December 12, 2016
Caleb Ewan takes Stage 3, Richie Porte consolidates lead at Santos Tour Down Under
Orica-Scott Caleb Ewan took another one for the home crowd putting in an unbeatable surge of speed in the final 200 metres to claim his second stage win of the 2017 Santos Tour Down Under in the coastal town of Victor Harbor.
Australians are dominating their home race with a second stage win by Orica-Scott's Caleb Ewan, taking the 144 kilometre Glenelg to Victor Harbor Stage 3 in a time of 3:24.45, a wheel length in front of Peter Sagan (Bora - Hansgrohe) with Italy’s Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida) close behind in third.
“I lost a few of my team-mates in the downhill and it was a messy sprint,” said Ewan. “Luke Durbridge took me back to the front with 3 or 4km to go and he positioned me perfectly in the end. I was jumping around the wheels and I'm delighted I made it again.”
Sagan admitted to being a little way off form, “My legs are not bad (but) I am still not in the best shape and for that I am happy because the season is very long,” said Sagan. “You have to be positive and we still have time to get into the good shape. “Caleb? He is riding at home and he was all (European) winter in Australia and he was training in good weather,” explained Sagan who resumed training in December after a month off the bike for his annual holiday. “I am happy with how I am racing now, and he (Ewan) is motivated to be racing here at home,” said Sagan. “He is winning a lot, because he is the best here.”
Stage four takes the riders 149.5km from Norwood to Campbelltown.
Results after Stage 3:
Goals for 2017
Astana general manager Alexandr Vinokurov highlighted the main goals of the team in 2017: "Traditionally, Astana Team will focus on successful performance in the Grand Tours. This is our strong side, during our history we won 8 Grand Tours, so we are exciting to strive for the new successes. We have a strong leader Fabio Aru and the team will be built around him. Besides, we have a number of young, but very ambitions riders, who can surprise. Of course, we are planning Kazakhstan riders for the Grand Tours too. First of all, we are talking about Alexey Lutsenko, Andrey Zeits, Dmitriy Gruzdev and Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev, but, maybe, we will try Daniil Fominykh and Artem Zakharov too. However, besides the Grand Tours, there are a lot of prestigious races in the new UCI WorldTour calendar, which will be another goal for Astana. First of all, we are talking about week stage races, but also we would like to get some good results during the classic season"