His time at the end of the 102km stage from the Skybury Coffee Plantation was 3hr 26min 8sec, just four seconds ahead of Bouchard and over 11 minutes in front of the third placed Australian Ben May (Bicycle Riders/Specialized/Infinit Nutrition).
Elite woman Haley Smith (Norco Factory Team) finished 12th on the stage with a gap of only 22min behind her partner L'Esperance.
The day was again eventful with the top Australian rider and amateur category leader Ondrej Slezak (Quantum Racing Team) crashing out with a broken collarbone. He was later treated at Mareeba Hospital.
“Ondrej was very brave today and is currently assessing the situation with his Quantum Racing Team as an operation and transfer back to Sydney is likely to be required”, said Regina Stanger from the organisational team.
Another rider involved in a crash, Rod Stormonth from Melbourne, was being treated at Cairns Hospital.
“We've had a busy morning looking after our injured riders today”, Stanger said. “It is tough when you're in such a remote location, however, our satellite communication and emergency procedures worked well and our medical team was with the patients quickly in both incidences”, Stanger said.
With two stages to go in this year's event, the MEPT-Crocodile Trophy crew and riders will stay at Wetherby for two nights, with a 78km marathon through Kuranda National Park scheduled before the final stage time trial to the finish at Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas.