Australian perrenial favourite Simon Gerrans (Orica Greenedge) has narrowly taken out the third stage of the Santos Tour Down Under and grabbed the overall lead as he pipped fellow Aussie and defending champion Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) in a nail-biting finish.
For the second day in a row a crash near the finish line caused chaos within the peloton, but this time Gerrans managed to avoid the drama, although the accident did take out Lucas Hamilton, Marcus Burghardt and Koen De Kort.
Gerrans admitted he was relieved to have "snuck past" Dennis in the final metres. "It was like a drag race," he said. "Rohan and I were next to each other neck and neck for the final 100 metres. I was pretty confident I had snatched the win but it was still a relief when they announced me as the winner."
Gerrans moves into the overall lead by 3 seconds from Tinkoff's Jay McCarthy and 5 seconds over Rohan Dennis.
American Tyler Farrar from Dimension Data, a 6-time winner of Grand Tour stages, appeared on paper to be out of form as he limped home 13 minutes behind the lead bunch. However, upon closer inspection it wasn't such a bad effort, as Farrar rode the final sections of the famed Corkscrew climb on a De Rosa bike that he borrowed from a helpful spectator!
UPDATE: Santos Tour Down Under memo:
"Clarification re Tyler Farrar"
Tyler Farrar of the Dimension Data team today accepted assistance from a spectator who loaned him his bicycle after the American cyclist was involved in a crash during the Thomas Foods Stage 3 of the Santos Tour Down Under.
Race officials have confirmed Farrar will be allowed to continue the race as an exception to the rule because a bad crash with several other riders involved created a hectic situation which meant neither his team car nor the event's neutral service vehicle was in a position to provide assistance.
This ruling respects the spirit of the sport and considers the rather exceptional circumstances in which this occurred.
In normal circumstances accepting outside assistance such as Farrar did today would result in his disqualification from the race.