Davis already showed his good form by finishing fourth at the opening stage and a third place at yesterdays second stage. Today
he won the bunch sprint, Mark Renshaw came in second and Rabobank's Mathew Hayman came in third, making it an all Australian
day. It was enough for Renshaw to take back the overall lead. Davis crossed the line in a time of 3hours 13minutes and 49
The 139 kilometres long stage stage started at Adelaide suburb of Unley and the finish was in Victor harbor. After a few
kilometres Andoni Lafuente (Euskatel-Euskadi attacked and got company from Frantisek Rabon (Team High Road) from and
Simon Clarke from UniSA. Rabobank moves to the front right away to defend Graeme Browns jersey. Soon the three were caught
by the chsing pack but Richie Porte from UniSA immediatley launched the next attack. Porte got company from four other
riders but the peloton didn't like the break and caught them again.
After 11 kilometres Philippe Gilbert (FD jeux) attacked, Gilbert was joined by a Caisse D'Epargne rider but the bunch
started a furious chase to cath both riders again. After 14 kilometres they were caught again by the bunch, which was riding
60 km/h at that moment. An escape was impossible.
After 17 kilometres the speed had dropped and three riders attacked: Mickael Delage (Fd Jeux), Kjell Carlstrom (Liquigas)
and Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) from UniSA - Australia. The breakaway group had a lead of 15 seconds with 122 kilometres to go.
A little bit later their lead grew to 1' 10". With 106 kilometres to go the lead of the three riders was 5'. 05". Rabobank
started to defend ŽBrown's overall lead and took care that the lead of the three race leaders was kept around 5 minutes.
With 79 kilometres to go the lead was still around 5 minutes. Delage, Carlstrom and Sulberger worked together very well.
But the strong breakaway group managed to extend their lead to 5'. 35" with 75 kilometres to go. With 60 kilometres to go
their lead was 5'. 50". The maximum lead of the leading trio was 6'. 30" and that was the signal for the bunch to start the
With 40 kilometres to go the bunch was 4'. 55" behind the three escapees and it looked like we would see a reapeat of the
first two stages. But with 30 kilometres to go the escapees still had a lead of 4 minutes. The sprinter teams saw the danger
and worked together in order to catch the breakaway group. In the following 10 kilometres the gap dropped rapidly: 2'. 30"
with 20 kilometres to go.
With 10 kilometres to go the lead was 1 minute and lots of riders got dropped because of the incredible high speed of the
peloton. With 5 kilometres to go the lead was down to about 200 metres but the three riders were giving it all. For the break
of the day the stage was three kilomtres to long: they were caught by the bunch with three kilometres to go.
Some riders attacked (one of them was Philippe Gilbert) but the pace is too high to get away. The sprinters took position
at the front and it was Allan Davis who took the stage. Davis outsprinted Mark Renshaw. Mathew Hayman came in third.
"The win was a great relief, but I just want to thank UniSA," said Davis. "We had Wes (Sulzberger) in the break all day
which made our job pretty easy behind him and then the boys did a great job in the last four kilometres."
"I probably started my sprint earlier than I would have liked, at about 350m out, but I thought if I can get to 50m out
I would be all right, and I looked between my legs and there was no one there," said Davis. "It was just great to get a win
Renshaw was lucky to contest the sprint after awheel puncture earlier in the stage but three of his Credit Agricole team
mates brought him back into the peloton.
"We started hitting some little climbs and dead roads and I got caught down the back and it made it a lot harder to get
back to the front," said Renshaw. "Once I got up there it took me probably 10 or 15km to recover and then I was right for
"I had Jeremy [Hunt] and Simon [Gerrans] looking after me but we had a little bit of a mix-up on the last corner and Jeremy
got caught on the wrong side of the road and I ended up being by myself," explained Renshaw. "I launched the sprint from a
fair way out and just missed Alan … a bit of a disappointment but it’s great to know the form’s there."
Tomorrow the fourth stage takes the riders over 134 kilometres from the Murray River town of Mannum to Strathalbyn.
Belgian Philippe Gilbert (Francaise des Jeux) still leads the mountain classification, Renshaw also leads the sprint
classification. Jose Rojas (ESP - Caisse d'Epargne) leads the young rider classification and Team High Road is ranked
at the top of the team classification.
Gerolsteiners Heinrich Haussler publishes a riders diary at our website and radsport-aktiv.de (German version). Haussler finished 24th today, in the same time as stage winner Allan Davis.