Triple world champion Peter Sagan won the third stage of the Tour Down Under for the second straight year but New Zealander Patrick Bevin finished fifth to retain the overall lead by a second at the tour’s midpoint.
Sagan reproduced his ride in the same stage last season to snatch a split-second victory over Spain’s Luis Leon Sanchez. Last year’s race-winner, Daryl Impey of South Africa, was third with Danny Van Poppel of Holland fourth.
The undulating nature of the stage, which featured 3.3km of climbs and similarly steep descents, made the stage highly technical and resulted in a series of breakaways.
Sagan knew best how to position himself for the finish which featured two tight corners before the line. He dashed away and grabbed the stage win by barely a wheel width from Sanchez while Impey rode a superb stage to keep himself in tour contention, in fifth place on general classification.