Porte Retains Ochre Jersey Ahead of Stage 419. January 2017, Victor Harbor — Road Team
Richie Porte crossed the finish line unscathed on stage 3 of the Santos Tour Down Under to retain his overall lead with three stages remaining.
The peloton travelled south from Glenelg to Victor Harbour and finished with four laps of a technical finish circuit, where a bunch sprint played out, won by Caleb Ewan (ORICA-Scott).
A four-rider breakaway went clear in the first hour of racing and BMC Racing Team spent much of the day on the front of the peloton to limit the break’s advantage and protect Porte’s lead, before eventually bringing the race back together on the finish circuit.
A crash in the final 5km saw Danilo Wyss go down but fortunately escape any serious injuries.
Porte acknowledged the support from his BMC Racing Team teammates.
“It was fine today. The team obviously played a big role in that. It’s just nice to get through a stage like that. It was quite nervous and stressful all day so it’s another step closer to the finish. I don’t think you see the wind on television but if there’s any wind it makes for a stressful day and there’s just so much to lose on a stage like this, and a lot to gain. I was pretty close to the crash and even at the front of the bunch where the crash happened,” Porte explained.
“It was business as normal. Obviously BMC Racing Team have defended a lot of jerseys over the years so when you’ve got experienced guys like Amaël Moinard and Fran Ventoso it’s not just a big deal, but Miles Scotson also was incredible today. We’ll see how tomorrow is and get through that and then it’s Willunga. You don’t want to be starting the downhill to the gorge tomorrow anywhere but the front. Tomorrow’s not an easy stage and I think you saw today that if you’re not focused for one second, big crashes can happen like that.”
Sports Director Fabio Baldato said stage 3 went to plan.
“With Richie Porte in the ochre jersey we had the responsibility to control the race. A break of four riders went away and one of them was about a minute and half from Richie on the General Classification so we couldn’t let them get too far in front,” Baldato said.
“The guys worked really well to protect Richie and keep him safe up the front. We did most of the work at the front and then had a it of help from Dimension Data and Bora – Hansgrohe. It all went as planned but the finish was quite technical and dangerous, as we saw with the crash in the finale. Danilo Wyss went down but he has no serious problems, just some bruising. We’re halfway through the race now with two important stages to come.”
Santos Tour Down Under
Stage 3 Glenelg > Victor Harbor (144km)
Top 3: Caleb Ewan (ORICA-Scott), 2. Peter Sagan (Bora – Hansgrohe), 3. Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team).
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 12. Rohan Dennis, 19. Richie Porte, 22. Damiano Caruso
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.