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11th Tour Down Under - ProT

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, January 18-25, 2009

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Stage 3 - January 22: Unley - Victor Harbor, 136 km

Complete live report

22:40 CST   
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 breakaway winner?

Tune in for some more fun and find out.

10:59 CST   
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.

11:01 CST   
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.

11:04 CST   
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.

11:07 CST   
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 been launched.

11:08 CST   
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 commentator@cyclingnews.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 group.

11:09 CST   
The peloton has rolled away from the start line all, so the count down to the neutral zone's finish has commenced.

11:12 CST   
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.

11:13 CST   
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.

11:15 CST   
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.

11:17 CST   
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.

11:19 CST   
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.

11:20 CST   
The peloton is now half way through the neutral zone, so we will be leaving port and getting into some racing shortly.

11:22 CST   
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 the line.

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.

11:24 CST   
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.

11:26 CST   
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 back-to-back wins.

11:27 CST   
The lines are in, boarding has ceased, and the riders have crossed the official start line. We're away for Stage 3...

11:28 CST   
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."

11:30 CST   
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.

11:31 CST   
The four have been caught, but it's not going to stay together long. Attacks are coming fast and thick.

11:32 CST   
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.

11:35 CST   
Christian Knees (Team Milram) has given chase.

11:38 CST   
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.

11:39 CST   
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.

11:40 CST   
Mathieu Perget (Caisse d'Epargne) has been brought back. The peloton is strung out with speeds very high.

11:41 CST   
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.

11:44 CST   
Jeremy Roy (Francaise des Jeux) has been brought back to the peloton.

11:45 CST   
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.

11:45 CST   
The trio has been caught to form a larger lead group of about 15 riders.

11:46 CST   
There's been a crash in the peloton including race contenders Andre Greipel (Columbia) and race leader Allan Davis (Quick Step)

11:47 CST   
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.

11:47 CST   
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.

11:50 CST   
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.

11:52 CST   
Lance Armstrong (Astana) is also in the break.

11:53 CST   
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 (UniSA).

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.

11:57 CST   
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 the race.

11:59 CST   
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.

12:01 CST   
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?

12:02 CST   
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.

12:02 CST   
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.

12:03 CST   
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.

12:05 CST   
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.

12:07 CST   
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 KOM.

12:11 CST   
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.

12:11 CST   
Allan Davis (Quick Step) and company are now just 150 metres behind the main peloton.

12:15 CST   
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.

12:16 CST   
Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Caisse d'Epargne) has been caught by the peloton.

12:16 CST   
Local boy Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank) is the virtual leader at this point of the race.

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.

12:20 CST   
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."

12:21 CST   
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.

12:25 CST   
There's been another crash in the peloton, with team cars urged to stop immediately, so as not to worsen the situation.

12:31 CST   
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.

12:32 CST   
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.

12:36 CST   
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.”

12:37 CST   
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
(Click for larger image)

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.

12:41 CST   
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).

12:43 CST   
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.

12:44 CST   
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
(Click for larger image)

12:46 CST   
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 move down.

12:47 CST   
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.

12:50 CST   
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
(Click for larger image)

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.

12:52 CST   
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.

12:53 CST   
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.

13:00 CST   
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 nursing
Photo ©: Les Clarke
(Click for larger image)

13:02 CST   
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 71.

13:08 CST   
Michael Schär (Astana) and Timothy Gudsell (Française Des Jeux) have now also abandoned the race.

13:10 CST   
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 race lead.

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
(Click for larger image)

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.

13:14 CST   
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.

13:19 CST   
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.

13:24 CST   
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.

13:26 CST   
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.

13:30 CST   
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 this break.

13:36 CST   
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.

13:37 CST   
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.

13:39 CST   
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.

13:40 CST   
The break's day is done. 10 of the riders have stopped working and are being quickly caught by the peloton.

13:41 CST   
The majority of the leaders have been caught. Matthew Lloyd (Silence - Lotto), Markel Irizar Aranburu (Euskaltel - Euskadi) and Simon Clarke (UniSA) are still resisting.

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.

13:43 CST   
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 small lead.

13:44 CST   
Anders Lund (Team Saxo Bank) has crossed to join the three leaders, making it a lead group of four riders.

13:45 CST   
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.

13:49 CST   
Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream) has attacked the lead group in the hope of catching Glenn d'Hollander (Silence - Lotto).

13:52 CST   
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."

13:53 CST   
Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream) is now 30 seconds behind the leader, who has a 65 second margin over the leader's jersey group.

13:54 CST   
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.

13:56 CST   
Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Slipstream) has closed right in on Glenn d'Hollander (Silence - Lotto). The Australian is now just 10 seconds behind.

13:57 CST   
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.

13:59 CST   
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.

14:02 CST   
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.

14:03 CST   
Caisse d'Epargne has taken over work in the leader's jersey group from Quick Step.

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.

14:07 CST   
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?

14:09 CST   
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 group.

14:12 CST   
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.

14:13 CST   
David Moncoutié (Cofidis) has attacked the leader's jersey group on the climb.

14:14 CST   
David Moncoutié (Cofidis) has caught and passed Matthew Lloyd (Silenc-Lotto) who has all but been caught by the peloton.

14:19 CST   
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. Hilton Lift.

14:22 CST   
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).

14:23 CST   
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 of schedule.

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.

14:26 CST   
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.

14:28 CST   
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.)

14:29 CST   
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.

14:30 CST   
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.

14:31 CST   
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 the peloton.

14:33 CST   
Saxo Bank has taken control of the leader's group, they clearly want to bring Stuart O'Grady in for the win.

14:33 CST   
David Moncoutié (Cofidis) and Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Caisse d'Epargne) have attacked.

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.

14:37 CST   
Javier Megías Leal (Fuji-Servetto) has attacked now.

14:38 CST   
There's a roundabout the lead group will have to get around one kilometre from the finish.

14:39 CST   
The peloton is all together inside the final 1.5 kilometres.

14:39 CST   
Rabobank has moved to the front with Graeme Brown.

14:40 CST   
Columbia has lined up to contest the sprint too.

14:40 CST   
The two teams are going head to head, but Allan Davis (Quick Step) is starting to make his move.

14:41 CST   
Graeme Brown (Rabobank) looks to have it in the bag.

14:41 CST   
Graeme Brown (Rabobank) has finally got his victory, ahead of yesterday's winner Allan Davis (Quick Step).

14:42 CST   
Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank) has made the podium again with third place.

14:42 CST   
George Hincapie has ensured it's not been all bad news for Columbia today, by taking fourth.

14:44 CST   
To steal a line from one of my faithful followers, I nearly burst a mainsail with a sprint that gusty.

14:46 CST   
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.

14:47 CST   
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.

14:51 CST   
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."

15:02 CST   
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)                
Overall classification
1 Allan Davis (Quick Step) 10.47.11 2 Graeme Brown (Rabobank) 3 Stuart O'Grady (Team Saxo Bank) 0.05

15:07 CST   
That's it for now sailors. Check back at Cyclingnews.com for full results, report and photos as the day rolls on.

Signing out,
Admiral Greg Johnson
H.M.A.S. Hilton Lift

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