Simon Gerrans wins stage 3 in Tour Down Under

Simon Gerrans made up for the disappointment of a final kilometre crash on stage 2 of the Tour Down Under yesterday to claim a photo-finish sprint victory on stage 3 over Rohan Dennis (BMC) and Michael Woods (Cannondale) and move into the overall race lead in Campbelltown.

The win is Gerrans’ first personal victory since the 2014 Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal and fourth stage win at the Australian WorldTour race.

“To come away with a stage win and the leader’s jersey, we couldn’t have hoped for a lot more than that from today,” Gerrans said after collecting the ochre jersey.

With the solo breakaway rider of the day, Laurens De Vreese (Astana), caught with 21.4km left of the 139km stage, the peloton lifted the pace to over 90km/h on the approach to the Corkscrew climb. Tinkoff, riding for race leader Jay McCarthy, caused a split in the bunch that caught out Gerrans and Orica-GreenEdge while a crash ended the hopes of Julian Arredondo (Trek-Segafredo).

Richie Porte (BMC) was the first rider to attack the thinned bunch on the 2.4km climb, with Michael Woods (Cannondale) and Sergio Henao (Team Sky) next to surge clear. The attacks caused further reaction on the climb as Henao lead over the KOM with Woods close behind.

Porte and Dennis then attacked on the technical descent to bring the group of Gerrans, McCarthy, Woods, Steve Morabito (FDJ), Rafael Valls Ferri (Lotto Soudal), Sergio Henao (Team Sky), Domenico Pozzovivo (IAG2R La Mondiale), and Ruben Fernandez Andujar (Team Movistar),
across to Woods and Henao, having crested the climb within 10 seconds of the duo. With Gerrans and McCarthy both present in the front group that hit speeds in excess of 100km/h, it appeared it would be winner takes all with 10 bonus seconds on the line crucial to the GC aspirations of both riders.

With Gerrans timing his move to perfection, the 35-year-old nudged Dennis for the win while Woods stole third place to knock McCarthy to second on general classification.

Tour Down Under – stage 3 results:

1 Simon Gerrans (Orica–GreenEdge) 3:37:34
2 Rohan Dennis (BMC)
3 Michael Woods (Cannondale)
4 Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff)
5 Steve Morabito (FDJ)
6 Rafael Valls Ferri (Lotto Soudal)
7 Sergio Henao (Sky)
8 Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R)
9 Richie Porte (BMC)
10 Ruben Fernandez Andujar (Movistar)


General clasification after stage 3:

1 Simon Gerrans (Orica–GreenEdge) 10:28:12
2 Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff) 0:00:03
3 Rohan Dennis (BMC) 0:00:05
4 Michael Woods (Cannondale) 0:00:11
5 Sergio Henao (Sky) 0:00:15
6 Rafael Valls Ferri (Lotto Soudal)
7 Ruben Fernandez Andujar (Movistar)
8 Steve Morabito (FDJ)
9 Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R)
10 Richie Porte (BMC)

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