LOS ANGELES, May 14, 2014 (AFP) – Former Tour de France winner Bradley
Wiggins maintained the overall lead after the third stage of the Tour of
California which was won by Australian Rohan Dennis on Tuesday.
Team Sky’s Wiggins, who dominated the second stage time trial in Folsom,
now has a 24 second overall lead on Dennis with five stages remaining in the
Dennis, of Garmin-Sharp, powered his way through hot and mountainous
conditions Tuesday to complete the 174 kilometre road course from San Jose,
California, to Mount Diablo in four hours, 56 minutes and two seconds.
Wiggins took the lead with about six kilometres to go but Dennis jumped
clear of the pack in the final kilometre to take the victory in sweltering
conditions where the temperatures reached about 33 Celsius (92 Fahrenheit).
Wiggins said he was satisfied with his finish in the tough conditions.
“It doesn’t get much hotter in a race and my biggest concern today was just
exploding,” the Brit said. “On the last climb I just wanted to ride a good
tempo. I did that and then it was just about getting to the top at the end.”
Wiggins, who followed up his 2012 Tour de France triumph by winning Olympic
time trial gold in London, finished the third stage in ninth place, 20 seconds
adrift of Dennis.
Portugal’s Tiago Machado was second in the stage which finished with a
seven kilometre climb up Mount Diablo. American Lawson Craddock was third, two
seconds behind Machado and eight seconds back of the leader.
“It was difficult to know who was in the group riding on the front. That
was probably the only mistake I made as Rohan Dennis took a little bit of
time. I perhaps underestimated that he’d be there so we just need to keep a
closer eye on him on the next ones,” Wiggins said.
“Hopefully today was about as hard as it should get for the boys. I think
the next two days should, fingers crossed, be a bit more straightforward.”
Omega Pharma rider Mark Cavendish said he was glad the day was over.
“Grim day in the mountains. Whoever wants to do a 30 kilometre climb is
either lying or sick,” he said.
Dennis is second overall, 24 seconds behind Wiggins while Machado is third,
65 seconds back.
The Tour of California continues Wednesday with the 166-kilometre scenic
fourth stage from Monterey to Cambria on the Pacific coast.
Amgen Leader Jersey – Bradley Wiggins (GBR), Team Sky (GBR)
Wiggins has won the Amgen Leader Jersey two times since stage 1
Michelob Ultra King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey – Will Routley (CAN), Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA) Routley has won the Michelob Ultra King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey every stage
Visit California Sprint Jersey – Mark Cavendish (GBR), Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team (BEL) Cavendish has won the Visit California Sprint Jersey every stage
Crunchies Best Young Rider Jersey – Lawson Craddock (USA), Team Giant-Shimano (NED)
Lawson has won the Crunchies Best Young Rider Jersey twice since stage 1
Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer® Most Courageous Rider Jersey – Luis Davila (MEX), Jelly Belly Cycling Team p/b MAXXIS (USA)
Results on Tuesday in the Tour of
California third stage, 174.5 km from San Jose to Mount Diablo State Park:
1. Rohan Dennis (AUS/Garmin) 4 hr 56min 02sec, 2. Tiago Machado (POR) at
6sec, 3. Lawson Craddock (USA) at 8, 4. Adam Yates (GBR) at 11, 5. Janier
Acevedo (COL) at 11
9. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) at 20
Overall standings after 3 of 8 stages
1. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/Sky) 10:03:57, 2. Rohan Dennis (AUS) at 24sec, 3.
Tiago Machado (POR) at 1:05, 4. Lawson Craddockat (USA) 1:21, 5. Adam Yates
(GBR) at 2:10