Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) put in a late burst of power to win stage three of the 2014 Tour of California atop Mount Diablo on Tuesday.
Tiago Machado (NetApp-Endura) placed second, with Lawson Craddock (Giant-Shimano) in third. British talent Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) continued to display the climbing prowess that netted him the Tour of Turkey overall win, coming home in fourth.
Bradley Wiggins (Sky) retained the overall race lead after setting the pace of the lead group on almost the entire final climb and finishing ninth.
Luis Davila (Jellybelly) had been the last rider to survive from the day’s original seven-man escape group during the race’s ‘queen’ stage. He hung on to his lead until 5km to go on the tough final ascent.
Wiggins was sat at the head of the peloton at the point of the catch, with no other Sky team-mates left after they’d worked to reduce the break’s advantage throughout the day. Wiggins appeared unconcerned at his lack of support, tapping away at the front with riders strung out behind him.
Last year’s California king of the mountains Carter Jones (Optum) was the first to attack with 3km to go, as Wiggins continued to lead the dwindling bunch with riders dropping out the back. Jones’s effort lasted a kilometre before Wiggins caught up with him.
Wiggins continued to lead until fellow Brit Yates put in an attack with 300 metres to go. Dennis responded immediately, catching Yates and passing him for the victory.
Dennis now sits just 24 seconds behind Wiggins, cutting into the deficit after placing second behind Wiggins in the previous day’s time trial. Machado is third at one minute and five seconds. Yates elevates himself to fifth place overall, at 2-10.
After today’s hot, mountainous adventure, the riders hit the seafront and flatter roads with stage four from Monterey to Cambria on Wednesday.
Tour of California 2014, stage three: San Jose to Mount Diablo State Park, 177km
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp in 4-56-02
2. Tiago Machado (Por) NetApp-Endura at 6 secs
3. Lawson Craddock (USA) Giant-Shimano at 8 secs
4. Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge at 11 secs
5. Janier Acevedo (Col) Garmin-Sharp at st
6. Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at 14 secs
7. Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing
8. Johan Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge at st
9. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky at 20 secs
10. Matthew Busche (USA) Trek Factory Racing at 29 secs
Overall classification after stage three
1. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky in 10-03-57
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 24 secs
3. Tiago Machado (Por) NetApp-Endura at 1-05
4. Lawson Craddock (USA) Giant-Shimano at 1-21
5. Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge at 2-10
6. Peter Stetina (USA) BMC Racing at 2-24
7. Matthew Busche (USA) Trek Factory Racing at 2-25
8. Carter Jones (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies at 2-27
9. Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin at 2-29
10. Javier Acevedo (Col) Garmin-Sharp at 2-30