Dutch young gun Tom-Jelte Slagter won his first pro race today as he claimed victory in the beautiful town of Stirling on the third stage of the Santos Tour Down Under. He led-out with 350m remaining and even the likes of Thomas, Goss and Gilbert couldn’t come around him on the uphill finish.
The roads around Stirling are sensational and the race coming through town for six laps made it a great day out for the spectators. It always astounds me how massive time gaps can open up in this stage every year. The climbs aren’t overly difficult, but it was a ripping pace which split the peloton to pieces. It’s a difficult course with long drags, dead roads, and absolutely no rest. Andy Schleck lost nearly 17 minutes and Martin Kohler lost 20 minutes on this scorching hot 38C day.
The cool change comes in tomorrow and it’ll be a fast pace with a tailwind which means there probably won’t even be a breakaway. Watch out for Greipel, Gossy, Kittel, Bossan Hagen and Renshaw duke it out for their second last chance of a sprint finish.
See full race results and report here.