Race report

Robert Power takes fantastic 2nd place on Paracombe

Santos Tour Down Under

The third day of action saw the peloton faced with the finish to Paracombe, which featured a short but steep climb in the finale. The last two times that the finish was used, in 2015 and 2017, the winner of the stage went on claim the Ochre jersey and win the race overall at the end of the week; so it would be a day all of the GC contenders marked in their road books before the start.

A breakaway of three riders established itself early into the stage and the race settled into a familiar pattern, with a few teams controlling the gap. The breakaway’s advantage reached a maximum of over four minutes but as the peloton entered the last 50 kilometres they were slowly brought back and the catch was made at nine kilometres to go.

The bunch charged down the descent towards the final climb, with the team working well to move climbers Jai Hindley and Robert Power towards the head of the race.

Once the bunch made the turn onto the foot slopes of the climb the pace remained high and the attacks flew. An early counter attack was brought back before eventual stage winner Porte made his move. Power was attentive at the front of the chase group and launched his own counter attack before settling into the wheels with around 500 metres to go. Coming towards the line, he surged around Yates, taking a fantastic second place finish: a result that sees him move up to third place on GC.

“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.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 PORTE Richie Trek - Segafredo 3:14:09 60
2 POWER Robert Team Sunweb 0:05 25
3 YATES Simon Mitchelton-Scott ,, 10
19 HINDLEY Jai Team Sunweb 0:23 -
27 STORER Michael Team Sunweb 0:32 -
32 STORK Florian Team Sunweb 0:34 -
80 KRAGH ANDERSEN Asbjørn Team Sunweb 3:26 -
96 KANTER Max Team Sunweb 4:14 -
108 DAINESE Alberto Team Sunweb 4:57 -