Tour Down Under: Stage 3

1-2 for Australia on stage 3 as Richie Porte moves into the lead after stage victory; Simon Yates third on the stage after knee injury improves during stage

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Tour Down Under: Stage 3

Photo credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images

If there was any hint of Richie Porte feeling the weight of home-country pressure, he certainly didn’t show it as he flew up the steep climb to Paracombe to claim the win and the ochre leader’s jersey in Stage 3 at the Santos Tour Down Under.

“Firstly, the team had a fantastic day. I have to take my cap off to those boys; they put all their faith in me today. They did a really good job of controlling,” said Porte. “To take another victory on a stage like this is a great feeling.” The Trek-Segafredo team rode the front for a big part of the 131-kilometer stage and positioned Porte in the front into the right-hand turn of the finish climb.

“The strategy was to have as many guys up there into the bottom, and they did a super job,” continued Porte. “Some of these younger guys are prepared to take much bigger risks than us older guys, it was a hectic run-in to the climb, but the guys put me in such a good position.” Trek-Segafredo neo-pro Juan Pedro López then upped the pace with Porte on his wheel. It was all the Tasmanian climber needed. When Porte accelerated, no one responded. He opened an immediate gap that he held to the finish. “López did a fantastic job. I felt good at the bottom of the climb and got a bit of a gap there. It was a shame it was such a headwind in the finale as I think we could have done some real damage.”

With a small six-second lead over the previous two year’s overall winner Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott), Porte was quick to point out that the race is far from over.
… continued after advert

“Daryl (Impey) is still the man to beat, I think. Historically this has been the queen stage, but two more stages before Willunga – the race is not over yet. There’s time bonuses on the road as well, and I expect that Mitchelton will go for them. I am happy to get the win today for the team.

“I had to go when I went even with the headwind – there was nothing else you could do but get a decent gap. I would have liked to have taken a little more time on Daryl, but you have to take the victories when you can, and I will savor this one.

“I think I lost a bit of time [when it flattened] in the last 300 meters. The thing is I felt good, and that bodes well for the next few days.”

Photo credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images

Yates in form
An uncertainty to even start the stage after a nasty crash yesterday, Simon Yates’ knee improved throughout the day to be able to feature on the final climb.

Simon Yates: “It (my knee) was alright. It was a little bit stiff in the morning and it was a good job that we didn’t have a quick start up the highway there. But once we got into it, it started getting better and better. I just did the best I could (up the final climb). I could see Impey was close, so I was half doing a job for him and half for myself. Chapeau to Richie though, he showed again on these short little climbs he is a nudge above.”

“I think Willunga suits me more than today. I don’t think I’ve ever won a three minute climb before, add a 0 (zero) on the end to make it 30 minutes and that is better. It will also come down to what we do as a team so we review today and go from there.”

Daryl Impey: “For me personally, I think I had a good race. It was always going to be a challenge getting close to the guys up here, but to finish in that group at the end, I was pretty chuffed. I was kind of in the wind the whole time. I battled near the bottom slopes and I regained a bit of composer near the top and just gave it everything I could to the line. That being said, I think we’re in a great situation. Obviously we’d like to be in the jersey but there’s still lots of bonuses to come and lots of opportunities in the race.”

Matt White: “We had to see how Simon went during the night and warming up this morning and for us it was a big bonus that his pain was bearable today. Richie is in pole position. But we’ve been in this situation before, Daryl is only at six seconds so it means we have to win time bonuses. It’s doable. It’s doable because Daryl has improved on Willunga and there’s a lot of wind predicted for the next couple of days so it’ll make things pretty tricky I think.”

Rohan Dennis (Ineos): “It was a confidence boost ahead of Willunga. I really had to play mind games with myself and I had to just try to save energy where I could, take the smooth lines on the road and really look after myself before that final climb. I had Dylan infront, protecting me, but Richie kicked on the climb and he was just too good. We did bring him back, but hopefully we can bring him back more on Willunga.”

“I think with finishes in Murray Bridge and Victor Harbor [on stages four and five] the wind could be a big factor and the ochre jersey is still up for grabs for Daryl Impey with bonus seconds available tomorrow and the next day. Though it will come down to a really big showdown on Willunga as normal.”

… continued after advert


Aussie 1-2
Robert Power (Team Sunweb): “I worked really hard in the off season so I knew I was coming here in good form. All the guys did awesome today.” beamed Power at the finish. “Jai had a crash yesterday so said for me to just have a go for it today on the climb and it was pretty tough going up Paracombe. The boys did a really good job to set me up and I felt pretty fresh at the bottom so I just tried to do the best I could from the bottom to the top of the climb. I wasn’t sure if Richie was going to blow up when we turned left into the headwind but he hung on, it was a strong ride so fair play to him. It’s still a long race and Richie looks good, but we’re going to give it a crack in the next stages and all the boys are motivated for it.”

Team Sunweb coach Luke Roberts added: “It was really windy today and there was even a bit of rain this morning but it dried up for the stage. It was relatively calm in the peloton until the final circuits where there was a lot of stress in the bunch; it was a difficult circuit to hold position on. The guys did a good job to set up Jai and Rob towards the final climb. Jai suffered a little bit after his crash yesterday and Rob was feeling really good. He’s had a go at it and took a great second place on the stage and it puts us into a position now to fight for the podium at the end of the week.”

Stage 3
1 Richie Porte Trek – Segafredo 03:14:09
2 Robert Power Team Sunweb @ 05
3 Simon Yates Mitchelton – Scott @ 05
4 Rohan Dennis Team Ineos @ 05
5 Diego Ulissi UAE Team Emirates @ 05
6 Daryl Impey Mitchelton – Scott @ 05
7 Dylan Van Baarle Team Ineos @ 05
8 Simon Geschke CCC Team @ 05
9 George Bennett Team Jumbo – Visma @ 05
10 Lucas Hamilton Mitchelton – Scott @ 13

11 Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale @ 15
31 Matthew Holmes Lotto – Soudal @ 34
64 Alex Dowsett Israel Start-Up Nation @ 02:19
75 Ian Stannard Team Ineos @ 03:00
84 Jack Bauer Mitchelton – Scott @ 03:51
87 Gabriel Cullaigh Movistar Team @ 03:59
88 Owain Doull Team Ineos @ 03:59
102 Luke Rowe Team Ineos @ 04:33
109 Jonathan Dibben Lotto – Soudal @ 04:59
111 Mads Pedersen Trek – Segafredo @ 04:59
126 Thomas Scully EF Pro Cycling @ 06:26
135 Christopher Lawless Team Ineos @ 12:36

1 Richie Porte Trek – Segafredo 10:10:24
2 Daryl Impey Mitchelton – Scott @ 06
3 Robert Power Team Sunweb @ 09
4 Simon Yates Mitchelton – Scott @ 11
5 George Bennett Team Jumbo – Visma @ 14
6 Diego Ulissi UAE Team Emirates @ 15
7 Simon Geschke CCC Team @ 15
8 Rohan Dennis Team Ineos @ 15
9 Dylan Van Baarle Team Ineos @ 15
10 Lucas Hamilton Mitchelton – Scott @ 23

37 Matthew Holmes Lotto – Soudal @ 44
68 Gabriel Cullaigh Movistar Team @ 04:09

Full Result Here


Cycle Division’s Shop

Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK