After stage two’s summit finish atop Falls Creek, today the peloton were faced with the second mountain top finish on Mount Buller. With a gradient of over six percent for 16 kilometres, the testing ramps were destined to shake up the GC battle. The team started the day with Jai Hindley in the race leader’s jersey and Michael Storer also well positioned in the overall fight, sitting in fifth place on GC.
It was a nervous start to the stage with numerous attacks and the threat of crosswinds making for a fast and frenetic opening ten kilometres. A breakaway of eight soon established itself at the head of the race and the team took control at the front of the peloton, allowing the gap to reach a maximum of three minutes and 40 seconds.
Alberto Dainese, Max Kanter and Asbjørn Kragh Andersen contributed to the chase on the flat lands and as the peloton began the climb of Mount Buller the gap to the break was down to under three minutes. A steady but strong tempo was then set on the front by Robert Power and Florian Stork, with both riders managing to pull back several attacks before Michael Storer took over proceedings in the finale.
A headwind on the opening three quarters of the climb meant it was a larger group than expected that approached the finale but Storer was steadfast and brought race leader Hindley into a good position under the flamme rouge. At that moment, young rider jersey wearer Sebastian Berwick put in a stinging attack and Hindley was the only rider capable of following on the steep finishing ramps.
Once in the wheel, Hindley was able to have a brief moment of recovery before delivering his own attack in the closing 200 metres, charging home for his second stage win of the race.
As a result of bonus seconds on the line, Hindley now leads Berwick by ten seconds on GC ahead of tomorrow’s final stage in Melbourne, while Storer also occupies a top ten spot in seventh place.
|1||HINDLEY Jai||Team Sunweb||3:01:25||14|
|2||BERWICK Sebastian||St George Continental Cycling Team||,,||5|
|3||VINE Jay||Nero Continental||0:09||3|
|17||STORER Michael||Team Sunweb||0:53||-|
|26||STORK Florian||Team Sunweb||2:23||-|
|45||POWER Robert||Team Sunweb||9:37||-|
|55||KANTER Max||Team Sunweb||13:54||-|
|76||KRAGH ANDERSEN Asbjørn||Team Sunweb||16:50||-|
|77||DAINESE Alberto||Team Sunweb||16:52||-|
|1||HINDLEY Jai||Team Sunweb||12:51:45|
|2||BERWICK Sebastian||St George Continental Cycling Team||0:10|
|7||STORER Michael||Team Sunweb||1:50|
|23||STORK Florian||Team Sunweb||9:02|
|39||POWER Robert||Team Sunweb||19:31|
|59||KANTER Max||Team Sunweb||35:47|
|61||DAINESE Alberto||Team Sunweb||36:21|
|74||KRAGH ANDERSEN Asbjørn||Team Sunweb||43:50|
|1||HINDLEY Jai||Team Sunweb||54|
|2||WHELAN James||EF Pro Cycling||26|
|3||BERWICK Sebastian||St George Continental Cycling Team||24|
|1||HILL Benjamin||Team BridgeLane||28|
|2||HINDLEY Jai||Team Sunweb||20|
|3||DAINESE Alberto||Team Sunweb||18|
|1||BERWICK Sebastian||St George Continental Cycling Team||12:51:55|
|2||PORTER Rudy||Korda Mentha Real Estate Australia||2:22|
|16||DAINESE Alberto||Team Sunweb||36:11|
|2||EF Pro Cycling||5:27|
|4||Black Spoke Pro Cycling Academy||9:48|
|5||Korda Mentha Real Estate Australia||11:17|
|6||Kinan Cycling Team||14:23|
|7||Israel Start-Up Nation||15:58|