Santos Tour Down Under Stage 3: Porte Looking Forward to Climbing18. January 2018, Victor Harbor (AUS) — Road Team
Stage 3 of the Santos Tour Down Under delivered scorching hot temperatures above 40 degrees which made for a tough day of racing and a fast sprint finish in Victor Harbor.
The extreme weather forecast meant the 146.5km stage had already been shortened to 120.5km with two laps of the finishing circuit in Victor Harbor removed prior to the stage start.
For the third day in a row, Scott Bowden (UniSA) and Nicholas Dlamini (Dimension Data) formed the day’s breakaway in the first 5km of racing and gained an advantage of almost five minutes.
The duo crested the King of the Mountain at Penny’s Hill ahead of the peloton to take the maximum points but Richie Porte stretched his legs and crossed the line first in the peloton to take the remaining points on offer.
Bowden and Dlamini took turns attacking each other before Bowden eventually went clear with 50km remaining while behind, the sprinters’ teams began to organize a chase.
Bowden was eventually caught inside the final 20km and as the peloton crossed the finish line to complete the final 13km circuit, Tiago Machado (Team Katusha Alpecin) attacked.
In a fast and furious sprint finish, Elia Viviani (QuickStep-Floors) took the win in what will be the last sprint finish until the final stage on Sunday.
The General Classification battle is set to ignite on Friday and Saturday as the peloton leave the flat terrain for the hills.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“If we did another lap here it wouldn’t have achieved anything else to be honest so hats off to the race organizers. It was such a hard, hot day. It may not have looked it and people are saying that we are not riding too fast but it was like riding through death valley out there on those roads. It was quite a technical finish there. I’ve lost time there before being caught behind a crash and the bunch splits so you lose nine seconds. So, it’s good to get through unscathed. Tomorrow we climb and it’s looking good.”
“The team has been really good. It’s been great to have Simon Gerrans around leading us. Normally in this race, we’re trying to get one up on Simon so it’s nice to have him here with us instead. Tom Bohli is doing a great job and Paddy Bevin has come in with a bit of an injury and is still going for the sprints. It’s a great team.”
“With tomorrow being hot, it may make it more of a climber’s climb. It could blow apart up there. Everyone is going into the great unknown so we’ll take it as it comes but I think I’m climbing as well as I was this time last year.”
Santos Tour Down Under
Stage 3 Glenelg > Victor Harbor (120.5km)
Top 3: 1. Elia Viviani (QuickStep-Floors), 2. Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb), 3. Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 47. Richie Porte, 48. Danilo Wyss, 58. Simon Gerrans.
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.