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The 2014 Tour Down Under continues this afternoon with a 143km stage from Norwood to Campbelltown. Join us for a live blog and updates from 1.30pm AEDT.
Stage 2 of the race saw Simon Gerrans maintain his lead of the Ochre Jersey, finishing second in the stage behind Italian rider Diego Ulissi.
As Roar expert John Thompson-Mills pointed out in his piece this morning Stage 3 will be pivotal for Cadel Evans and Richie Porte, Gerrans’ main rivals for General Classification honours, to try and close the gap.
This morning Gerrans admitted that he could be vulnerable on today’s stage.
“Today is going to be a really tight, decisive stage of the race,” he said before the start at suburban Norwood.
“It’s probably one of the stages where I’m going to be most vulnerable to be attacked in the final.
“Corkscrew is a very tough climb and … if someone is going really strong on Corkscrew it’s going to be hard to go with them.
“But I’m confident with how I’m going and I know if I just ride up there as quick as I can, hopefully no-one will be too far in front over the top.”
While the majority of the stage will represent relatively easy going for the peloton, things will heat up in the final 10km beginning with the infamous Corkscrew that was introduced to the event in 2013.
Lasting 2.5km at an average gradient of nine percent, the tight turns of the Corkscrew should pose a threat for the peloton on both the ascent and descent, and the 35-degree predicted temperatures won’t exactly help either.
Expect Lotto–Belisol’s Adam Hansen and Drapac’s Will Clarke to feature prominently in the climb with King of the Mountains points on offer.
Following the Corkscrew, the riders will face a 7.4km sprint into Campbelltown and this should suit those who can sprint.
Follow how this key stage of the 2014 Tour Down Under plays out from 1.30pm AEDT.