Second for Juul-Jensen after a long day in the break for DurbridgeSat 4 Jun 2016
Danish rider Chris Juul-Jensen had a strong finish on today's stage three of the Tour de Luxembourg, sprinting to second place after a incredible display of teamwork and impressive ride from 25-year-old Luke Durbridge.
Durbridge animated most of the rainy stage being present in a breakaway of five riders until the final laps when Juul-Jensen bridged across. The ORICA-GreenEDGE duo remained out front with two other riders and in a position to race for the stage victory.
It was Anthony Turgis (Team Cofidis) who proved the fastest in the end, with Juul-Jensen sprinting to second place and jumping up to fifth place on the general classification with just one stage remaining.
Sport director Matt Wilson was overjoyed with the team performance today having raced tactically well on the tough Queen stage.
"It was an awesome day by the team today, really fantastic," said Wilson. "Durbridge was super aggressive, in fact all the guys were. He eventually got in the break which was the strongest of the tour, he rode well and he played it really cool out there."
"The plan was for Chris to attack on the second lap which he did and went across to Durbidge at the top of the second climb, then Durbridge just buried himself to the bottom of the next climb and Chris went again. A couple of guys bridged across and so they ended up with a group of four who stayed away to the final.
"It was a really great ride from these guys, also Alex Edmondson was still in the bunch which was a very select group at the finish. He was ready to do a good sprint if it all came back together and he actually finished the stage in sixth place.
"Overall today was a fantastic display of teamwork from the riders, they all rode really strongly and we are in a good position heading into the final stage tomorrow with two riders in the top ten and close to the overall podium with Juul-Jensen."
How it happened:
The rain came down ahead of the 177kilometre third stage, the queen stage, at the Tour de Luxembourg.
Within the opening kilometres of the race, Durbridge was determined to make the day's breakaway, jumping with various moves, however the attentive peloton would not allow any groups ride out to more than a 30second advantage as the race covered the first 25kilometres.
After an already action-packed start to the stage, a landslide further ahead on the race course added to the drama which subsequently caused the riders to be diverted along a different race route.
As the peloton settled down after 50kilometres of racing, a breakaway finally formed which included Durbridge along with four others. The five riders rapidly rode out to a three minute advantage as the weather conditions deteriorated.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms plagued the peloton for most of the day's stage, yet the motivated five-man breakaway continued to work together and hold onto their advantage as the raced over the lumpy course.
With 28kilometres remaining the peloton entered the finishing circuits which featured a hard climb each lap, the Col de l'Europe and the gap to the leaders began to fall.
The peloton finally gained on the breakaway and as planned Juul-Jensen was able to bridge across to the leading group. The two ORICA-GreenEDGE riders then worked well together and were able to stay away in a group of four until the finish.
After a long day for Durbridge it was left to Juul-Jensen to ride for the victory, eventually finish in second place behind Turgis who proved quicker in the dash to the line.
ORICA-GreenEDGE start the final stage tomorrow in fifth place on the general classification just 13seconds behind the race leader and just one second behind a podium spot.
Tour de Luxembourg Stage 3 results:
1. Anthony Turgis (Team Cofidis) 3:57:12
2. Chris Juul-Jensen (ORICA-GreenEDGE) ST
3. Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling) ST
General classification after stage 3:
1. Maurits Lammertink (Roompot) 12:10:44
2. Anthony Turgis (Team Cofidis) +0:07
3. Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) +0:12
5. Chris Juul-Jensen (ORICA-GreenEDGE) +0:13