• Peter Sagan is congratulated by Luis Leon sanchez after winning Stage 3 of the Santos Tour Down Under. (AAP)Source: AAP
A cool and collected Peter Sagan won Stage 3 of the Santos Tour Down Under on Thursday that fell short of the frenzied fireworks some had forecast in the lead-up.
Sophie Smith

Cycling Central
17 Jan 2019 - 6:18 PM 

Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) best Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) and defending race champion Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) to take his second consecutive win in Uraidla, South Australia. Patrick Bevin (CCC) placed fifth in the 37-man group that arrived at the line to maintain the overall lead.

The three-time world champion Sagan won in Uraidla on a different course last year but could not compare the two early-season triumphs when asked in a post-race press conference.

“It was a different parcour [than last year]. Last year it was much hotter, warmer than today, but today when I saw the first lap, I said okay we will see how we are going,” said Sagan.

“CCC did a very high pace during the race and lap by lap it was harder and harder. I saved a lot of energy for the last lap and, for me, the last lap was really under control.”

Sagan chilled ahead of tough TDU stages to come
Peter Sagan says he is using the Tour Down Under as training ahead of a potentially brutal third stage to Uraidla, which has previously proved to be a happy hunting ground for him.

Sagan credited his teammates for their work through the 146.2km race in which BORA-hansgrohe was visible but not prominent at the front as Sky and Mitchelton-Scott had been in the closing laps of the Uraidla finishing circuit.

“It was definitely a race of making sure you could save energy for those final few laps. With how the warm weather was, I think a few guys riding at the front of the peloton used a lot of energy,” said teammate Jay McCarthy, who finished in the lead group.

“We stayed pretty cool all day and you could see in the final we had the numbers there. Peter himself controlled a bit on the final climb, put himself in a great position and won the sprint.”

There had been conjecture in the lead-up to the third stage that the altered route may have pertained to climbers over puncheurs and significantly shaped the general standings, which didn’t eventuate. However, McCarthy believes the run may influence stage four that includes the defining Corkscrew climb.

“It was a super tough stage and I think it will hurt a few people tomorrow, especially with how warm it is. I was surprised at how big the group was at the end, I thought it would have been a bit smaller. But I think there was a lot of guys pushing so we’ll see how it is tomorrow,” he said.

“It’s going to be another hard day and another stage that could suit us well. Hopefully, I can survive Corkscrew and then I can have a go.”

Riders raise heat concerns before TDU third stage
There were last-minute negotiations before the start of stage three in the Tour Down Under as some riders sought a shorter race because of the heat.