Adelaide street circuit.
The former world champion stayed towards the front of the peloton as it
chased down a breakaway group of four riders at the approach to Corkscrew Hill.
He then countered several attacks on the climb but waited until Team Sky’s
Richie Porte launched his bid before responding, leaving Gerrans in his wake.
Evans stayed with Porte for 500 meters before making his move, powering
away from the young Tasmanian as the summit approached. Gerrans tried to respond
and caught Porte, but he could get no closer, and Evans opened enough of a gap
at the top to hold off the chasing pack, which had caught Gerrans and Porte.
“Cadel obviously is absolutely flying,” Porte said.
“I tried to go with him, but in the hairpins there he just rode away and
there’s not much you can do. It was a little disappointing, I thought I
was in a bit better nick (shape).”
Friday’s 148.5-kilometer stage takes the riders from Unley in
inner-city Adelaide to the town of Victor Harbor on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Results after the 145-kilometer third stage of the Tour Down Under: Norwood to Campbelltown.
1. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC Racing) 3hr 34min 5sec
2. Nathan Haas (AUS/Garmin-Sharp) at 15 seconds
3. Diego Ulissi (ITA/Lampre-Merida) same time
4. Adam Hansen (AUS/Lotto-Belisol) s.t.
5. Simon Gerrans (AUS/Orica GreenEdge) s.t.
6. Rory Sutherland (AUS/Tinkoff-Saxo) s.t.
7. Brent Bookwalter (USA/BMC Racing) s.t.
8. Ben Hermans (BEL/BMC Racing) s.t
9. Daryl Impey (RSA/Orica GreenEdge) s.t
10. Robert Gesink (BEL/Belkin) s.t.
1. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC Racing) 10hr 46min 39sec
2. Simon Gerrans (AUS/Orica GreenEdge) at 12 seconds
3. Diego Ulissi (ITA/Lampre-Merida) +15
4. Nathan Haas (AUS/Garmin-Sharp) +27
5. Robert Gesink (BEL/Belkin) +29
6. Geraint Thomas (GBR/Team Sky) s.t.
7. Daryl Impey (RSA/Orica GreenEdge) +33
8. Brent Bookwalter (USA/BMC Racing) s.t
9. Rory Sutherland (AUS/Tinkoff-Saxo) s.t
10. Ben Hermans (BEL/BMC Racing) s.t