Jacobs Creek Tour Down Under
Competitive Cyclist
Zero Gravity
Hed Cycling
Bendigo Madison

7th Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under - 2.HC

Australia, January 18-23, 2005

Map    Start List   Results

Stage 3 - January 20: Glenelg to Victor Harbor, 139km

Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Anthony Tan and Gabriella Ekström

Complete live report

Live coverage starts: 11.15 ACDT
Estimated finish time: 14.44 ACDT

10:50 CST   
Welcome to our coverage of the third stage of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, a 139 km journey from the popular Adelaide seaside suburb of Glenelg to another coastal location, Victor Harbor on the southern side of the Fleurieu Peninsula. After a 7.3 km neutral section through the southern suburbs of Adelaide, the riders will turn onto the Southern Expressway - the first time that this road has been used in the JCTDU. There is a climb out of town before the race heads south, parallel to the coast and Gulf St Vincent.

The terrain on the Peninsula is brown, bare and windswept, and although the temperatures won't get up much over 25 degrees, there will be head and crosswinds for most of the way.

The day's only climb is at Sellick's Hill (km 43.7) and there are two sprints at Mt Compass (km 66.7) and Goolwa (km 92). It's a day for the sprinters teams to control things, and race leader Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto) is odds-on favourite to keep his yellow jersey and even extend his lead by winning another stage.

11:00 CST   
There is a very big crowd here at Glenelg to witness the start of the stage, braving the wind and cooler temperatures (21-22 at the moment). The gun goes off and the riders roll out for a 7.3 km neutral section. The start proper should be at around 11:15am.

11:16 CST   
The flag is dropped by race director Mike Turtur and the riders are under way in the 3rd stage. Many riders who we spoke to this morning are predicting an aggressive stage due to the winds. And Robbie McEwen himself told us that he wanted to rest his boys today, as they'd worked hard yesterday. Admittedly that was in the company of riders from other teams, so he might not have wanted to give the game plan away...

11:25 CST   
Scott Davis (United Water) didn't start today's stage, meaning that there are now 93 of the original 95 starters left in the race.

11:31 CST    15km/124km to go
The peloton is now cruising up the Southern Expressway before turning off into Main South Rd at Huntfield Heights.

11:40 CST    17km/122km to go
The bunch is not going too hard at the moment, and it's all together.

11:43 CST   
We spoke to Liberty Seguros sprinter Allan Davis, who is currently sitting in second overall. Davis has not been able to get his nose in front of McEwen yet, and believes that Robbie means to go on with it. "I think he's definitely thinking about the overall and winning - he's a talented bike rider and he's got good form, so that's a pretty hard combination (to beat)," Davis told us.

According to Alby, today's stage "is pretty much like yesterday - we saw a break go yesterday - but three teams, Cofidis, Liberty Seguros and Lotto brought it back. Today, we'll just watch the breaks, make sure we've got a rider in it and if it comes down to a sprint at the end, I'll make sure I have a crack."

On his own chances for the overall, Davis said, "You need luck here. Any day a break could go, but I'll try and if I'm in a position to go for the overall, I will."

11:48 CST    21km/118km to go
The first attack of the day is reported over race radio: Johan Vansummeren (Davitamon-Lotto), Partrice Halgand (Credit Agricole), Alberto Contador (Liberty Seguros), Luis Leon Sanchez (Liberty Seguros), Fortunato Baliani (Ceramiche Panaria Navigare) and Steve Cunningham (Uni SA). Unsure of when it went, but the peloton has caught them at km 16.

12:03 CST    26km/113km to go
Panaria teammates Graeme Brown and Julio Perez Cuapio have crashed. Perez Cuapio has been forced to abandon as a result, while Brown is being seen by the race doctor for his injuries.

A group of 26 riders has split off the front of the peloton, notably not including race leader McEwen.

12:10 CST    30km/109km to go
The front group of 26 riders (sans McEwen) has 28 seconds lead on the second peloton. This could be very dangerous, although it's often hard to get a group this size to work together.

12:12 CST    33km/106km to go
At km 33, the front group has 42 seconds.

12:28 CST    42km/97km to go
The big break is moving along nicely now, and is 1 km from the top of the mountain sprint at Sellick's Hill. The gap is 57 seconds. We'll try to get some names in the break.

At the top of the climb, it's 1'06 to the peloton.

12:35 CST    45km/94km to go
The results of the KOM at Sellick's Hill: 1 Gene Bates (Uni SA), 2 David O'Loughlin (Navigators Insurance), 3 David McPartland (United Water), 4 Rob Mclachlan (United Water), 5 Laszlo Bodrogi (Credit Agricole).

We've also got brief results from the second race of The Advertiser Women's Criterium Series, which was held in Goolwa today: 1. Kate Bates (NSW), 2. Kate Nichols (NSW), 3. Emma Rickards (Vic), 4. Candice Sullivan (Qld).

12:39 CST   
We spoke to South Australian road champion Russell Van Hout (UniSA) this morning. Although typically known for his "suicide breakaway" efforts, Van Hout is a little more mellow at this JCTDU. "I'm not planning on anything, but there might be one or two guys trying to get away early," said Van Hout. "I'm going to save myself for the finish today. We've got to be aggressive because we haven't got any sprinters that could be up there for the win."

For the general classification, Van Hout said, "Me and Gene [Bates] are going to try and focus on that. Gene's in really good form, so he's our number one GC rider, and I'll try and make sure I'm there with him."

We asked him about his attempt to bridge across to the break yesterday: "I'm not feeling too bad; I had a couple of bad moments yesterday, but I pulled through OK and I'm feeling pretty good."

12:46 CST   
The full composition of the break: Stuart O’Grady and Jans Koerts (Cofidis), Johan Vansummeren and Jan Kuyckx (Davitamon-Lotto), Bradley Wiggins, Sebastien Hinault, Laszlo Bodrogi, Benoît Poilvet (Credit Agricole), Juan Fuentes and David Loosli (Lampre-Caffita), Allan Davis, Aaron Kemps, Javier Ramirez and Luis Leon Sanchez (Liberty Seguros), Matthew Wilson and Mark Renshaw (FDJeux.com), Erki Putsep and Simon Gerrans (Ag2r Prevoyance), David O'Loughlin (Navigators Insurance), Paride Grillo (Ceramiche Panaria Navigare), David McPartland, Ashley Humbert and Rob Mclachlan (United Water), Gene Bates, Steve Cunningham, Chris Jongewaard (Uni SA).

McEwen is absent, which means that Allan Davis is the race leader on the road. The group has 3'25 over the peloton, which seems to have given up the ghost.

12:52 CST   
Panaria only has one rider in the break today, but he's a fast one: Paride Grillo. He is one of three sprinters in the team that is led by Graeme Brown. We spoke to Brownie this morning before the stage, and he ran us through what went wrong for him in the stage 2 sprint. "Yesterday I felt awesome. I had Robbie's wheel and I had awesome legs, but someone pulled out from the bunch and ran into me, so I was a bit disappointed. It was either hit the fence or hit the fence so I locked it up with a couple of hundred metres to go. But I've got good legs today too...

"We've got three sprinters here, so it's pretty obvious, and one guy is going really well [Grillo]. I always seem to lift here in Australia, so I think we can roll Robbie in one stage at least."

Brown also wasn't looking forward to today. "It's going to be very hard today because of the wind. It's blowing a head/crosswind, so it's pretty hard unless you're on a wheel."

13:01 CST    67km/72km to go
The break flies past the first sprint in Mt Compass, still holding a handy lead of 7'30 over the peloton. Paride Grillo (Ceramiche Panaria Navigare) won ahead of Davis and O'Grady.

13:08 CST    72km/67km to go
Stuart O'Grady is in the break, and definitely up for a win today. He's done it before in Victor Harbor, and will be one of the main favourites. "The plan is to try to follow the attacks at the start; it [the stage] doesn't look too hard on paper, but it could turn out to be pretty hard. It's going to be hard from the start, so we've just got to make sure we're represented out there with our team."

We asked him whether he was here for the overall or for stage wins, to which Stuey replied: I'm here to get a result, so I'm going to do everything I can to do that."

13:13 CST    76km/63km to go
One of the reasons why the gap has blown out to 7'40, is that 11 of the 12 teams are represented in the break. Quick.Step is the only team to have missed it, and they're not really chasing. Credit Agricole (4 riders, including Brad Wiggins), Liberty Seguros (4 riders, including Allan Davis), United Water (3 riders) and UniSA (3 riders, including Gene Bates) are all strongly represented. Not forgetting O'Grady and Koerts (Cofidis), and Gerrans and Putsep (Ag2r).

13:21 CST    82km/57km to go
The break is now heading southeast towards Goolwa (km 92) where the second sprint is located. These sprints are important for the overall GC due to the time bonuses, which are 3, 2 and 1 seconds respectively. The finishing sprint is worth 6, 4 and 2 seconds for the top 3.

13:31 CST    84km/55km to go
As the break passes the 83 km mark, the gap has increased, nay ballooned, out to 11'00. The 26 riders who escaped at the 28 km mark are on course to take out the stage in about an hour and a quarter. O'Grady, Davis, Grillo, Gerrans, McPartland, Bates, Mclachlan, Wiggins - they're all good finishers.

13:35 CST    91km/48km to go
They're coming up to the sprint in Goolwa now...

13:44 CST    95km/44km to go
Davis wins the second sprint in Goolwa, ahead of Grillo and Stuart O’Grady (Cofidis).

By the way, Goolwa comes from the Aboriginal word for elbow, because of the bend in the river around Goolwa and Hindmarsh Island. There is a bridge built across the river, that has rather a controversial history. Google for "Hindmarsh Island" and "secret women's business" and you'll find out why.

13:54 CST    100km/39km to go
Simon Gerrans (Ag2r) is one of our 10 picks for today (it pays to hedge your bets). The young Victorian said that Ag2r doesn't really have a game plan. "I don't think we've got anyone [from our team] protected. We'll just see how the race pans out. I'm sure a break will go away and we've got to make sure we've got someone in there. Everyone in the team is doing really well at the moment so we don't have one designated leader."

On Robbie McEwen, Gerrans said: "I think he's definitely up for the overall. He's won three races in the last six days so he'd be saying he can't win, he's definitely downplaying his chances.

"Allan Davis can definitely win overall. I think he can climb a bit better than Robbie so on the Willunga day, if he can get an advantage over the hill it's very likely he could win.

Before the stage, Gerrans assessed the conditions. "With his wind it could definitely blow apart, so I think everyone will be racing aggressively and trying to put a bit of pressure on Robbie."

Spot on, Simon.

13:59 CST   
The word of the day is Open House, even though it's two words. That's the answer - the trick is to find what it refers too...

14:04 CST    105km/34km to go
The break is now heading west towards Victor Harbor, but won't quite pass through there. Instead with about 25 km to go, the riders turn to the northwest and do a circuit before approaching Victor Harbor from the northwest.

14:08 CST    109km/30km to go
Peter from Victoria, writes that "Open House" relates to a real estate sign that the riders have passed advertising an "open house".

Scott ponders whether it means that "that the stage could go to anyone from this breakaway group?"

Nope, sorry guys :-) We might reveal it at the end of the Tour.

14:08 CST    109km/30km to go
With 30 km to go, the attacks are starting from within the 26 man breakaway group. This is always the "who's got the best legs?" part of the bike race.

14:15 CST   
For those wondering about an apparent half hour discrepancy between the updates and the time on your watch, do not adjust your set. This is quite normal as we are in South Australia, and Australian Central Daylight Time is half an hour out of kilter with Australian Eastern Daylight Time. Or, depending on your perspective, AEDT is half an hour out of kilter with ACDT.

The rest of the world generally stays within discrete one hour zones, although HAT (Heure Avancée de Terre-Neuve) in North America is another one that's 30 minutes out.

But it's all relative anyway, even at the speed at which these riders are moving along.

14:17 CST    114km/25km to go
Two riders - Luis Sanchez (Liberty) and Johan Vansummeren (Davitamon-Lotto) - have established a 30 second lead over the rest of the break. The peloton is now lagging rather forlornly at 22 minutes. We doubt whether it will be eliminated, however.

14:20 CST   
Open House has nothing to do with a big street party in Adelaide or Century 21, a sponsor of the JCTDU.

14:27 CST    119km/20km to go
Open House having something to do with "secret women's business" is about the closest guess we've had. But it's still fairly wide of the mark.

14:29 CST    124km/15km to go
The two riders have passed under the 15 km to go point, so we can expect them to finish in about 20 minutes.

14:34 CST   
Well, local hero Stuart O'Grady won in Victor Harbor in 1999, and went on to win the whole tour. Can he do it again today? Other past winners here include Alessio Galletti (2001), Robbie McEwen (2002) and Philippe Gilbert (2004).

14:43 CST    136km/3km to go
The two leaders - Luis Sanchez and Johan Vansummeren - have 1'08 on a chase group of eight with 3 km to go.

14:47 CST    139km/0km to go
And it's Luis Sanchez who takes out the stage from Vansummeren in Victor Harbor!! That means that the Liberty rider will also take over the leader's jersey, as the next group was 15 seconds back.

South Australian Gene Bates (UniSA) leads the small chasing group home for third. He was aggressive all day, but missed the final move from Sanchez and Ramirez.


1 Luis Sanchez (Spa) Liberty Seguros
2 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto)
3 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA
10 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis

General classification after stage 3

1 Luis Sanchez (Spa) Liberty Seguros
2 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Davitamon-Lotto)

Following live coverage on Cyclingnews: To view the latest four reports on a page that refreshes automatically every five minutes, click on the Latest live report. To view the full live report, which doesn't auto-refresh, click on the Complete live report link.

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