Stage 3 of the Tour de Perth moved from Rottnest Island to the Western Australian mainland. The 140 km stage consisted of three 47.5km loops starting in Kalamanda, passing through Mundaring Weir and Mohogany Creek with a finish atop Zig Zag Scenic Drive.
After a delayed start, the racing was fast and aggressive and the peloton split early.
This is considered by many to be the hardest of the Tour, with a number of categorized climbs. Today’s winner may well expect to find themselves taking the General Classification at the end of tomorrow’s stage.
Sadly, Paul Van Der Ploeg of (Satalyst Giant Racing Team) had a nasty crash early on and reportedly suffered a broken collarbone.
By the end of the first lap a breakaway of two riders, Marc Williams (Budget Forklifts) and Daniel Pinczewski (DEM) got out to a minute lead, however, it did not last for long. Pinczewski quickly found himself back in the group, leaving Williams out on his own.
Huon Genesys, who currently hold the GC with Joseph Cooper of New Zealand winning yesterday’s time trial, led the chase to reel the Budget Forklifts rider back in at the 68km mark, but not before Williams took out the first Sprint points.
Keen to preserve Joseph Cooper as the race leader, Huon Genesys spent the day chasing down the many attacks.
Brodie Talbot of Woodside, escaped at around the 90km mark with Blair Windsor of Budget Forklifts quickly brining him back. This move then led Alex Wohler also of Budget Forklifts to mount an attack of his own, however, Huon Genesys chased everything down.
With Wohler caught, Budget Forklifts went on the attack again.
With 35km to go, Huon Genesys were keeping the other teams on a tight leash and pulling back anyone who dared to ride off the front of the peloton.
This did not stop the attacks though with Sam Horgan of Budget Forklifts attacking with around 25 km to go. Hot on his heels were Nathan Earle of Huon Genesys and Eric Sheppard of Search2Retain and the stages KOM jersey wearer. The attack unsurprisingly, didn’t last long.
As light rain started to fall, this war of attrition was grinding the peloton down. In what was an exciting days racing, the final 10km continued to thrill cycling fans.
Satalyst Giant rider Adam Semple, made a push to the finish line in the final 3 kms. He was promptly joined by Nathan Earle who eventually overpowered him to take the stage victory.
Bradeley Hall also of Satalyst Giant took third.
Race leader, Joseph Cooper came in sixth. Huon Genesys had four riders finish in the top ten, an illustration of their depth.
Neil Van Der Ploeg retains the Sprinters jersey by 1 point and Nathan Earle now finds himself wearing the KOM jersey, taking it from Sheppard.
Joseph Cooper remains the race leader, 51 seconds ahead of Neil Van Der Ploeg.
Huon Genesys will continue to defend their lead tomorrow. Cooper’s 51 second lead should see him safely retain the GC, barring any incidents.
17 riders abandoned the stage.
Tomorrow’s final stage is 112km around Perry Lakes and Bold Park.
1.Nathan Earle (HGP) 3hr21:02
2.Adam Semple (SGR) +1
3.Bradeley Hall (SGR) +5
4.Neil Van Der Ploeg (STR) +5
5.Shaun McCarthy (BFL) +5
6.Joseph Cooper (HGP) +5
7.Jack Haig (HGP) +5
8.Anthony Giacoppo (HGP) +5
9.Jack Anderson (BFL) +5
10.Nicholas Graham-Dawson +5
1.Neil Van Der Ploeg (STR) 9
2.Samuel Horgan (BTL) 8
3.Jack Anderson (BFL) 5
1.Nathan Earle (HGP) 21
2.Marc Williams (BFL) 11
3.Eric Sheppard (STR) 10
Published on The Roar 14th April, 2013