8th Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under - 2.HC
Australia, January 17-22, 2006
Results & report
Stage 3 - Friday, January 20: Strathalbyn - Yankalilla, 154km
Commentary by Jeff Jones, with additional reporting from Les Clarke and
Complete live report
Live coverage starts: 11:00 ACDT
Estimated finish: 14:50 ACDT
Welcome back to South Australia for
the third stage of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, the longest day at 154
km between Strathalbyn and Yankalilla. We're almost halfway through the race,
and today's stage will likely be a quiet one for the general classification
guys before tomorrow's Willunga decider.
Today's stage is run on
the Fleurieu peninsula, starting from the Adelaide Hills Heritage town of Strathalbyn,
which boasts glorious gardens and bluestone buildings (according to the blurb).
The riders then travel out to Victor Harbor, which has hosted several stage
finishes in the past, but will continue westward along the peninsula, passing
via the King of the Mountain at Newland Hill (km 85.6), then out to Delamere
before turning north to Yankalilla, which is hosting a finish for the first
There are also two intermediate sprints today, at Goolwa (km
61.4) and Pt Elliot (km 73.1). Overall, it's an up and down day and will be
another taxing one for the riders.
The heat will be on again, with
temps expected to reach the high 30s today, with a little more humidity. There's
more wind too, which may cut things up as the riders travel near the coastline.
It's a fairly decent sized crowd at the start. But the riders look a little
worse for wear today, and it's likely most of them will try to consolidate and
wait for tomorrow.
11:05 CST 2km/152km to go
And they're racing
in the third stage of the JCTDU. After an 800m neutral section, the gun goes
off and immediately the attacks start.
We spoke to several riders this morning,
including Robbie McEwen, who is third placed on GC. Robbie's game plan is "Probably
the same as yesterday, when you consider that everyone's position on GC remains
unchanged. So I think it'll be a similar scenario to yesterday. I think it'll
be aggressive at the start until the right combination is let go. Across the
peninsula, it'll be windy and winding, so It'll be pretty much the same as yesterday
in terms of the way it's ridden.
"I'll conserve energy, stay in the
bunch, and I'll try to stay with Sanchez and Gerrans. My legs weren't bad yesterday
but the muscles are still tender after the cramping on Tuesday night. Another
day in the bunch would do them good."
11:17 CST 9km/145km to go
Cadel Evans (Davitamon
Lotto), Carlos Barredo (Liberty Seguros), Jonathon Clarke (South Australia.com
- AIS) have attacked very early after 4 km, and were joined by Alexandre Botcharov
(Credit Agricole), Michele Gobbi (Milram), Vincent Jerome (Bouygues Telecom),
Serge Pauwels (Chocolade Jacques) and Mathew Hayman (Uni SA - Australia). Three
riders have managed to bridge up: Jose Joaquin Rojas (Liberty Seguros), Daniel
Becke (Milram), Ben Day (Uni SA - Australia) and after eight kilometres, this
11 man group has 15 seconds.
11:20 CST 12km/142km to go
Glen Chadwick (Navigators
Insurance) tries to bridge up, but fails, as the 11 leaders push their advantage
to 25 seconds.
11:24 CST 14km/140km to go
Cadel Evans is the
best placed rider on GC in the break, but he's over 12 minutes down and doesn't
really threaten Gerrans' lead. But Ag2r won't relax completely, if they decide
to let this break go.
The tough conditions have helped the gap grow
to 50 seconds, but there it's raining counter-attacks in the peloton.
11:30 CST 18km/136km to go
The break numbers
11 and enjoys a 1'20 advantage over the peloton. The sun is beating down but
there is a chance of a thunderstorm later.
One of the riders in the break, Cadel
Evans (Davitamon-Lotto), told us this morning that "If the opportunity comes
today, I'll take it. If it comes tomorrow, I'll take it tomorrow." Well, it
looks like it came today.
"Considering how far I've progressed in
my training, I feel good at the moment. This year, the racing here is more solid
than last year. This year, at this Tour Down Under, I haven't been so successful,
but like Robbie and some of the other guys, I'm aiming for bigger things later
in the year."
Will your team be looking after Robbie? "Robbie's riding
so well, we'll be looking after him. Tomorrow, my job is just to get up Willunga
nice and fast and bring the other guys up.
11:34 CST 20km/134km to go
After 20 clicks, the
gap to the 11 out front has grown to 1'52 as Ag2r tries to control the peloton.
Maybe they'll call a mass nature break like they did yesterday, much to the
chagrin of Russell
11:38 CST 23km/131km to go
The front group is
working well together, with nine teams represented. The gap continues to grow
and it's now 2'25. Liberty (again), Uni SA, and Milram all have two riders in
11:45 CST 27km/127km to go
Ag2r has control of
the main bunch, but they can't afford to relax completely, as Cadel Evans is
'only' 12 minutes behind on GC. They have more time to play with, and could
give Evans 10 minutes and still be safe tomorrow.
It's also a good
move by Liberty Seguros to put two guys in the break, because it puts some pressure
on Ag2r as well. Liberty wants to tire out the Ag2r team as much as possible
before tomorrow's stage, so Sanchez can try to take that 7 seconds out of Gerrans.
11:55 CST 28km/126km to go
It's now up to 2'55
as the eleven riders head through Nangkita.
How to describe the
Fleurieu Peninsula? Brown is probably the best word. Then grass, wind, and vineyards.
And blue sea that you don't even need Photoshop for.
12:02 CST 37km/117km to go
The leaders are through
Mt Compass now, with Evans and Hayman looking particularly strong. Matt Hayman
was actually looking a bit burned last night in the hotel, but it's pretty hard
to avoid that when you're racing four hours in the heat.
are doing long, smooth turns. Vincent Jerome punctures, but is back with the
3'38 is the latest time check.
12:08 CST 39km/115km to go
The road continues
uphill after Mt Compass, but it doesn't disturb the rhythm of the break. The
wind is also quite strong.
12:17 CST 44km/110km to go
The situation has
stabilised somewhat after 43 km, with the Ag2r led bunch holding the break at
3'33. The road continues to go up and down, and after the first hour, everyone
will be feeling a bit tired.
12:21 CST 48km/106km to go
Ag2r is still controlling
things and Simon Gerrans is looking very comfy behind his teammates on the climbs.
"We'll play it like yesterday," Gerrans told us this morning. "We'll let another
group go, if they're no threat to us. Looking not to spend so much energy today,
as we spent a little too much yesterday, especially because today is really
hard in the big crosswind."
[By the way, Gerrans is pronounced with
a soft "g"]
12:25 CST 56km/98km to go
We're coming up to
five kilometres before the first sprint in Goolwa, and the bunch has shown no
signs of closing the gap to the leaders yet. No surprises there. None of the
riders in the break is a really a threat for the points jersey (currently held
by Gerrans, but worn by Alby Davis). But Cadel Evans is certainly a threat for
the mountains jersey, currently worn by Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2r). Evans is on
20 points, and if he wins the sprint at km 85, he will move four points ahead
12:32 CST 60km/94km to go
The latest time check
is 4'10, after the bunch passes the five km mark to the first sprint. Up front,
Matty Hayman is looking the best, relishing these conditions. Hayman is a classic
rouleur - not really a climber, nor a sprinter, but a rider who can power
along all day in tough, windy conditions, and ride the legs off the lightweights.
12:35 CST 62km/92km to go
The break reaches the
first intermediate sprint in Goolwa, where the town's populace is out in force
to watch the colour of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under come through. First
across the line is Daniel Becke (Milram), who beats the pocket climber Alexandre
Botcharov (Credit Agricole) and Mathew Hayman (Uni SA - Australia).
The wind is still high as they head along the coast now, towards Victor Harbor.
12:43 CST 68km/86km to go
The leaders are now
progressing through Middleton, just before Pt Elliot, where the second and final
sprint of the day is located. There are some big crowds in Middleton, enjoying
The riders in the break: Carlos Barredo,
Jose Joaquin Rojas (Liberty Seguros), Alexandre Botcharov (Credit Agricole),
Cadel Evans (Davitamon Lotto), Daniel Becke and Michele Gobbi (Milram), Vincent
Jerome (Bouygues Telecom), Serge Pauwels (Chocolade Jacques), Jonathon Clarke
(South Australia.com - AIS), Ben Day and Mathew Hayman (Uni SA - Australia).
The break was initiated at the 4 km mark by Barredo, Evans and Clarke, and gradually
grew to 12. They enjoy a four minute plus lead over the main bunch, which is
led by the race leader's equipe, Ag2r-Prevoyance.
12:49 CST 70km/84km to go
The temperatures have
dropped a bit as we head along the coast and the beaches of Port Elliot, much
to the riders' relief. Hayman looks like he's riding a 53x15 gear, which is
a nice one when you're doing about 45 km/h.
The gap is 4'35. The
leaders are 1 km from the sprint in Pt Elliot.
12:52 CST 72km/82km to go
The second sprint sees
Daniel Becke (Milram) and Alexandre Botcharov (Credit Agricole) take the first
two placings again, with Jonathon Clarke (South Australia.com - AIS) picking
up the last 2 points.
12:59 CST 77km/77km to go
There are great Ocean
views in Port Elliot, with plenty of people supporting the race. It's still
very windy, of course, as the gap hovers between the 4'30 and 4'40 mark. The
leaders are halfway exactly.
13:06 CST 82km/72km to go
The leaders head through
Victor Harbor and take on food and water at the feed zone. The gap is the same,
and the Ag2r team has got this breakaway securely pegged. If other teams want
to bring it back, they'll have to start chasing very soon.
13:13 CST 84km/70km to go
The first and only
climb of the day is at the top of Newland Hill, coming out of Victor Harbor.
The field is now through the feed zone, and most have taken on drinks as it's
still very warm, despite the proximity to the coast.
13:17 CST 86km/68km to go
No surprises at the
top of the hill, as Cadel Evans (Davitamon Lotto) takes the 16 points at the
KOM ahead of Alexandre Botcharov (Credit Agricole), Serge Pauwels (Chocolade
Jacques), Mathew Hayman (Uni SA - Australia) and Jonathon Clarke (South Australia.com
- AIS). Evans is a very accomplished climber, and last year finished eighth
overall in the Tour de France.
The gap to the bunch at the top is
The main field comes up the climb
with Ag2r setting its relentless controlling tempo. No-one has tried to attack
the GC leader Gerrans, who is looking very comfy as he chats to his teammates.
As a result of his win in the KOM,
Cadel Evans has taken over the mountains jersey from Samuel Dumoulin. Evans
has won the jersey twice already in past editions of the JCTDU: in 2002 and
13:26 CST 91km/63km to go
The race has moved
away from the coast now, which means the wind has decreased but the temperature
has gone back up again. The leaders are working well, hoping that the break
will stay away to the finish.
UniSA has been on the attack every
day, as usual, and have certainly helped to animate the race. One of their riders,
Ben Day, up there in the break. He commented to us before the start that "The
guys are riding aggressively and our boys are going well. Paul [Crake] rode
well yesterday and five guys were up there on the first day. We've still got
a few goals to achieve and a few days of hard racing ahead."
13:37 CST 93km/61km to go
The gap is 4'15 as
the 12 leaders pass the 93 km mark. There is no real urgency in the chase with
Ag2r on the front, so it looks like the breakaways will stay clear.
The cow report
Mostly, the cows are staying in
the shade today, due to the heat. It's approx. 33 degrees Celsius at the moment.
But wait, there are some more Friesians!
Thanks to our cow spotter
Les Clarke for the cow report.
13:48 CST 104km/50km to go
In the break, Carlos
Barredo (Liberty Seguros) attacks! Matt Hayman goes with him straight away.
Now things will start to heat up.
13:50 CST 106km/48km to go
Barredo stays with
Hayman, and they are joined by Vincent Jerome (Bouygues Telecom) and Alexandre
Botcharov (Credit Agricole).
A correction: Glen Chadwick (Navigators
Insurance) hasn't been in the break - he tried to bridge up early on, but failed.
But his number was still called out over race radio. So all references to the
dirty dozen will now be deleted. Thank you.
13:57 CST 108km/46km to go
Evans bridges across
to the four leaders, and Rojas is also trying.
Ben Day (Uni SA -
Australia), Jonathon Clarke (South Australia.com - AIS) and Michele Gobbi (Milram)
are left behind.
14:05 CST 115km/39km to go
Up front, there are
seven riders, and these have been confirmed as being: Carlos Barredo (Liberty
Seguros), Mathew Hayman (Uni SA - Australia), Vincent Jerome (Bouygues Telecom),
Alexandre Botcharov (Credit Agricole), Serge Pauwels (Chocolade Jacques), Daniel
Becke (Milram), and Cadel Evans (Davitamon Lotto).
Behind them, there
is a group of four with Jose Joaquin Rojas (Liberty Seguros), who almost but
not quite managed to get across, Michele Gobbi (Milram), Jonathon Clarke (South
Australia.com - AIS), and Ben Day (Uni SA - Australia).
14:13 CST 119km/35km to go
The last part of this
stage is pretty much all downhill, so if there is going to be another selection,
then now would be a good time to make it. We have seven survivors of the original
break of 11. Becke has shown himself to be the best sprinter so far, so the
others won't want to go to the finish with him. Botcharov is looking strong,
as is Hayman and Evans.
The two front groups are about a minute
apart, with the leaders now 5 minutes ahead of the peloton.
14:22 CST 125km/29km to go
The riders are heading
north east towards the finish town of Yankalilla, and we have seven of the original
11 in front: Carlos Barredo (Liberty Seguros), Mathew Hayman (Uni SA - Australia),
Vincent Jerome (Bouygues Telecom), Alexandre Botcharov (Credit Agricole), Serge
Pauwels (Chocolade Jacques), Daniel Becke (Milram), and Cadel Evans (Davitamon
Barredo and Hayman started the move, but Barredo dropped
his chain and had to chase back on. So he's obviously feeling good today. He's
a bit of a specialist at the long break, too.
The last rider who we caught up with
at the start village this morning was Gene Bates, from UniSA (who will ride
for LPR this year). He's placed fifth on GC, so he's a marked man.
"I'm in a difficult position," he said. "I'm too far behind to have a real go
but I'm too close for them to let me go up the road. I'm just going to stay
attentive today, with the wind and stuff, and have a go at the King of the Mountain,
and I'll see if it pays off."
We asked him about the incident on
the climb with Sergey Lagutin yesterday. "I went for the sprint, moved to the
right and gave the Navigators guy a push on the hip. And he didn't like it.
What can I say?"
"The team's working for the team prize and to look
after me for a spot on GC."
14:32 CST 134km/20km to go
The seven front riders
are nearing the descent towards the finish in Yankalilla, and they are gradually
putting time into the chasing four, with the bunch not really in it at five
minutes or so.
14:35 CST 139km/15km to go
The last time check
we got was at 15 km to go, and the leaders are still together with a two minute
gap to Rojas, Gobbi, J. Clarke and Day, and the Ag2r-led bunch at 5'00.
On paper, Daniel Becke has probably got the quickest legs if it comes down to
a group sprint. Hayman might be strong enough to pull off a sprint win as well.
14:41 CST 144km/10km to go
The crowds have gathered
in anticipation in Yankalilla, waiting to see who'll emerge with their wheel
in front on the finishing straight. Another 10-15 minutes, and it will be over.
14:44 CST 145km/9km to go
Barredo has attacked
the leaders now! The Liberty Seguros rider has 40 seconds gap on the remaining
six, and looks like going all the way.
As Barredo powers on, news comes in
that the bunch is now eight minutes behind the leader. That will move Evans
up a few places on GC at the end of the day, but he won't threaten Gerrans as
he was 12'14 down at the start of the day.
Barredo (24) is in his third year
as a pro, and has won win to his name: a stage in the 2004 Vuelta a Asturias.
He could get another today.
14:50 CST 152km/2km to go
Carlos Barredo has
destroyed the rest of the break and is now 1'27 ahead with just 2 km to go.
He's on track to winning the stage.
14:52 CST 154km/0km to go
Carlos Barredo (Liberty
Seguros) has claimed the second stage win in a row for his team, coming across
the line with his arms raised in triumph in Yankalilla. Great ride by the young
Spaniard, and a good sign for Luis Sanchez for tomorrow.
The sprint for second place goes to
Vincent Jerome (Bouygues Telecom), ahead of Daniel Becke (Team Milram). We're
still waiting for the main bunch, but Simon Gerrans (Ag2r) will keep the Jacob's
Creek ochre leader's jersey for another day.
Once again, the strongest guy at the
end of the stage has pulled off the win, and this time it was the turn of the
Europeans to claim one back from the Aussies. Barredo is a good, strong rider,
and he showed it today with his powerful attack at around 10 km to go.
Simon Gerrans had a quiet day in the bunch, as did all the other GC riders,
but they will be saving everything for tomorrow's stage around Willunga, which
is always a cracker.
Although Gerrans keeps the leader's jersey,
Daniel Becke should take over the points jersey after today, and Evans the mountains
jersey. Will Walker will keep his lead in the U23 classification.
That's about it from us in Yankalilla. Tune in tomorrow at 11:00am local time
for more live action of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under: the scorcher in Willunga!
1 Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 3.51.03
2 Daniel Becke (Ger) Team Milram 0.32
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto
4 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Chocolade Jacques-T Interim
5 Vincent Jerome (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 1.38
6 Mathew Hayman (Aus) UniSA-Australia 1.40
7 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Credit Agricole
8 Jonathon Clarke (Aus) South Australia.com-AIS Cycling 5.26
9 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 5.56
10 Ben Day (Aus) UniSA-Australia
11 Michele Gobbi (Ita) Team Milram 6.05
12 Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA-Australia 7.34
General classification after stage 3
1 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Ag2r Prevoyance 11.11.32
2 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Würth Team 0.07
3 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 0.18
4 William Walker (Aus) United Water-Australia U/23 0.46
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