Race report

Gutsy Alberto Dainese sprints to 2nd in Wangaratta

Jayco Herald Sun Tour

Stage three at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour began at a fierce pace, with a plethora of riders looking to make the day’s breakaway over the early climbs. The racing was so intense that it took over 50 kilometres for the move to eventually form, when a group of strong riders broke clear and the pace in the bunch lulled, allowing a group of dropped riders to return to the bunch.

With the peloton back together, the team began to work on the front with Robert Power and Florian Stork contributing to the pace setting. The breakaway contained a couple of potential GC threats, so the team worked well to ensure that the gap didn’t grow out too far, with it peaking at just over four minutes.

Heading into the final 50 kilometres the gap started to fall quickly with other teams assisting the chase. One last obstacle awaited the riders; a short and tricky climb that crested with just 15 kilometres to go. An infernal pace was set on the climb and the bunch thinned out dramatically, with race-leader Jai Hindley and Michael Storer making it over the top at the head of the race. Stage one winner Alberto Dainese just lost contact with the group at the summit, but after fighting hard he returned to the peloton ahead of the sprint finish.

Hindley and Storer did their best to position Dainese in the finale, with the Italian coming out of the final corner in around sixth wheel. Producing a strong sprint, he came round several riders in the gallop to the line, ending the day in second place.

With no change in the GC standings, Hindley holds onto the race lead ahead of tomorrow’s summit finish atop Mount Buller.

“The guys did a good job to position me but the pace on the last climb was quite hard and I was dropped,” explained Dainese at the finish. “I managed to make it back onto the peloton in the last ten kilometres but I just missed the legs for the sprint as I was spent after the effort on the climb.”

Team Sunweb coach Luke Roberts continued: “It was a difficult stage today. The race was on from the beginning. There was a tough climb near the start of the stage and it took almost 50 kilometres for the race to settle down. The guys did well to take control once a group of eight riders had gone. Rob and Florian did a good job to keep the breakaway in check. With a climb in the final, we knew it would be a tricky one to try and get Alberto there for the sprint. Michael and Jai were good together in the front of the peloton and Jai’s yellow jersey was well protected. Alberto rode well to get over the climb and be there for the finish, and we narrowly missed out on another stage win in the sprint. It was a good job from the guys and we can be happy we could defend the yellow jersey on such a difficult day.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 GROVES Kaden Mitchelton-Scott 4:07:27 14
2 DAINESE Alberto Team Sunweb ,, 5
3 RÄIM Mihkel Israel Start-Up Nation ,, 3
13 HINDLEY Jai Team Sunweb 0:02 -
24 STORER Michael Team Sunweb ,, -
55 KANTER Max Team Sunweb 2:08 -
63 KRAGH ANDERSEN Asbjørn Team Sunweb 4:26 -
66 STORK Florian Team Sunweb ,, -
76 POWER Robert Team Sunweb 8:27 -