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Gerrans returns to cycling form

  • Gerrans returns to cycling form

New Tour Down Under leader Jay McCarthy has extended his overall lead by two seconds ahead of the cycling fireworks at the end of stage three.

The Australian Tinkoff rider picked up one bonus second per intermediate sprint during Thursday's 139km stage from bayside Glenelg to Campbelltown at the foot of the Adelaide Hills.

McCarthy managed to finish third in the two sprints, extending his overall lead over Italian Diego Ulissi (Lampre Merida) to six seconds.

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The key feature of the stage is the tough Corkscrew climb 10km from the finish.

There is a sharp left-hand turn from Gorge Rd onto the climb and positioning will be crucial for the riders.

Anyone with overall aspirations in the Tour will have to be among the leaders at the top of the climb.

The sharp descent from Corkscrew also features a tricky right-hand turn immediately before the finish.

Belgian Lauren De Vreese made a solo attack at the start of the stage and led by four minutes with just over 43km left.

The temperature was 35 degrees and as cycling great Jens Voigt observed, the peloton was letting De Vreese dangle out the front of the race "like a slowly-cooked chicken".

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