Vuelta 2014: Matthews powers uphill to take stage and GC lead

Michael MatthewsMonday, August 25th - Stage 3 is 189,8 kilometres in length, leading from Altimetría Cadiz to Arcos De La Frontera. Riders are to crest four 3rd category hills and it's a tricky finale with a 4.5% gain for 1.5 kilometres, after which the last 300 meters are (slightly) descending. Michael Matthews proves to be the best sprinter uphill, beating Daniel Martin on the line. The Aussie sprinter is the new man in red. (Slideshow route/profile)

Vuelta 2014: Results 3rd stage

1. Michael Matthews (aus)
2. Daniel Martin (Irl) s.t.
3. Joaquim Rodriguez (spa) s.t.
4. Wilco Kelderman (Nld) s.t.
5. Paul Martens (Ger) s.t.
6. Cadel Evans (aus) s.t.
7. Lloyd Mondory (fra) s.t.
8. Nacer Bouhanni (fra) s.t.
9. Daniel Moreno (spa) s.t.
10. Chris Froome (gbr) s.t.

11. Rigoberto Uran (col) s.t.
13. Nairo Quintana (col) s.t.
14. Robert Gesink (Nld) s.t.
16. Alberto Contador (spa) s.t.
24. Andrew Talansky (USA) + 0.07
27. Ryder Hesjedal (can) s.t.
29. Fabio Aru (ita) s.t.
39. Alejandro Valverde (spa) s.t.
162. Thibaut Pinot (fra) + 4.21

GC after 3rd stage
1. Michael Matthews (aus)
2. Nairo Quintana (col) + 0.04
3. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.11
4. Rigoberto Uran (col) + 0.15
5. Damiano Caruso (ita) + 0.17
6. Estaban Chaves (col) s.t.
7. George Bennett (nzl) + 0.20
8. Julian Arredondo (col) s.t.
9. Haimar Zubeldia (spa) s.t.
10. Gianluca Brambilla (ita) + 0.22

11. Wilco Kelderman (Nld) + 0.23
12. Alberto Contador (spa) s.t.
13. Robert Gesink (Nld) s.t.
16. Warren Barguil (fra) + 0.30
17. Chris Froome (gbr) + 0.31
21. Joaquim Rodriguez (spa) + 0.38
25. Daniel Martin (Irl) + 0.39
28. Fabio Aru (ita) + 0.41
30. Jurgen Van den Broeck (bel) s.t.
37. Andrew Talansky (USA) + 0.52
40. Ryder Hesjedal (can) s.t.
176. Thibaut Pinot (fra) + 7.16

Race report
After a number of attacks it’s a group of five breaking clear. Jacques Janse Van Rensburg, Danilo Wyss (image), Luis Más Bonet, Jonathan Fumeaux and Jerome Cousin are gone and in 20 kilometres they have a gap of over 5 minutes.

The gain grows to a maximum of 8 minutes and then Orica GreenEdge takes control. At the first climb, Puerto de Galis, it’s down to 5 minutes. Cousin is the first to crest and takes 3 mountain points, followed by Más Bonet (2) and Wyss (1). The gain is further down to 4 minutes, and it keeps shrinking.

At Alto Alcornocales it’s once again Cousin taking 3 points, whilst Más Bonet takes 1 point. The leaders have a 3 minutes gain.

On the lower slopes of Alto del Camino Más Bonet attacks, probably eyeing up the mountain points atop. A byproduct of his action is a growing gain – back to over 4 minutes when cresting. Cousin takes 2 points. The three chasers are 1’30” down.

Orica continues to set the pace at the front of the pack, bringing the leader’s gain down once again, but he manages to take 3 points at the closing climb, Puerto del Boyar. Wyss is the second to crest, Cousin third, meaning Más Bonet and Cousin collected exactly the same amount of mountain points today. Being highest ranked rider in the GC Más Bonet wears the polka dot jersey tomorrow.

In the descent the chasers are reeled in, whilst Más Bonet is still up front with a 2 minutes gain, but with 25 kilometres left the Más Bonet-show is finally over.

Adam Hansen goes solo with 13 kilometres left, but he doesn’t succeed.

At the closing climb Caruso is pushing hard upfront. He breaks free, but he can’t cope and Michael Matthews takes over, beating Daniel Martin on the line. In doing so the young Aussie sprinter pays tribute to all work his Orica-teammates have put into his win today.

GC-men Talansky, Hesjedal, Aru and Valverde lose 0’07”.

Vuelta 2014 stage 3: Images and more

Click on the images to zoom.

Michael Matthews


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