‘Nowhere to hide’ sums up today’s 139km third stage from Unley to Stirling. We’ll have live updates from 11.30am AEDT.
With no flat road, just undulation, this stage should prove decisive.
Almost from the gun the riders tackle a 6.2km climb up the 500m high Eagle on the Hill King of the Mountain. Expect a UniSA rider to immediately try his luck and break free.
The riders then descend into Stirling to start the first of six laps around an approximately 22km loop. The final sprint finish is slightly uphill and will provide exciting racing should a small selection still be away.
Today’s parcours resembles a smaller World Championship Road Race, but it will hurt like a Spring Classic, especially at this time of year.
It will therefore be interesting to see how General Classification (GC) hopefuls such as Simon Gerrans, Philippe Gilbert and Thomas de Gendt fare after they hit the deck on the descent into Rostrevor yesterday.
Sky’s special Classics training camp over the break has produced a lean, mean cycling team. They should have the Christmas holiday kilometres in the legs to capably defend the Ochre jersey.
But Pro riders are made of tough stuff and Sky might be challenged.
Will a break stay away? Will Geraint Thomas still be wearing Ochre? Join us later today at 11.30am AEDT.