Race modified because of high temperatures
Movistar Team riders and whole peloton in Australian event suffer up to 45ºC on their way to Victor Harbor; Viviani (QST) wins bunch sprint before first mountain stage on Friday.
The heat wave which South Australia is suffering since two days ago has produced several modifications on the programme of the 2018 Tour Down Under, including a 26km reduction of Thursday’s stage three from Glenelg to Victor Harbor, where only one of the three local, final laps were covered to make easier for the riders to cope with temperatures well over 40ºC.
The Movistar Team riders made it safely through this short, scorching hot stage, inside a bunch which only had to cover moves from Dlamini (DDD), Bowden (AUS) and Machado (TKA) into two separate breakaways. The mass sprint was inevitable, with Elia Viviani (QST) overtaking Caleb Ewan (MTS) with a perfectly-timed move for the stage win.
Rubén Fernández, Marc Soler and Carlos Barbero remain as the three Blues with the same GC time as the main contenders —20″ behind ochre jersey holder Caleb Ewan (MTS)– before Friday’s stage four (set to be covered an hour earlier, 10.30am to 2pm local time, because of the heat), first one with real mountains as the riders climb to the Norton Summit (5km ascent at 5% avg.), just 7km from the finish in Uraidla.
All pictures (c): Dario Belingheri / BettiniPhoto.net