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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini


5th Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under - 2.3

Australia, January 21-26, 2003

Home    Live report    Results    Previous Stage    Next stage

Stage 3: Thursday Jan 23, Glenelg - Hahndorf , 164km

And de winner is... Robbieeee!!

By Anthony Tan in Hahndorf

Robbie McEwen
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

"23 seconds might not sound like much, but it's a lot in the Tour Down Under."

Despite almost 30 riders within half a minute of each other on general classification, Cadel Evans' (Telekom) comments before the start of today's 164 kilometre stage of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under may well turn out to be an accurate prediction of outcomes three days from now.

Once again, the stage featured an incessant stream of attacks from a variety of teams, keen as mustard to test the might of the Saeco squadra containing race leader Fabio Sacchi.

However, Saeco held its own and timed its chase to the eight-man breakaway group to perfection, and it was gruppo compatto as the peloton entered the streets of Hahndorf for the final time.

In the closing kilometres, overnight King of the Mountains leader Russell Van Hout (UniSA) almost stole the show, storming into town at 60 clicks an hour. But the Lotto-Adecco boys did not disappoint their star rider, closing down Van Hout's slender lead along Main Street and setting up another McEwen-Brown showdown.

Close call
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

It was a straight sprint this time - no deviation - and as the two Australians threw themselves at the line as if their lives depended on it, it was too close to call. All waited in anticipation for the final decision from the commissaires, though the majority of the media were circling around Brown.

The moments leading to the announcement was almost as painful as Juan Antonio Samaranch stuttered those four words to the winning city of the 2000 Olympic Games. Though just like Samaranch, the decision was final: De winner is... Robbie!!

"I thought I had it, but you can't start celebrating until you know for sure," said a delighted McEwen, possibly a tad more delighted at beating arch-rival Brown than moving 10 seconds closer to the yellow jersey of Sacchi.

Brown, somewhat unsually, also appeared satisfied: "As far as I'm concerned, if you don't get to salute you don't get the victory, so I'm happy with that. I pushed him [McEwen] all the way to the line."

“As much as I dislike Robbie he is a true champion and he’s one of the best in the world so to just be up there mixing it with him is great,” Brown added. “I stuffed up a bit as I didn’t see the signs but I’m not making any excuses (because) Robbie did it perfectly.”

How it unfolded

A Stuey fan
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

The 94-strong field began stage three proper at 10 minutes to midday, and after two hours of faffing around, riding from the Adelaide Hilton to the start town of Glenelg and back again, there were more than a few itchy legs in the peloton.

Not surprisingly, Jacky Durand (FDJeux.com) was the first to try his luck immediately after race director Mike Turtur waved the chequered flag to mark the start of the race, and was soon joined by the day's most aggressive rider, Steve Cunningham (UniSA).

The break was short-lived, though the next forty kilometres were raced in a similarly aggressive fashion by a multitude of riders; crowd favourite Stuart O'Grady being a key protagonist on One Tree Hill, a 2.5 kilometre climb positioned roughly 10 kilometres before Checker Hill, the only KOM of the day at 42.6 kilometres.

As the peloton approached the climb, it was Giro revelation Cadel Evans (Telekom) showing a clean pair of climbing legs. Evans outsprinted Paolo Lanfranchi (Panaria-Fiordo) and KOM leader Lennie Kristensen (CSC) for the points, and an eight-man group was created, although only for a handful of kilometres.

However, another eight-man break formed just before the first sprint of the day at Mt Torrens that included Davide Bramati (Quick Step-Davitamon), Steve Cunningham (UniSA), Andrea Tafi (CSC), Xavier Florencio and Giampaolo Caruso (ONCE) and Erki Putsep and Nicolas Portal (Ag2R) and Stefen Scumacher (Telekom).

The group stood the test of time, and as their lead grew to over three minutes, Xavier Florencio became the new race leader on the road, Florencio only 29 seconds down on leader Fabio Sacchi (Saeco) at the start of today's stage. Sacchi also lost his sprinter's jersey for good after Tafi convincingly won the next two sprints.

The Saeco train
Photo: © Tom Balks
Click for larger image

After 60 kilometres out in front (118 km covered), the eight became five: Tafi, Portal (Ag2R) and Florencio (ONCE) dropped off the pace, the lead group's advantage hovering at just over one minute. 12 kilometres later, it was gruppo compatto once more, Saeco doing all the work to annul the break.

With Saeco's job done, it was time for the sprinters' teams to come to the fore along the finishing circuit around Hahndorf. Lotto-Domo and Panaria-Fiordo set a blistering pace driving the bunch into the final kilometres; however with eight kilometres remaining, neither team expected the lanky surfie lookalike Russell Van Hout (UniSA) to solo off the front like a man possessed.

Van Hout's clever little ploy almost worked, but no-one was going to prevent Robbie McEwen (Lotto-Domo) and Graeme Brown (Panaria-Fiordo) fighting tooth and nail for the stage victory, and so the scene was set for bonza bunch kick to the line.

The sprint was mean, the sprint was clean, the margin lean. It was even a close finish by photo-finish standards, but in the end, it was Robbie McEwen clocking up his first stage win of the 2003 Tour Down Under, moving that little bit closer to Fabio Sacchi, who now holds a slender 10 second lead over McEwen on general classification.

Photography

Images by www.tombalks.com

Images by Jeff Jones/Cyclingnews.com

Results

1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto Domo                     3.53.04 (42.2 km/h)
2 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria Fiordo
3 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole
4 Allan Davis (Aus) ONCE Eroski
5 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon
6 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon
7 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est)  Ag2R
8 Dirk Reichl (Ger) Telekom
9 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R
10 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2R
11 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
12 Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA
13 Stefen Wesemann (Ger) Telekom
14 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Credit Agricole
15 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC
16 Angel Vicioso (Spa) ONCE Eroski
17 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Ag2R
18 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) CSC
19 Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den) CSC
20 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA
21 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quickstep-Davitamon
22 Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom
23 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2R
24 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com
25 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo
26 David Canada (Spa) Quickstep-Davitamon
27 Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole
28 Nicola Gavazzi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
29 Christopher Jenner (NZl) Credit Agricole
30 Erki Putsep (Est) Ag2R
31 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC
32 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Panaria Fiordo
33 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon
34 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole
35 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom
36 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Credit Agricole
37 Christian Werner (Ger)  Telekom
38 Joerg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco-Longoni Sport
39 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC
40 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA
41 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski
42 Patrick Jonker (Aus) UniSA
43 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski
44 Kai Hundertmarck (Ger)  Telekom
45 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water
46 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R
47 Mickael Pichon (Fra) FDJeux.com
48 Regis Lhuillier (Fra) FDJeux.com
49 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R
50 Stefan Schumacher (Ger)  Telekom
51 Bobby Julich (USA)  Telekom
52 Christian Pepoli (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
53 Brendan Cato (Aus) United Water
54 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Credit Agricole
55 Alvaro Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski
56 Scott Davis (Aus) Panaria Fiordo
57 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE Eroski
58 Arvis Piziks (Lat) CSC
59 Davide Bramati (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon
60 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water
61 Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Mex) Panaria Fiordo
62 Stephen Cunningham (Aus) UniSA
63 Sergey Matveyev (Ukr) Panaria Fiordo                 0.11
64 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Domo
65 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) FDJeux.com
66 Brad McGee (Aus) FDJeux.com                          0.13
67 David Betts (Aus) United Water                       0.48
68 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Lotto Domo                     0.50
69 Dario Pieri (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport                1.12
70 Juan Fuentes (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport
71 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport
72 Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski
73 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
74 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Lotto Domo
75 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Lotto Domo
76 Glenn d'Hollander (Bel) Lotto Domo
77 Matt Wilson (Aus) FDJeux.com
78 Ashley Hutchinson (Aus) United Water                30.18
79 Jakob Piil (Den) CSC
80 Ruben Bongiorno (Arg) Panaria Fiordo
81 Filippo Perfetto (Ita) Panaria Fiordo
82 Julian Dean (NZl) CSC
83 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto Domo
84 Aaron Kemps (Aus) United Water
85 Nick Gates (Aus) Lotto Domo
86 Bram Tankink (Ned) Quickstep-Davitamon
87 Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJeux.com
88 Jacky Durand (Fra) FDJeux.com
89 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) United Water
90 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA
DNF Lee Godfrey (Aus) United Water
DNF Corey Sweet (Aus) Credit Agricole
DNF Jay Sweet (Aus) UniSA
DNF Brett Aitken (Aus) UniSA
 
Sprints
 
Main Street at General Store, Mt Torrens - 62.7 km
 
1 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC                                6   3 pts/secs
2 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski                   4   2
3 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski                   2   1
 
Onkaparinga Valley Rd at Hotel, Balhannah - Lap 1 - 81.7 km
 
1 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC                                6   3 pts/secs
2 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski                   4   2
3 Stephen Cunningham (Aus) UniSA                       2   1
 
Visitor Information Centre, Hahndorf - 164 km - Finish
 
1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto Domo                       8   6 pts/secs
2 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria Fiordo                    6   4
3 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole                 4   2
 
Mountains
 
Checker Hill - 42.6 km
 
1 Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom                               16 pts
2 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo                   12
3 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC                              8
4 Brad McGee (Aus) FDJeux.com                              6
5 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski                       4
 
Most aggressive rider
 
1 Stephen Cunningham (Aus) UniSA

General classification after stage 3
 
1 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport             8.24.34
2 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto Domo                        0.10
3 Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole                    0.18
4 Andy Flickinger (Fra) Ag2R                            0.20
5 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Ag2R
6 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC
7 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA                          0.23
8 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole                  0.27
9 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski
10 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom                       0.28
11 Angel Vicioso (Spa) ONCE Eroski                      0.29
12 Michael Rogers (Aus) Quickstep-Davitamon
13 Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Den) CSC
14 Tristan Hoffman (Ned) CSC
15 Geert Van Bondt (Bel) CSC
16 Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA
17 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA
18 Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom
19 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo
20 Patrick Jonker (Aus) UniSA
21 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski                   0.30
22 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole                     0.31
23 David Canada (Spa) Quickstep-Davitamon               0.33
24 Mark Scanlon (Irl) Ag2R
25 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon
26 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) Credit Agricole
27 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R
28 Stefen Wesemann (Ger) Telekom                        0.39
29 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) FDJeux.com                      0.40
30 Brad McGee (Aus) FDJeux.com                          0.42
31 Alvaro Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski        0.59
32 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC                                1.59
33 Dirk Reichl (Ger) Telekom                            2.05
34 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon
35 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon
36 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com
37 Erki Putsep (Est) Ag2R
38 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Ag2R
39 Joerg Ludewig (Ger) Saeco-Longoni Sport
40 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Ag2R
41 Christian Werner (Ger)  Telekom
42 Regis Lhuillier (Fra) FDJeux.com
43 Kai Hundertmarck (Ger)  Telekom
44 Christopher Jenner (NZl) Credit Agricole
45 Bobby Julich (USA)  Telekom
46 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE Eroski
47 Scott Davis (Aus) Panaria Fiordo
48 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water                      2.14
49 Hans De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Domo                      2.16
50 Sergey Matveyev (Ukr) Panaria Fiordo
51 Graeme Brown (Aus) Panaria Fiordo                    2.31
52 Wim Vansevenant (Bel) Lotto Domo                     2.55
53 David Betts (Aus) United Water                       3.02
54 Stefano Zanini (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport             3.17
55 Igor Astarloa (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport
56 Glenn d'Hollander (Bel) Lotto Domo
57 Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE Eroski
58 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Lotto Domo
59 Stephen Cunningham (Aus) UniSA                      11.33
60 Allan Davis (Aus) ONCE Eroski                       11.34
61 Jaan Kirsipuu (Est)  Ag2R
62 Nicola Gavazzi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
63 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water
64 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Panaria Fiordo
65 Mickael Pichon (Fra) FDJeux.com
66 Lilian Jegou (Fra) Credit Agricole
67 Stefan Schumacher (Ger)  Telekom
68 Christian Pepoli (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
69 Brendan Cato (Aus) United Water
70 Arvis Piziks (Lat) CSC
71 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Credit Agricole
72 Julio Alberto Perez Cuapio (Mex) Panaria Fiordo
73 Davide Bramati (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon
74 Matt Wilson (Aus) FDJeux.com                        12.45
75 Juan Fuentes (Spa) Saeco-Longoni Sport              12.46
76 Dario Pieri (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport
77 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Lotto Domo
78 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA                          30.51
79 Bram Tankink (Ned) Quickstep-Davitamon              32.32
80 Ashley Hutchinson (Aus) United Water                41.50
81 Ruben Bongiorno (Arg) Panaria Fiordo                41.52
82 Julian Dean (NZl) CSC
83 Aaron Kemps (Aus) United Water
84 Filippo Perfetto (Ita) Panaria Fiordo
85 Thierry Marichal (Bel) Lotto Domo
86 Jakob Piil (Den) CSC
87 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) United Water
88 Nick Gates (Aus) Lotto Domo
89 Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJeux.com
90 Jacky Durand (Fra) FDJeux.com
 
Sprints classification
 
1 Andrea Tafi (Ita) CSC                                   22 pts
2 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto Domo                          20
3 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport                  12
4 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA                            12
5 Matt Wilson (Aus) FDJeux.com                            12
6 Baden Cooke (Aus) FDJeux.com                             8
7 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski                       6
8 Cedric Herve (Fra) Credit Agricole                       4
9 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Credit Agricole                     4
10 Xavier Florencio (Spa) ONCE Eroski                      4
11 Jens Voigt (Ger) Credit Agricole                        4
12 Luca Paolini (Ita) Quickstep-Davitamon                  4
13 Ashley Hutchinson (Aus) United Water                    4
14 Daniele Nardello (Ita) Telekom                          2
15 Stephen Cunningham (Aus) UniSA                          2
 
Mountains classification
 
1 Lennie Kristensen (Den) CSC                             20 pts
2 Russell Van Hout (Aus) UniSA                            16
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) Telekom                               16
4 Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Panaria Fiordo                   12
5 Inigo Chaurreau (Spa) Ag2R                               8
6 Kurt Van De Wouwer (Bel) Quickstep-Davitamon             6
7 Brad McGee (Aus) FDJeux.com                              6
8 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Longoni Sport                   4
9 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) ONCE Eroski                       4
 
U23 classification
 
1 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA                             8.25.03
2 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) FDJeux.com                       0.11
3 Dirk Reichl (Ger) Telekom                             1.36
4 Peter Dawson (Aus) United Water                       1.45
5 David Betts (Aus) United Water                        2.33
6 Mark Renshaw (Aus) United Water                      11.05
7 Stefan Schumacher (Ger)  Telekom
8 Brendan Cato (Aus) United Water
9 Kevin Van Impe (Bel) Lotto Domo                      12.17
10 Adrian Laidler (Aus) UniSA                          30.22
11 Aaron Kemps (Aus) United Water                      41.23
12 Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) United Water
13 Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJeux.com

Teams classification
 
1 Ag2r Prevoyance                                   25.14.55
2 Team CSC                                              0.05
3 Credit Agricole                                       0.09
4 UniSA                                                 0.14
5 ONCE-Eroski                                           0.18
6 Quick Step-Davitamon                                  0.22
7 Team Telekom                                          0.24
8 FDJeux.com                                            1.50
9 Saeco-Longoni Sport                                   3.03
10 Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo                             3.26
11 Lotto-Domo                                           4.18
12 United Water                                        14.49