11th Tour Down Under - ProT
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, January 18-25, 2009
Results & report
Stage 3 - January 22: Unley - Victor Harbor, 136 km
Complete live report
Join us around 11:00 local Australia time (CDT), 1:30 European time (CEST),
19:30 (USA East) for Stage 3 of the Tour Down Under. We've got two sprint winners
to date, but could a climb in the final 20 kilometres see the first successful
Tune in for some more fun and find out.
All aboard for Stage 3 of the Tour Down Under, where riders will enjoy a 136
kilometre journey from Unley to Victor Harbor. The stage basically travels from
one side of the Fleurieu Peninsula to the other, passing over two main mountains
along the way. To get into the spirit of the coast-coast dash, I’m getting into
a nautical theme, wearing my captain's hat and hoping the life-ring doesn’t
need to be thrown to me at some point throughout the stage.
The riders are rolling down from their team cars and getting lined up, ready
for today's action to begin. We have a 10.3 kilometre neutral zone on today's
event, so we'll be a little quiet for the first 15-20 minutes.
Today shouldn’t only be a slightly easier day in the saddle for our faithful
soldiers, but also be a tad cooler. The temperature locally is currently 25
degrees Celsius, with a top of 26 predicted and possible showers later in the
afternoon. As it stands, the sky above is clear.
Benjamin has asked if today's theme means I'm broadcasting from a boat (I'm
pretty sure I said yesterday I couldn't disclose where I was broadcasting from?).
All I can say to you, Benjamin, is welcome aboard H.M.A.S. Hilton Lift - the
newest frigate in the Australian Royal Navy's fleet. In fact...it's only just
All those ready to leave port for today’s cruise, don’t forget you can praise,
amaze and daze me with your comments, thoughts, suggestions and useless facts
at email@example.com. I’m not sure what nautical experience the riders
in our bunch have today (obviously the Belgian riders are use to being wet from
riding at home, I’m not sure that’s classified as nautical though), so anyone
with neat information on their water activities, feel free to share it with
The peloton has rolled away from the start line all, so the count down to the
neutral zone's finish has commenced.
Today’s stage features two King of the Mountain sprints and two intermediate
sprints. A group should head off the front early, with the first KOM coming
at kilometre 31.4 with the first intermediate sprint at 57 kilometres.
The riders then travel through the feed zone, before arriving at Goolwa for
the second intermediate sprint at kilometre 99. The race then travels along
the coast line before heading inland for one final climb – our last KOM for
the day at km 116 – after which they will return to the sea-side harbour to
decide on today’s winner, and a potential new race leader.
Yesterday we saw Aussie Allan Davis take his first stage victory at Tour Down
Under in Quick Step colours. Davis is the only rider to have contested all 11
events and is our current race leader.
The news only gets better for Davis, for it was on the Victor Harbor stage at
last year’s event that he claimed a win in UniSA colours. Given the rider’s
form, he would have to be feeling pretty confident ahead of today’s race.
One problem Davis will have to overcome if he’s to turn out a show for the fans
in Victor Harbor this year is the Columbia steam train. While Davis got it done
on the uphill sprint yesterday, the flat as a tack final three kilometres on
today’s stage plays perfectly into Andre Greipel’s hands – and that could see
Davis lose the ocher jersey.
The peloton is now half way through the neutral zone, so we will be leaving
port and getting into some racing shortly.
I've had a few reports in from around the course and reports are there's a stiff
wind at the KoM climbs and also at the finish in Victor Harbor. Today's finish
is known as a difficult sprint, with a cross wind coming across the sprint to
We might see how generous we're feeling as the day rolls along. I'm sure if
we docked H.M.A.S. Hilton Lift alongside the finish line it would help with
the wind issue.
Thanks to Anthony for his inappropriate comment about Bronwyn Bishop and submarines.
Unfortunately that one will have to remain between us. To Gerald, no, Paris
hasn't been aboard H.M.A.S. Hilton Lift. While that joke also has potential,
I think we should leave it there.
Greipel has some big motors in his squad, including Michael Rogers, Bernhard
Eisel, Adam Hansen and his lead-out man, Mark Renshaw. Renshaw himself knows
success Down Under, having claimed a stage win in 2008, but this year he will
be working for defending race winner Greipel, who is well in contention for
The lines are in, boarding has ceased, and the riders have crossed the official
start line. We're away for Stage 3...
Our West Australian fans will be interested to know Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream)
has started today's race. Meyer dislocated his shoulder after being involved
in a crash yesterday. "A bit stiff and sore," he said. "It’s strapped at the
moment, but we’ll play it by ear and see how it goes. It’s actually happened
a few times already, this is the fourth time, so I knew what to do yesterday.
It’s not the most enjoyable experience. It felt ok this morning – every time
I hit a bump it was a bit sore, and if you really want to pull on the bars it’s
a it hard. We’ll play it by ear; there’s no pressure on, and Whitey doesn’t
want me to do any more damage."
Tom Stubbe (Silence-Lotto), Kasper Klostergaard (Saxo Bank), Mathieu Perget
(Caisse d'Epargne) and Aitor Hernandez (Euskaltel - Euskadi) have attacked the
peloton and gained a small margin.
The four have been caught, but it's not going to stay together long. Attacks
are coming fast and thick.
Another group of eight riders has escaped off the front. We're just waiting
on getting all the numbers.
11:35 CST 6km/130km to go
Michael Schar (Astana), Mathieu Perget (Caisse d'Epargne), Wesley Sulzberger
(Fancaise des Jeux), Julien El Fares (Cofidis), Aitor Hernandez (Euskaltel -
Euskadi), Tom Stubbe (Silence-Lotto), Kasper Klostergaard (Saxo Bank) and Daniele
Nardello (Fuji-Servetto) are the riders out front, 15 seconds ahead.
Christian Knees (Team Milram) has given chase.
Christian Knees (Team Milram) has sat up and will be caught by the peloton.
11:38 CST 8.5km/127.5km to go
The peloton has caught Michael Schar (Astana), Mathieu Perget (Caisse d'Epargne),
Wesley Sulzberger (Fancaise des Jeux), Julien El Fares (Cofidis), Aitor Hernandez
(Euskaltel - Euskadi), Tom Stubbe (Silence-Lotto), Kasper Klostergaard (Saxo
Bank) and Daniele Nardello (Fuji-Servetto). The group is now all together.
Mathieu Perget (Caisse d'Epargne) is desperate to make something work and has
attacked again. His gap is only 50 metres, but the peloton doesn't look like
it will let him go.
Mathieu Perget (Caisse d'Epargne) has been brought back. The peloton is strung
out with speeds very high.
Jeremy Roy (Francaise des Jeux) has now attacked. There's already a reaction
in the peloton and it looks like he will be joined by some more riders.
Jeremy Roy (Francaise des Jeux) has been brought back to the peloton.
David Moncoutié (Cofidis), Mathieu Perget (Caisse d'Epargne) and Simon Clarke
(UniSA) have attacked. They have 200 metres over a small chase group with the
peloton 200 metres behind.
The trio has been caught to form a larger lead group of about 15 riders.
There's been a crash in the peloton including race contenders Andre Greipel
(Columbia) and race leader Allan Davis (Quick Step)
The lead group of 16 riders is being chased by a group of about the same size,
with the peloton trying to recompose itself after the crash.
The chase group has now been caught by the peloton as the race climbs up out
of town. The leaders currently have a gap of around 12 seconds.
Francesco Reda (Quick Step), David Moncoutié (Cofidis), Mathieu Perget (Caisse
d'Epargne), Thomas Rohregger (Team Milram), Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Caisse d'Epargne),
Markel Irizar Aranburu (Euskaltel - Euskadi), Jérémy Roy (Française Des Jeux),
Simon Clarke (UniSA), Javier Megías Leal (Fuji-Servetto), Stuart O'Grady (Team
Saxo Bank) and Matthew Wilson (UniSA) are some of the riders in the front group.
Lance Armstrong (Astana) is also in the break.
The full list of riders in the break is Francesco Reda (Quick Step), David Moncoutié
(Cofidis), Mathieu Perget (Caisse d'Epargne), Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana),
Thomas Rohregger (Team Milram), Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Caisse d'Epargne), Markel
Irizar Aranburu (Euskaltel - Euskadi), Michael Rogers (Team Columbia - High
Road), Matthew Lloyd (Silence - Lotto), Jérémy Roy (Française Des Jeux), Simon
Clarke (UniSA), Javier Megías Leal (Fuji-Servetto), Jesus Hernandez (Astana),
Stuart O'Grady (Team Saxo Bank), Tom Stubbe (Silence - Lotto) and Matthew Wilson
11:54 CST 20km/116km to go
It's a solid group out front and that has the peloton worried. They're chasing
hard, with the group currently sitting about 500 metres ahead of the peloton.
Seems like we should be in a 16 ft Skiff, not H.M.A.S. Hilton Lift to keep up
with this morning's action.
11:58 CST 23km/113km to go
The time gap keeps on growing slowly. It's now at 35 seconds 23 kilometres into
Today’s stage travels past the Willunga area where the race will likely be decided
on Saturday. The riders come within five kilometres of the area at around about
kilometre 40 today.
Phil Liggett has asked race radio for an update on the crash earlier in the
race. We believe both race leader Allan Davis (Quick Step) and challenger Andre
Greipel (Columbia) were involved, but are waiting to learn more. Has the race
sunk their battle ships?
An ambulance has just passed the peloton, with riders being asked to stay to
the right. We're not sure at this point if it's attending the scene of the crash,
or another incident.
Okay, good news for Alby fans. The race leader is a part of a 15-strong group
sitting 200 metres behind the peloton. The group will be back on in a few moments.
Thanks to all who have been sharing their nautical experiences - sorry I've
had no time to respond. It's a busy day on the high seas.
12:04 CST 28km/108km to go
The lead group now has a 42 second lead to a small chase group, but its lead
over the peloton has increased to 54 seconds.
The race leader's group is having a hard time getting back on. The speed in
the peloton is such that they've lost ground to it, dropping back to 500 metres.
We're getting close to the day's first KOM. The positions will be filled by
our lead group, so results should come through pretty quickly today.
12:08 CST 29km/107km to go
The chase group has been caught, leaving the 16 strong lead group 1.09 minutes
ahead of the peloton. They're now just two kilometres away from the day's first
Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Caisse d'Epargne) has been dropped from the lead group
on the climb, leaving 15 riders out front. Sanchez was looking fit when we saw
him in the lift yesterday, so I'm surprised he hasn't been able to stick with
the riders up Wickhams Hill.
Allan Davis (Quick Step) and company are now just 150 metres behind the main
Race leader Allan Davis (Quick Step) has re-joined the peloton with four other
riders. The remaining riders in that group chasing to get back on are still
trailing the peloton.
Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Caisse d'Epargne) has been caught by the peloton.
Local boy Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank) is the virtual leader at this point of
12:18 CST 32km/104km to go
The 15 riders are working well together - they want this race to be broken up.
Their gap has now been pulled out to 1.35 minutes.
Fuji-Servetto's Ivan Dominguez is having a hard time in Australia. He's getting
use to ProTour road racing after being based in America for a number of years,
where they have smaller stage races and criteriums. "I know there are a lot
of people in America cheering for me. They visit my Facebook page and wish me
good luck. I’ve been having a hard time here, not because of the weather but
because of some problems to my right knee for the last two-and-a-half weeks.
Right now I’m just trying to make it through in the races as I can. The director’s
always saying, ‘Go easy, don’t kill yourself,we don’t want you to get worse.’
I’m just hanging in there.
"The race is really hard; I was expecting it to be more of a flat race because
people were telling me it was. It’s not."
Jesus Hernandez (Astana) has also been dropped by the leaders. The now 14 strong
group is weeding out those who don't want to work to break this race apart.
12:24 CST 38km/98km to go
The leaders have continued to pull away, with the gap now at 1.45 minutes 38
kilometres in the race.
There's been another crash in the peloton, with team cars urged to stop immediately,
so as not to worsen the situation.
Team Rabobank is driving the action in the peloton. Everyone in the lead group
is working together in order to drive up the gap - yes, that includes Lance.
There's been a lot of confusion over those who are in the break away. I've updated
the list, but after 10 minutes of conversation between radio cars, seems like
the original list was correct.
12:33 CST 45km/91km to go
As the race turns near Willunga to head North-East towards Meadows, the leaders
have a 1.45 minute gap on the peloton.
Garmin-Slipstream’s Chris Sutton knew today was going to be a windy one before
the race started: “I feel good. I had a pretty cruisy day yesterday, looking
after Ryder Hesjedal and hanging round with Trent. We were going to help out
Cam until he had his accident because we thought he could be up there for the
young riders’ jersey. I’ll have a bit of a crack today, see what happens… maybe
I might get into a little breakaway.
“It’s going to be a little windy out there today, and the last time I did this
stage was in 2005. It split on that day and I missed the winning move. It split
pretty big then, so I’ll see what happens today.”
Speaking of Garmin-Slipstream, I was putting my floaties on in the lift this
morning when Julian Dean jumped on board. The rider was looking like he was
in need of a light day after his efforts to chase down yesterday's break away.
Lance Armstrong has brought
Photo ©: Les Clarke
12:39 CST 52km/84km to go
We're now 52 kilometre mark and the leader's gap has dropped to 1.35 minutes.
At this stage, I'm not willing to make a call on whether they will stay away.
I'd love to see it happen, but the day is still young, and the gap only small.
If they continued to pull out a gap beyond three or four minutes, with a group
this strong, I'd be encouraged about their hopes.
12:39 CST 51km/85km to go
For those wondering why I haven't given an update on the KOM winners, it's because
they've not been made official yet. Hopefully that will come through soon.
Rabobank clearly wants today to finish with a sprint. The team is working hard
to bring back the break, with five of its men powering the peloton. Graeme Brown
is still looking for a win Down Under - he's been close on two occasions, but
no cigar (as he put it).
For those asking about Robbie McEwen (Katusha) all I can say is he's a hard
nut to crack. McEwen was in contention for yesterday's sprint, despite being
belted by a camera lens in the previous day's final sprint.
Should we get to a sprint finish today, the Queenslander will no doubt have
another crack. If there's a sprint to be had, McEwen will be in it. He's a true
racer, you've got to give him that.
12:44 CST 56km/80km to go
On the flat run towards the first sprint for today, the gap is coming down.
It's now at 1.25 minutes.
UniSA's team car is having to go back, with two of its riders stranded at kilometre
52 - four kilometres behind the race - with bike problems.
Jack Bobridge (UniSA) has become
Photo ©: Les Clarke
Garmin-Slipstream isn't happy about not having any representation out front.
The team has joined forces with Rabobank in the peloton to try and shut the
If the lead group of 14 is to stay away, it needs to make the most of a small
kick upwards in the course after the intermediate sprint. It then needs to work
together on the descent to get down quicker than the peloton and ride hard to
the base of the next climb.
The problem is there's 20 kilometres of flat in between. The peloton should
be able to catch them here, if not before hand.
At last we have some KOM results:
KOM #1 results
1 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
2 Thomas Rohregger (Team Milram)
3 Stuart O'Grady (Team Saxo Bank)
4 Mathieu Perget (Caisse d'Epargne)
5 Jérémy Roy (Française Des Jeux)
Graeme Brown (Rabobank)
Photo ©: Les Clarke
12:50 CST 57km/79km to go
...and the sprint results have come through immediately after.
Sprint 1 results
1 Matthew Wilson (UniSA)
2 Stuart O'Grady (Team Saxo Bank)
3 Michael Rogers (Team Columbia - High Road)
4 Jérémy Roy (Française Des Jeux)
12:51 CST 60km/76km to go
The gap has held steady at 1.25 minutes through the first sprint.
As a result of the earlier crash, defending champion Andre Greipel (Team Columbia)
is on the boat home. The rider has withdrawn from the race.
Three riders have withdrawn from the event. We understand all three are due
to the earlier crash. They are: André Greipel (Team Columbia - High Road), Kai
Reus (Rabobank) and Trent Lowe (Garmin-Slipstream).
12:57 CST 63km/73km to go
The leader's gap has lost another 10 seconds, it's now down to 1.15 minutes.
Correction, Trent Lowe from Garmin-Slipstream is still in the race. Ermanno
Capelli (Fuji-Servetto) has joined the broom wagon.
Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream) is
Photo ©: Les Clarke
Rabobank and Garmin-Slipstream are still driving the peloton, but the 14 leaders
have managed to pull away on the descent. The gap is back out to 1.30 minutes.
13:03 CST 71km/65km to go
The leaders have taken another five seconds out of the peloton at kilometre
Michael Schär (Astana) and Timothy Gudsell (Française Des Jeux) have now also
abandoned the race.
The peloton's pace has proved too high for a group of 50 riders that has split
from the back of the peloton. This group is sitting at 3.50 minutes from the
Further back is José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Astana), Mario Aerts (Silence - Lotto),
Pieter Jacobs (Silence - Lotto), Hilton Clarke (Fuji-Servetto), Travis Meyer
(UniSA) and Jack Bobridge (UniSA). These riders are under Police escort, but
still in the race, after being involved in the earlier crash.
The Astana riders looked calm
Photo ©: Les Clarke
13:12 CST 76km/60km to go
The 14 leaders are managing to hold their gap around the 1.30 minute mark, 76
kilometres into the race.
Lance Armstrong thinks a climb in the final 20 kilometres will mix up today’s
outcome, possibly leading to a splintered finish. I’m hoping the American is
right, and he’s doing his best at the moment to break up the race, but it’s
a matter that could be decided by weather.
Okay, so photos have landed from today's start line. Check throughout the report
- there's five in total.
A big shout out to Rick Lowe up in Queensland. Sorry mate, didn't mean to worry
you about the nephew. He's still out there and I'm hoping to see good things
from him in Willunga on Saturday. I've not seen him in the lift yet...
13:21 CST 82km/54km to go
The riders have nearly finished the descent into Currency Creek, but they've
been losing time. The gap is down to 1.15 minutes and there's a long, 20 kilometre
stretch of flat road ahead.
Wow, if I knew working on H.M.A.S. Hilton Lift would be so hard, I'd have stayed
in Hahndorf in my concierge outfit drinking beer.
So lets try to call this people. Before they give too much away, I'm going to
run a quick poll. Let me know if you think the group can stay away or if they're
going to be caught.
Lance Armstrong (Astana) isn't happy with the media attention, he's just asked
for the helicopter above to be moved away from he and the other riders.
13:28 CST 90km/46km to go
The lead group of 14 riders - Thomas Rohregger (Team Milram), Stuart O'Grady
(Team Saxo Bank), Michael Rogers (Team Columbia - High Road), Francesco Reda
(Quick Step), Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana), Simon Clarke (UniSA), Markel Irizar
Aranburu (Euskaltel - Euskadi), Matthew Lloyd (Silence - Lotto), Javier Megías
Leal (Fuji-Servetto), David Moncoutié (Cofidis), Matthew Wilson (UniSA), Jérémy
Roy (Française Des Jeux), Tom Stubbe (Silence - Lotto), Mathieu Perget (Caisse
d'Epargne) - has just reached the flat. They're keeping the gap at 1.15 minutes,
and they're going to need to hold that for the next 20 kilometres, then build
on it if they have a hope of staying away.
It looks like H.M.A.S. Hilton Lift could enter all-out war here, as it's a dead
split on opinion with out poll question. One person said "they're gonna get
shut down like Gitmo" while another noted "Spartacus has returned and he will
pull away" - but the fact remains you're responses are 50/50 thus far.
13:35 CST 95km/41km to go
The leaders are being destroyed on the flat, they now have just 55 seconds over
the peloton. It's about self preservation now - and riders like virtual leader
Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank) are going to have to decide on their commitment to
We've just had confirmation overnight leader Allan Davis (Quick Step) is one
of the riders working in the chase group. He managed to stay with the front
half of the peloton when they broke apart.
Race organisers have just whispered in my ear that Andre Greipel (Columbia)
has been taken to the Flinders Medical Centre. The rider has reportedly dislocated
his shoulder. The defending champion is out of this year's race.
Warren has just said the torpedo is in the water to take down the break. I'm
not sure if he fired that from H.M.A.S. Hilton Lift, because the captain was
kinda hoping the break would stay away.
The break's day is done. 10 of the riders have stopped working and are being
quickly caught by the peloton.
The majority of the leaders have been caught. Matthew Lloyd (Silence - Lotto),
Markel Irizar Aranburu (Euskaltel - Euskadi) and Simon Clarke (UniSA) are still
13:41 CST 101km/35km to go
Matthew Lloyd (Silence - Lotto), Markel Irizar Aranburu (Euskaltel - Euskadi),
Simon Clarke (UniSA) have sat up. The leading group now has 50 riders in it.
Three riders have counter attacked as the peloton came back together. Glenn
d'Hollander (Silence - Lotto), Adam Hansen (Team Columbia - High Road) and Wesley
Sulzberger (Française Des Jeux) have now formed a small lead group with an equally
Anders Lund (Team Saxo Bank) has crossed to join the three leaders, making it
a lead group of four riders.
In amongst the action, the riders have contested the second sprint.
Sprint #2 results
1 Stuart O'Grady (Team Saxo Bank)
2 Matthew Wilson (UniSA)
3 Michael Rogers (Team Columbia - High Road)
13:47 CST 103km/33km to go
Glenn d'Hollander (Silence - Lotto) is continuing to push ahead while Adam Hansen
(Team Columbia - High Road), Wesley Sulzberger (Française Des Jeux) and Anders
Lund (Team Saxo Bank) have sat up.
Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream) has attacked the lead group in the hope of
catching Glenn d'Hollander (Silence - Lotto).
Baden Cooke (UniSA) is confident he can get over Willunga later this week. "I
think I can get over the Willunga stage, but I think most of the sprinters will
get over it.The way everyone's going – I think Allan will, Greipel will, Stuey
will… there are going to be five guys; the top five will probably remain mostly
unchanged at the finish. It might shuffle round a bit, although unless something
happens today in the wind I don't think you're going to see someone from outside
the top 10 come up now.
"I won another stage around there two years ago, so I know the place well."
Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream) is now 30 seconds behind the leader, who has
a 65 second margin over the leader's jersey group.
Quick Step has taken to the front of the first chase group. They have race leader
Allan Davis with them and are trying to bring the two leaders back in.
Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream) has closed right in on Glenn d'Hollander (Silence
- Lotto). The Australian is now just 10 seconds behind.
George Hincapie (Columbia) is feeling fresh after his top five finish yesterday.
“I’m happy with the way my legs felt – I haven’t done much intensity, so it’s
a good sign of where my condition is,” he told us at the start.
13:58 CST 108km/28km to go
Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream) has caught Glenn d'Hollander (Silence - Lotto).
The pair have a 1.40 minute lead over the chase group, which is being powered
by Quick Step.
At this point experienced racers Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank) and Lance Armstrong
(Astana) will be letting race leader Allan Davis and his Quick Step squad do
the work in trying to pull the front of the race back together.
After a long break early, they will be sitting on in the hope of having another
crack on the next climb in five kilometres time.
Graeme Brown (Rabobank) has been happy with his team’s work this week. “The
team’s excellent; they’ve been riding really well and doing a great job. I can’t
complain, they’ve been great,” he said. “Hopefully today we can get a win.
Caisse d'Epargne has taken over work in the leader's jersey group from Quick
14:06 CST 114km/22km to go
The peloton has closed in slightly on leaders Glenn d'Hollander (Silence - Lotto)
and Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream), with the gap now 1.25 minutes.
It's getting a little quiet as the riders climb towards the final climb, so
it's time to crunch some numbers. I want H.M.A.S. Hilton Lift to collectively
pick today's winner - so tell me, sailors, who's it going to be?
Matthew Lloyd (Silence-Lotto) has attacked from the leader's jersey group. The
former Australian champion is 200 metres ahead of the approximately 47-strong
Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream) is alone 55 seconds ahead of the peloton as
Matthew Lloyd (Silence-Lotto) and Glenn d'Hollander (Silence - Lotto) fall back
into the leader's jersey group.
David Moncoutié (Cofidis) has attacked the leader's jersey group on the climb.
David Moncoutié (Cofidis) has caught and passed Matthew Lloyd (Silenc-Lotto)
who has all but been caught by the peloton.
Some are backing Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream) to stay away for a solo win,
but local lad Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank) has the most votes so far, followed
by Michael Rogers (Columbia). Seems you're loving the Aussies aboard H.M.A.S.
We have a very fractured race at the moment, so I'm going to give a wrap of
where it stands. Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream) is in the lead, he's being
chased by a group of about 30 riders, which has been broken down from the 50
which earlier caught the day's main break. Behind the remnants of that group
is the other major group of the day, with about 50 riders sitting nearly seven
minutes behind at last time check.
Under Police escort further back after earlier crash is José Luis Rubiera Vigil
(Astana), Mario Aerts (Silence - Lotto), Pieter Jacobs (Silence - Lotto), Hilton
Clarke (Fuji-Servetto), Travis Meyer (UniSA) and Jack Bobridge (UniSA).
I can tell you that the race today has been a very quick one, as a result of
the strong group to go away early. Already the event is running 10 minutes ahead
14:24 CST 123km/13km to go
As Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream) passes the top of Kerby Hill, he holds
a 40 second gap over the chasing group of 30. The rider now has a 10 kilometre
descent before the flat run into Victor Harbor.
Some of the riders to drop off the original chase group are fighting back. About
16 riders have just reached the back of the convoy, behind the 30 riders in
the leader's jersey group.
Well, a sailor went to sea, sea, sea and he's pretty happy with what he saw,
saw, saw so far.
Does anyone know what Victor Harbor was originally a port for? (Here's a hint,
as a nation, we're now very much against the Japanese stance on this topic.)
As the leader's jersey group reaches the descent, there's a flurry of attacks
at the front.
This is going to be a very fast final 13 kilometres...of that I am sure.
Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream) has some chasers just 200 metres behind, one
of which is Perrig Quemeneur (Bbox Bouygues Telecom). Meyer has, however, just
been announced as the day's most aggressive rider.
Perrig Quemeneur (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) has been caught by the leader's jersey
group, but Meyer is still ahead. His margin is slim, at just 12 seconds.
14:32 CST 129km/7km to go
Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream) has been caught. Caisse d'Epargne is lead
Saxo Bank has taken control of the leader's group, they clearly want to bring
Stuart O'Grady in for the win.
David Moncoutié (Cofidis) and Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Caisse d'Epargne) have
14:35 CST 131km/5km to go
Both David Moncoutié (Cofidis) and Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Caisse d'Epargne)
have been caught. The leader's group is all together with six kilometres to
go. Team Saxo Bank is again controlling the pace.
Javier Megías Leal (Fuji-Servetto) has attacked now.
There's a roundabout the lead group will have to get around one kilometre from
The peloton is all together inside the final 1.5 kilometres.
Rabobank has moved to the front with Graeme Brown.
Columbia has lined up to contest the sprint too.
The two teams are going head to head, but Allan Davis (Quick Step) is starting
to make his move.
Graeme Brown (Rabobank) looks to have it in the bag.
Graeme Brown (Rabobank) has finally got his victory, ahead of yesterday's winner
Allan Davis (Quick Step).
Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank) has made the podium again with third place.
George Hincapie has ensured it's not been all bad news for Columbia today, by
To steal a line from one of my faithful followers, I nearly burst a mainsail
with a sprint that gusty.
I know you're all hanging out to find out where Lance Armstrong (Astana) finished,
but at this stage I'm still waiting on that information.
I'll keep the live running a bit longer in the hope of finding out a bit more
about the following groups, but there's a good chance we will have to wait from
someone to tap in the full results using morse code.
Rabobank's Graeme Brown has spoken of his win to Cyclingnews: "I'm ecstatic
about the win. The team has worked really hard all day. It was originally supposed
to be for Matt Hayman. We worked for 80 kilometres to bring the break back.
I'm just so happy."
There's been a revision to the results, Hincapie was beaten to fourth place
on review of the footage.
1 Graeme Brown (Rabobank) 3.15.35
2 Allan Davis (Quick Step)
3 Stuart O'Grady (Team Saxo Bank)
4 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Caisse d'Epargne)
5 George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia - High Road)
6 Martin Elmiger (AG2R La Mondiale)
7 José Joaquin Rojas Gil (Caisse d'Epargne)
8 Alexandre Pichot (Bbox Bouygues Telecom)
9 Mauro Santambrogio (Lampre - N.G.C)
10 Mickaël Chérel (Française Des Jeux)
1 Allan Davis (Quick Step) 10.47.11
2 Graeme Brown (Rabobank)
3 Stuart O'Grady (Team Saxo Bank) 0.05
That's it for now sailors. Check back at Cyclingnews.com for full results, report
and photos as the day rolls on.
Admiral Greg Johnson
H.M.A.S. Hilton Lift
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