International Cycling

Dennis upstages favourite Evans

2015-01-22 10:02
Rohan Dennis (Getty Images)

Adelaide - Rohan Dennis upstaged BMC team-mate and race favourite Cadel Evans to take the third stage of the Tour Down Under and claim the ochre leader's jersey on Thursday.

Dennis took the overall lead from fellow South Australian Jack Bobridge, who faded to finish 42 seconds back on the 143.2-kilometre stage from Norwood to the tiny town of Paracombe.

Former Tour De France winner Evans is riding his last race before retiring, with his BMC team determined that he leaves the sport a winner.

Thursday's result means BMC will now have to make some major strategic decisions on how to approach the last three stages of the season-opening UCI World Tour race.

On the first really hot day of this year's Tour, Dennis finished in 3hr 35min 8sec, three seconds ahead of Evans and Dutchman Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin).

Another race favourite, Tasmanian Richie Porte (Sky), finished five seconds behind Dennis alongside a group of riders including Frenchman Maxime Bouet (Etixx-Quick Step) and Italy's Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale).

In another fascinating day's racing, Australia's Will Clarke from the local Drapac team broke away early and rode solo until he was joined by Calvin Watson (Trek Factory Racing), Lasse Norman Hansen (Cannondale-Garmin) and Axel Domont (AG2R La Mondiale).

The four stayed away for much of the race until one by one they began to feel the pinch, with first Domont and then Hansen dropping off.

Watson stayed with Clarke until 12 kilometres from the finish when he fell away, with Clarke hanging on for another four kilometres until he too was swallowed up by the peloton.

The brutal finish entailed a 1.5km climb up Paracombe Hill and all the big names were in good position at the beginning of the ascent.

Evans attacked immediately and he was joined by Porte, Dumoulin and Pozzovivo.

With 300 metres to the summit the four were caught by the chasing group.

Dennis then took everyone by surprise when he attacked, holding on for his first individual win since he claimed the third stage of the Tour of Alberta in 2013.

Dennis later admitted he was meant to attack at the bottom of the climb to take the sting out of Richie Porte's legs.

"I was caught a bit back at the lead-in (to the climb) and I thought don't panic and don't try to go into the red zone before the hill," he said.

"The plan was for me to attack at the bottom and put the other guys under pressure and let Cadel sit back, but obviously I was a bit too far back to follow that plan.

"I saw Cadel get away with four guys so I just sat in behind one of the Movistar riders and hoped he'd bring me back.

"Cadel in my eyes is still the leader," he added. "I'm not sure how the team meeting will go tonight."

Friday's 144.5km fourth stage runs from beachside Glenelg to the Adelaide Hills town of Mt Barker.

Results from the 143.2km third stage of the UCI Tour Down Under from Norwood to Paracombe in South Australia on Thursday:

1. Rohan Dennis (AUS - BMC) 3hr 35min 8sec
2. Cadel Evans (AUS - BMC) at 3 seconds
3. Tom Dumoulin (NED - Giant Alpecin) +3
4. Maxime Bouet (FRA - Etixx-Quick Step) +5
5. Michael Rogers (AUS - Tinkoff Saxo) same time
6. Richie Porte (AUS - Sky) s.t.
7. Jack Haig (AUS - UniSA) s.t.
8. Ruben Fernandez (ESP - Movistar) s.t.
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA - AG2R La Mondiale) s.t.
10. Simon Geschke (GER - Giant-Alpecin) s.t


29. Jack Bobridge (AUS - UniSA) +42
51. Geraint Thomas (GBR - Sky) +1:28
120. Marcel Kittel (GER - Giant Alpecin) +8:35

General Classification

1. Rohan Dennis (AUS - BMC) 10hr 17min 6sec)
2. Cadel Evans (AUS - BMC) at 7 seconds
3. Tom Dumoulin (NED - Giant Alpecin) +9
4. Richie Porte (AUS - Sky) +15
5. Jack Haig (AUS - UniSA) same time
6. Ruben Fernandez (ESP - Movistar) s.t.
7. Michael Rogers (AUS - Tinkoff Saxo) s.t
8. Maxime Bouet (FRA - Etixx-Quick Step) s.t
9. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA - AG2R La Mondiale) s.t.
10. Daryl Impey (RSA - Orica GreenEDGE) s.t.


25. Jack Bobridge (AUS - UniSA) +39
43. Geraint Thomas (GBR - Sky) +1:38
121: Marcel Kittel (GER - Giant-Alpecin) +22:28

King of the Mountain

1. Rohan Dennis (AUS - BMC) 16 pts
2. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA - AG2R La Mondiale) 12 pts
3. Jack Bobridge (AUS - UniSA) 10 pts


1. Cadel Evans (AUS - BMC) 25 pts
2. Tom Dumoulin (NED - Giant-Alpecin) 25 pts
3. Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (ESP - Movistar) 24 pts

Read more on:    cycling


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.