Stage three podium moves Impey to fifth overallThu 17 Jan 2019
Defending champion Daryl Impey has finished third on stage three of the Tour Down Under to move into fifth overall with three stages remaining.
A new, tough finishing circuit set the scene for a dramatic finale in Uraidla, as Mitchelton-SCOTT lit the burners over the final lap to set up their leader. Launching early, Impey held on for third as Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) narrowly edged out Luis-Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team) for the victory.
Blue jersey breakaway:
Positioned early in the stage, the intermediate sprints provided the early sparks as Elia Viviani (DQT) took the initial points before going on to form a breakaway of seven riders and claim maximum points on the second opportunity too.
The peloton, led by race leaders CCC Team, let the break hover at around three minute’s advantage before it began to reduce as the race made its way onto the finishing circuits.
With 40km remaining, and reduced to just three riders, the peloton were within striking distance as riders began to bridge across.
Lighting up the final lap:
The taxing circuit saw riders start to lose touch and with one lap remaining Mitchelton-SCOTT moved to the front to shut down the escapees and put the remainder of the bunch under pressure.
An impressive ride by Alex Edmondson was backed up by Lucas Hamilton, who positioned Impey to launch his sprint with 400m to go.
“We wanted to win the stage first of all. We got on the front in the last lap which is what we wanted to do. We had the whole team there at the end which just shows you the depth we’ve got here.
“Unfortunately I was on the front with 400m to go so I decided to take a long one from there. I knew they would run at me but I was hoping that Sagan wasn’t on my wheel. It’s a repeat of last year really, but I’m happy to get some bonus seconds, it’s a nice start.”
“Hopefully I’m in the front tomorrow. It’s a tough stage and it can go either way. With a lot of good climbers here it’s going to be hard to follow guys like Richie (Porte) and Woodsy (Michael Woods). Hopefully I will be around the mark and I can challenge for the stage tomorrow.”
Tour Down Under – Stage 3 Result:
1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 3:48:08
2. Luis-Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team) ST
3. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Tour Down Under – General Classification after Stage 3:
1. Patrick Bevin (CCC Team) 10:20:09
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:01
3. Luis-Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team) +0:09
5. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:11
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.