Australian Allan Davis (Discovery Channel) took an impressive stage win on Wednesday in the Tour of Catalonia, easily outgunning Baden Cooke (Unibet.com) in a tricky curving uphill finish at Tarrega.
Following his stage two victory, Briton Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile) could not take part in the bunch sprint. He suffered from cramps on the last climb of the day with 50 kilometres to go and was dropped from the main bunch, finishing second last on the stage.
?It happened at exactly the wrong moment.? T-Mobile sports director at Catalonia, Jan Schaffrath, told CW?s website. ?Mark got dropped, then couldn?t get back on because Unibet.com really upped the pace immediately afterwards.?
?Add to that he?s still young, the stage was a little bit hillier and longer than yesterday, and it was much hotter as well, and that was it.?
If Cavendish did not have a brilliant day, for Davis victory had a bitter-sweet feel. Wednesday is the first anniversary of Operacion Puerto going public and Davis was originally implicated. Even though he was then cleared by his federation of all involvement, the 26-year-old Australian was still bombarded with questions by journalists about the anti-doping investigation.
?When you?ve always done what you should have and played by the rules, it?s horrible to be involved in something like Puerto and to find yourself on a list just like that.? Davis said.
As for the sprint itself, Davis added that it had ?not been easy. We only caught the break of the day 800 metres from the line and that was too close for comfort. But I made it.?
TOUR OF CATALONIA: STAGE THREE RESULTS
1 Allan Davis (Aus) Discovery Channel 179kms in 4-29-26
2 Baden Cooke (Aus) Unibet.com
3 Daniele Benatti (Ita) Lampre
4 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) T-Mobile
5 Carlo Scognamiglio (Ita) Milram
6 Aaron Kemps (Aus) Astana
7 William Bonnet (Fra) Credit Agricole
8 Stuart O?Grady (Aus) CSC
9 Volodymyr Dyudya (Ukr) Milram
10 Samuel Dumoulin (Ag2R)
156 Bradley Wiggins (GBR) Cofidis
160 Dave Millar (GBR) Saunier Duval-Prodir all st
190 Mark Cavendish (GBR) T-Mobile at 10-57.
OVERALL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE THREE
1 Imanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse D?Epargne 8-48-06
2 Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) Caisse D?Epargne at 1sec
3 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse D?Epargne
4 Nicolas Portal (Fra) Caisse D?Epargne
5 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Caisse D?Epargne
6 Florent Brard (Fra) Caisse D?Epargne all st
7 Aaron Kemps (Aus) Astana at 12sec
8 Stuart O?Grady (Aus) CSC at 17sec
9 Nicki Sorensen (Den) CSC
10 Christian Vandelvelde (USA) CSC all st
22 Bradley Wiggins (GB) Cofidis at 24sec
122 David Millar (GB) Saunier Duval-Prodir at 55sec
182 Mark Cavendish (GB) T-Mobile at 11-28