I always say it - a great stage race is one where you don't know the overall winner until end. We saw how good Tom Slagter (Blanco) was in Stirling and today he put on a tremendous effort to bridge up to Gerro and take the overall lead. I never would have expected Geraint Thomas to falter and lose the race on a climb after showing such good form on stage 2. Tomorrow's stage is nothing more than a formality and barring disaster Slagter will take home the biggest win of his promising career. Happy Australia Day everyone. Apologies for the brief post but I'm going out to celebrate!
Bernie Sulzberger came in 39th in today's stage (1:36 down) and we can see his Strava data here (however, I feel there is something wrong with the 422 watt average power. It is probably 100 watts too high). He came in 3rd in the Old Willunga Hill leaderboard behind Luke Roberts and Jussi Veikkanen (FDJ). All of their times are in the 8 minute range.
Simon Gerrans kicks back before the stage start.
Trek’s custom painted “Shut Up Legs” Madone for Jens Voigt
South African national champion Robbie Hunter (Garmin-Sharp)
The peloton cuts through the vineyards of McLaren Vale wine region
The early breakaway contained Jens Mouris (Orica GreenEDGE), Calvin Watson (UniSA), Thomas de Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM), Tomas Marczynski (Vacansoleil-DCM), Klaas Lodewyck (BMC), Manuele Boaro (Garmin Sharp) and Koen de Kort (Argos-Shimano). The peloton allowed the group a gap of nearly 3:30 before beginning starting the chase and catching them at the base of the Old Willunga Hill climb
The beautiful shores of Maslin Beach (which the southern half was officially declared as Australia’s first nude beach)
Matty Hayman sets the pace as the breakaway group is chased down
Gerro kicks at 100m before the finish and manages to outsprint Slagter on Willunga Hill. Photo by my mate Esjay.
Simon Gerrans broke away in the final kilometer up Old Willunga Hill and Tom Slagter was the only one able to bridge up to him. Gerro takes the stage win, Slagter takes the overall.
Matty Goss after a successful stage for Orica-GreenEDGE
The wounds of Julian Kern (AG2R) are beginning to heal after his crash while descending on stage 2.
I think this photo says it all. Andy Schleck – 127th overall (second last place) and nearly 40 minutes down. Andy usually bounces back for the Tour, but at very least he could at least look like he cared.
As Gerro says, “winners are grinners”
Tom Slagter’s first professional win was on stage 3 in Stirling. I’ve never heard of Slagter before, but I’ll be watching out for this young gun from now on.