Tour Down Under: Cadel Evans turns the screws to take the lead

The 2011 Tour de France winner launched a withering attack on Corkscrew Rd to drop Richie Porte (Sky) and overnight race leader Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) before soloing to the stage victory.

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Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp) won the bunch sprint for second ahead of Stage 2 winner Diego Ulissi (Lanpre-Merida) with Gerrans relinquishing his overall lead after finishing fifth.

An early four-rider break containing the oldest man in the peloton, Jens Viogt (Trek Factory Racing) rode out to a maximum lead of 2min 30sec with the daunting Corkscrew Rd climb ahead of the peloton.

Travis Meyer (Drapac), was the first to attack and he was joined by Jérôme Cousin (AG2R), Andriy Grivko (Astana) and finally Voigt.

Meyer and Grivko split the two sprint bonuses on offer but with the latter only 21 seconds off the race lead a watchful peloton kept the break on a tight leash and nibbled away at the time gap.

Perhaps sensing futility in the effort, Cousin was the first to sit up, leaving Voigt, Meyer and Grivko to provide a resistance which evaporated in the run up to Corkscrew Rd.

Team BMC hit the front on Corkscrew Rd to set up team leader Cadel Evans with the speed rapidly shedding riders off the peloton.

Halfway up the climb Evans and Porte paired up to drop Gerrans but only Evans had the legs to continue.

Cresting the climb first, Evans only had seven kilometres of riding in front of him to take the victory and overall lead.

Using his descending skills and time trialling prowess he denied any possibility of being caught, hitting the finish line 14 seconds ahead of his nearest pursuers to lead the race by 12 seconds overall.

More to come.

Stage 3: 145km, Norwood to Campbelltown

1 Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC 3r 34min 06sec     

2 Nathan Haas (AUS) Garmin-Sharp 0:00:14     

3 Diego Ulissi (ITA) Lampre-Merida          

4 Adam Hansen (AUS) Lotto Belisol          

5 Simon Gerrans (AUS) Orica-GreenEDGE          

6 Rory Sutherland (AUS) Tinkoff-Saxo          

7 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC          

8 Ben Hermans (BEL) BMC          

9 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenDGE          

10 Robert Gesink (NED) Belkin

General Classification

1 Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC 10hr 46min 40sec     

2 Simon Gerrans (AUS) Orica-GreenEDGE 0:00:11     

3 Diego Ulissi (ITA) Lampre-Merida 0:00:14     

4 Nathan Haas (AUS) Garmin-Sharp 0:00:26     

5 Robert Gesink (NED) Belkin 0:00:28     

6 Geraint Thomas (GBR) Sky          

7 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEDGE 0:00:32     

8 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC           

9 Rory Sutherland (AUS) Tinkoff-Saxo          

10 Ben Hermans (BEL) BMC          

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