Tour de France stage winners Simon Yates and Daryl Impey have finished third and sixth respectively on the crucial third stage of the 2020 Santos Tour Down Under.
An uncertainty to even start the stage after a nasty crash yesterday, Yates’ knee improved throughout the day to be able to feature on the final climb.
Touted as one of, if not, the most crucial stage for the general classification, Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) took the upper hand with the stage victory. Impey now sits second overall, six second adrift, and Yates fourth, 11seconds behind. Mitchelton-SCOTT also has Lucas Hamilton in 10th at 23seconds.
Contributing to the chase:
Three riders formed the day’s breakaway and rode out to an advantage of around three minutes.
Mitchelton-SCOTT contributed to the chase with Trek-Segafredo, largely through the work of Jack Bauer.
As the race approached the final 10km, Michael Hepburn also added power to the chase and the last survivor of the breakaway, Miles Scotson (FDJ), was caught with 8.8km remaining.
Mitchelton-SCOTT remained on the front of the bunch, through the valley and towards the last turn onto the final climb, courtesy of Luke Durbridge and Cameron Meyer.
On the final climb the first move was made by UAE Team Emirates, but it was the attack by Porte that did the damage.
Behind, Yates took up chase and closed significant ground in the final meters before being pipped on the line for second, whilst Impey also rode strongly to finish in the same small group at five seconds.
“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.”
“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 on the end to make it 30minutes and that is better. It will also come down to what we do as a team so we review today and go from there.”
“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.”
2020 Tour Down Under – Stage 3 Results:
1. Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) 3:14:09
2. Robert Power (Team Sunweb) +0:05
3. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:05
2020 Tour Down Under – General Classification after Stage 3:
1. Richie Porte (Trek Segafredo) 10:10:24
2. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:06
3. Robert Power (Team Sunweb) +0:09