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Tour Down Under GC battle heats up on Corkscrew Hill

Sixteen seconds separate top 3 with two stages remaining

Photo by: Sirotti

The GC battle heated up on the third stage of the Santos Tour Down Under on Friday, as Pello Bilbao won in Campbelltown and Jay Vine seized the race lead from Rohan Dennis. Lone Canadian Derek Gee placed 42nd on the day and dropped to 26th in the GC.

Jay Vine leads his first stage race with UAE-Emirates. Photo: Sirotti

The Course

Another important GC day saw the riders tackle a short course with two Cat 1 climbs in its final third, Checker Hill and 2.4 km, 9 percent Corkscrew Hill cresting six kilometres from the line.

An Astana and EF Education duo bounced away on the first categorized climb, Ashton Hill. Then on Checker Hill, the pink-clad EF Education man went solo, only to be caught with 25 km to go and Corkscrew Hill looming.

AG2R-Citroën pulled to the base of the climb where Dennis was dropped from the streamlined peloton. Simon Yates and Vine attacked, drawing Bilbao. This trio tipped over ahead of the chasing field by 14 seconds.

Derek Gee climbs Corkscrew Hill. Photo: Sirotti

Yates, Vine and Bilbao hastened towards the finish where the Spaniard earned the day’s flowers and Vine plucked the ochre jersey from Rohan Dennis.

Saturday looks like a sprinter’s course until the final kilometre.

2023 Tour Down Under Stage 3

1) Pello Bilbao (Spain/Bahrain-Victorious) 2:48:10
2) Simon Yates (Great Britain/Jayco-AlUla) s.t.
3) Jay Vine (Australia/UAE-Emirates) s.t.
42) Derek Gee (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +0:48

2023 Tour Down Under GC
1) Jay Vine (Australia/UAE-Emirates) 10:32:50
2) Pello Bilbao (Spain/Bahrain-Victorious) +0:15
3) Simon Yates (Great Britain/Jayco-AlUla) +0:16
26) Derek Gee (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +1:11