148 kms today with start in Lobethal in the Adelaide hills. Two riders got away early and the bunch let them go. They got a good lead and there seemed to be no trouble.
Vacansoleil rode for the GPM sprint and the gap came down and after the second bonus Kohler who was in front dropped back to the bunch leaving Will Clarke from Uni SA with two minutes. The bunch eased and he got nine minutes which went out to 11.30 at 60km to go.
Lotto did not take responsibility and so the teams were waiting for each other to chase. We did not need to ride as other teams were the teams with the best GC chances.
Rabo, Sky and Leopard chased from 40km to go and Green Edge and Movistar started at 20km to go into the last lap but it was too late as Will still had 8.30. At the finish he got the stage and just missed the jersey.
Heino was boxed in in the sprint but Nathan Haas and Jack Bauer helped him well in those last kilometers.
I think Martijn Maaskant cracked a little from yesterday as he was not recovered from the excessive heat. Hopefully he is better tomorrow. Ryder was good and we keep him in mind for Willunga Saturday.
Tomorrow is the stage to Victor Harbour and a strong southerly wind is expected so echelons could happen and that’s what we like :-). Its a tricky run in for the sprint so good for Heino. Let’s hope he can bag one!
More photos from the Tour Down Under: