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By Benjamin Fitzmaurice
History has a way of repeating itself. The Jayco Bay Cycling Classic proved that with Will Walker of Fuji Servetto taking out day 3 of the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic.
Six years ago Walker as a 17-year-old won a stage of the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic with a courageous and powerful breakaway from the main bunch. Walker repeated that performance by breaking away in the last third of the race in an explosive attack and consolidated the gains made until the end.
The win six years ago put Walker on the map and kick started his professional career. Walker said: “You have to go when it’s the hardest. You just attack at the hardest point and then nobody can follow — except Dean Windsor who is one of the strongest crit riders in Australia, and Kristian House. We thought, bugger those pros at the back, we’ll just ride away from them!”
Stage 3 was not suited to everyone. The course had two tight corners and a rise which did not allow any respite for the bunch. Johnny Clarke of Jelly Belly, riding this week for Team 2XU, said of the stage: “Today’s course is always a testing course. I mean, there is very limited time for recovery and on the main bit of recovery there is a very tight corner so it is pretty intense out there. There are lots of ups and downs but on the back straight there is a cross wind into the Bay and you’re hard against the barriers so there is no rest. To ride this course you have to ride in the top ten and be able to attack and have some really good legs.”
Overnight leader Joel Person of the Australian Continental team Savings & Loans, and Baden Cooke of Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team crashed badly on an off camber corner at speed causing the race to be neutralized and re-started.
The race was suspended for 5 minutes. Both riders rejoined the race but failed to finish. It is not known what injuries were sustained by the riders or whether the injuries will prevent them from starting stage 4 of the Classic.
Rock Racing’s Rahsaan Bahati did not start stage 3 of the Classic, sustaining injuries from his crash on stage 2, which only really surfaced once he woke up the next day. Bahati has reportedly strained some tendons in his ankle and rested during stage 3.
Graeme Brown of Rabobank finished fourth on the stage, doing enough to take the overall general classification jersey with Simon Gerrans (Cervelo Test Team) and Dean Windsor (Drapac Porsche) in second and third respectively. Brown said: “I’ve definitely got a plan on the way I want to race here, which is best for my whole season. I talk to the [Rabobank] team and the team trainer and we’re not going to go off the plan — but in saying that when you’ve got the yellow jersey it changes everything.”
Stage 4 of the Classic is another difficult course with an incline and sweeping corners with no section to adequately rest before the next required exertion.
Stage 3 Results:
1 Will Walker Degani/CBD 12 points
2 Dean Windsor Mazda 10 points
3 Daniel Braunsteins Degani/CBD 8 points
4 Graeme Brown Urban Hotel 7 points
5 Robbie McEwen Bike Hub/Ridley 6 points
6 Simon Gerrans O2 Networks – Reflections Group 5 points
7 Mark Renshaw Mazda 4 points
8 Jono Cantwell Virgin Blue 3 points
9 Tommy Nankervis Total Rush 2 points
10 Leigh Howard Jayco VIS 1 points
GC after stage 3:
1 Graeme Brown Urban Hotel 23 points
2 Simon Gerrans O2 Networks – Reflections Group 20 points
3 Dean Windsor Mazda 20 points
4 Robbie McEwen Bike Hub/Ridley 19 points
5 Joel Pearson Savings & Loans 18 points
6 Bernie Sulzberger Virgin Blue 13 points
7 Will Walker Degani/CBD 12 points
8 Baden Cooke O2 Networks – Reflections Group 10 points
9 Daniel Braunsteins Degani/CBD 8 points
10 Leigh Howard Jayco VIS 8 points
11 Mark Renshaw Mazda 7 points
12 Michael Stallard Savings & Loans 5 points
13 Jono Cantwell Virgin Blue 5 points
14 Tommy Nankervis Total Rush 2 points
15 Cody Stevenson Budget Forklifts 2 points
16 Nic Sanderson Rock Racing 1 point
17 Brett Aitken Savings & Loans 1 point