22 January 2014
Cadel Evans wins Stage 3 and snares race lead
Norwood - Campbelltown, 145km
A ferocious attack on the climb of Cockscrew Road saw the old war horse in a position to solo to the win and take the race lead by 12 seconds.
The 36 year old BMC rider took full advantage of team tactics to leave his rivals gasping. Only race leader Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Richie Porte (Team Sky) clung on but Evans shrugged them off. His lead topped out at 25 seconds before a fight back by Garmin-Sharp whitled it to 12 seconds on the descent.
Australian Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp) sprinted to second place in Campbelltown, with Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) rounding out the podium in third.
"Today went almost perfectly," Evans said. "It's a good start, but now we look toward Sunday. We've got our work cut out for us."
Sport Director Fabio Baldato said. The team's other six riders sheltered Evans on the fast run-in to the base of the climb before riders like Brent Bookwalter and Steve Morabito took over the pace-making as the road turned upwards. "It went better than how we planned it," Baldato said. "I told the guys the climb would be like a sprint. We have been here more than one week and everybody did a reconnaissance of the climb and the downhill so everybody was ready. All the guys and Cadel did an amazing job."
Previous race leader Simon Gerrans (Orica-Greenedge) finished fifth. His dogged pursuit of Evans limited the damage and he is now in second place overall.