Tour Down Under stage three: Lobethal to Uraidla, 146.2km
Wout Poels and Dylan van Baarle both finished amongst a select lead group after a gruelling third stage of Tour Down Under.
Six laps of the undulating Uraidla circuit gradually wore down the peloton, with Team Sky choosing the penultimate lap to apply some pressure to the bunch.
Christian Knees, Luke Rowe and Owain Doull all went deep on the front of an ever-reducing peloton, setting things up for the final lap.
Poels and Van Baarle finished 14th and 28th respectively in the group, with Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) narrowly edging out the stage victory over Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana).
Fifth place ensured Patrick Bevin (CCC Team) retained a slender overall lead, with Poels and Van Baarle both sitting 15 seconds back ahead of more selective stages to come.
The race was really on across the final lap, with Kenny Elissonde launching a brief but impressive attack on the last climb of the day. The move with 3km to go was quickly reeled in but allowed Poels and Van Baarle to follow in the wheels behind.
It was a pretty hard day, especially for the final two laps. We took it on with the team and it was full gas to the finish. I think we did well to finish towards the front so it went well. I don't mind the heat, but tomorrow I'm really looking forward to the Corkscrew.
All eyes will be on the famed Corkscrew Road climb, which acts as the sting in the tail of stage four. A fast descent into Campbelltown follows, with the threat of rain throwing yet more intrigue on a key GC day.
Stage three result
1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 3:36:06
2. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) s.t.
3. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott)
4. Danny van Poppel (Team Jumbo-Visma)
5. Patrick Bevin (CCC Team)
14. Wout Poels (Team Sky)
28. Dylan van Baarle (Team Sky)
1. Patrick Bevin (CCC Team) 10:20:09
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) +1”
3. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) +9”
4. Michael Storer (Team Sunweb) +10”
5. Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) +11”
14. Wout Poels (Team Sky) +15”
18. Dylan van Baarle (Team Sky) s.t.