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January 22/04 1:03 am - Tour Down Under: Stage 3

Posted by Editoress on 01/22/04

Courtesy Navigators Insurance Cycling Team

The third stage of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under took a turn toward the south today, and moved to the coastal towns of Goolwa and Victor Harbor. The 150 km stage that began in the coastal town of Goolwa and turned inland across the peninsula through Willow Creek, the beach towns of Normanville and Carricklinga , north around Myponga reservoir, and finally returning through the lush vineyards on Inman Valley before finishing in the seaside arcade of Victor Harbor. The day presented a challenging course with rolling terrain punctuated by a few long ascents and a 3km unpaved section of dust and dirt.

The action started on the climb to the first KOM at 35.9 km. A torrid acsent, accented by repeated attacks pulled 19 riders clear. The scamper behind forced a hard chase by the second group of about 20 riders, while the balance of the field was shattered into small groups. As the two leading groups charged over the ensuing section of rolling hills, the gap began to close, and on the climb out of Parawa, the two groups nearly joined. Baden Cook (FDJ), and Giuliano Figueras (Panaria) jumped across as several riders were being dropped from the front group.

As they crested the climb, the lead group was 15 and included three FDJ riders (Cook, Eisel, and Gilbert), and three UniSA riders in Pat Jonker, Luke Roberts, and Gene Bates. Lotto Domo's Robbie McEwen was alone, while David McKenzie and Ciaran Power represented Navigators Insurance, and Giunti and Fisher were in for Domina Vacanza. Alexander Botcharov was in for Credit Agricole, but the defending champion Astarloza, and his entire AG2R team had missed the split. Also missing was the yellow jersey of David McPartland.

Despite the hard chase from the second group by AG2R, Bankgirolotereji, and the yellow jersey, the gap grew to over 2 minutes. The front group remained steady and cooperative until inside 5km to go when UniSA's Gene Bates launched an attack on the final climb. FDJ's Gilbert immediately joined him, and the two teams with the numbers advantage in the break had capitalized. A furious run-in to town caught the two escapees at the line as Gilbert held on for the win in front of Bates, with McEwen taking the bunch, but all getting the same time. The chase rolled in 2:20 later, and Jonker moved into yellow by 1:39, as McPartand slipped to 13th. David McKenzie remains in 8th, at 1:48, with three stages remaining.

Stage 3: Goolwa to Victor Harbor, 150 km
1. Philippe Gilbert (Bel), 3:28:50
2. Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA
3. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Domo
4. Baden Cooke (Aus)
5. Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Panaria-Margres
6. David McKenzie (Aus) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team
7. Massimo Giunti (Ita) Domina Vacanze
8. Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA
9. Antonio Fisher Murillo (Bra) Domina Vacanze
10. Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick.Step-Davitamon, all s.t.

15. Ciaran Power (Irl) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, 0:18
21. Philip Zajicek (USA) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, 2:20
34. Kirk O'Bee (USA) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, s.t.
70. Siro Camponogara (Ita) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, 33:46
74. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2r Prevoyance
79. Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team
86. Jeff Louder (USA) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, all s.t.

1. Patrick Jonker (Aus) UniSA, 8:14:14
2. Philippe Gilbert (Bel), at 1:39
3. Robbie McEwen (Aus) Lotto-Domo, 1:44
4. Gene Bates (Aus) UniSA, s.t.
5. Antonio Fisher Murillo (Bra) Domina Vacanze, 1:46
6. Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Panaria-Margres, 1:47
7. Luke Roberts (Aus) UniSA, s.t.
8. David McKenzie (Aus) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, 1:48
9. Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Credit Agricole
10. Baden Cooke (Aus), both s.t.

27. Philip Zajicek (USA) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, 4:15
31. Ciaran Power (Irl) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, 29:21
37. Kirk O'Bee (USA) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, 31:23
43. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est) Ag2r Prevoyance, 35:34
77. Siro Camponogara (Ita) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team 1:02:49
83. Jeff Louder (USA) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team
88. Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, both s.t.


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