Race report

Chris Hamilton 9th and Michael Storer back in white

Tour Down Under

After two days for the sprinters, stage three at Tour Down Under headed to hillier terrain in the Adelaide Hills. After the first sprint was contested, six riders managed to jump ahead of the peloton, whilst Team Sunweb remained back in the bunch.

Team Sunweb coach Luke Roberts said: “Today was probably one of the hardest stages in the history of the Tour Down Under, with a very tricky finishing circuit up in the Adelaide Hills. It was a warm day again but the decision was still to race the full distance of the stage with temperatures slightly cooler than yesterday.”

With just over 30 kilometres to go, the remaining three up front were caught by three who’d attacked from the bunch, bringing fresh legs and power to the breakaway. The group re-extended their lead and after an attempt by two to stay clear, the peloton made a timely catch on the last lap.

Luke continued: “The riders had quite a lot of respect for the final lap and nobody wanted to race too hard, but on the last two laps the race opened up and coming into the final climb there was still quite a large group of around 50 riders. We still had three guys in the front group with Chris, Jai and Michael. Chris came in 9th after a great finish and with the bonus seconds Michael picked up on stage one, he’s ahead of most of that group on GC, and retakes the white jersey so it was a good day for us.”

With Michael also finishing in the select group at the finish and after the five seconds he picked up earlier in the race, he retakes the lead in the young rider’s competition.

Pleased to be back in the jersey whilst riding on home soil, he said: “The team rode really well today. Our sprint train helped me, Jai and Chris stay near the front on the hard finishing circuits and all three of us were in the front group at the front. I’m really happy to get back in the white jersey, I have a really slim lead and it’s really easy to lose, but it was great to be back on the podium today.”

Going into stage four tomorrow Michael Storer sits 4th overall with Chris Hamilton in 9th. Max Kanter abandoned during stage three for preventative measures after suffering light muscular complaints.