Rohan Dennis leads Tour Down Under, Impey is sitting at 10th

2015-01-22 13:46

South African cyclist Daryl Impey finished the third stage of the Tour Down Under today in 17th position, 18 seconds behind stage winner Australian Rohan Dennis.

Impey is currently sitting at 10th position, just 22 seconds behind Dennis, who leads the classification.

Dennis seized the overall lead by outsprinting teammate and former Tour de France champion Cadel Evans on a tough uphill finish to win Thursday’s third stage.

Dennis manoeuvred into an attacking position as the field swung around the final corner of the 143km stage from suburban Norwood to Paracombe in the Adelaide Hills in the state of South Australia and beat Evans by three seconds for his first stage win since last year’s Tour of California.

The result shook up the standings on general classification. Dennis took over the tour leader’s ochre jersey from compatriot Jack Bobridge and holds a seven-second lead over Evans and Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands, who was third on Thursday’s stage.

Dennis showed considerable presence of mind to win the stage when he was shuffled back approaching the steep final climb.

“I was caught further back in the lead-in and I thought ‘okay, don’t stress, just take little steps towards the front and don’t try to go into the red zone before you actually hit the hill’,” Dennis said.

“Cadel was away with four other guys and Richie [Porte] and [Domenico] Pozzovivo and Dumoulin so I sat behind one of the Movistar riders and just crossed my fingers that they would bring me back.”

Dennis said Evans, his teammate in United States-based Team BMC who is riding his last event on the World Tour, shook his hand and gave him a thumbs up to congratulate him on his win. But Team BMC now faces a dilemma with the top two riders on general classification.

“Cadel is still in my eyes a leader and I’m going to respect that,” Dennis said.

“I’m not sure how the team meeting’s going to go but we’re still both protected. There’s still Willunga [Hill], Mount Barker and the last criterium so there’s still solid racing to come.”

Evans said the stage went according to the plan set by BMC.

“We had a plan covering two bases,” he said.

“But I want to lend a favour to my teammates when I can, so we wanted to give Rohan and Peter [Stetina] the chance to make an attack anywhere they could.

“That move really worked for us and I am sure Rohan is going to be pretty happy.”

Thursday’s stage featured a four-man break comprising Australians William Clark and Calvin Watson, Lasse Norman Hansen of Denmark and Axel Domont of France.

They led by up to three-and-a-half minutes but were steadily hauled back by the peloton over the undulating stage, with Clarke the last man caught, 9km from the line.

Classification after Stage 3:

1. Rohan Dennis (Australia/BMC Racing) 10:17:06”

2. Cadel Evans (Australia/BMC Racing) +7”

3. Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands/Giant) +9”

4. Richie Porte (Australia/Team Sky) +15”

5. Jack Haig (Australia/Australia)

6. Ruben Fernandez (Spain/Movistar)

7. Michael Rogers (Australia/Tinkoff - Saxo)

8. Maxime Bouet (France/Etixx - Quick-Step)

9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy/AG2R)

10. Daryl Impey (South Africa/Orica) +22”

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