Tour Down Under 2011 stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson>>

Brit Ben Swift yesterday and Aussie Mike Matthews today, the Tour Down Under keeps show-casing young cyclists. Matthews of Team Rabobank won the uphill sprint finish to Stirling, similar to the sprint win that gave him the Under 23 World title in October.

“Definitely, a new generation coming through,” said team Sky’s Swift after stage.

20-year-old Matthews won the stage ahead of experienced sprinter André Greipel. The stage finished just 15 kilometres south of Adelaide with three climbs into Stirling, one of the races toughest stages with the Willunga stage.

“It is one of the most difficult races of this Tour, it great to win this one,” said Matthews.

This win “would be parallel with the World Championships, with the guys we are racing against, the best in the world in the elite level. Under 23s is Under 23s.”

Matthews’ Rabobank team-mates motivated him on the final laps of the stage. They and Matthews noted it was similar to the Geelong Worlds circuit. Matthews, though, said that the pressure is greater racing with the professionals.

“Coming into one of the biggest pro teams in the world sort of puts a little pressure on you to get some results. I planned to work and help the team, but I came off with a result in the end.”

Mark Cavendish worked early on for HTC-Highroad team-mate Matt Goss. Goss took back the leader’s orange jersey after losing yesterday to a crash that also involved Cavendish.

Cavendish finished behind the main group, but ready to race the final three days of the Tour Down Under for Goss.

“I am really happy. He punctured with 10K to go and then got back on. He is in really good form. He is an incredible gutsy rider,” Cavendish said.

“The guys did well to help him. I can’t really do anything, just to go and get one or two bidons!”

The race continues tomorrow to Strathalbyn, but the stage to Willunga on Saturday will likely decide the final overall classification.

Results

Tour Down Under 2011, stage three: Unley to Stirling, 129km

1. Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank in 3-11-47


2. André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto

3. Matthew Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad

4. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Team Sky

5. Luke Roberts (Aus) Uni SA-Australia

6. Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar

7. Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi

8. Allan Davis (Aus) Astana

9. Blel Kadri (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale

10. Simone Ponzi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale

Other

17. Robbie McEwen (Aus) RadioShack at same time

23. Ben Swift (GB) Team Sky at same time

53. Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky at 13secs

84. Lance Armstrong (USA) RadioShack at 3-11

130. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Highroad at 12-29

Overall classification after stage three

1. Matthew Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad in 9-56-25


2. André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 2secs

3. Robbie McEwen (Aus) RadioShack at 4secs

4. Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank at same time

5. Ben Swift (GB) Team Sky at same time

6. Allan Davis (Aus) Astana at 14secs

7. Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar

8. Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-ISD

9. Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC

10. Greg Henderson (NZ) Team Sky all at same time

Stuart O



Former Tour Down Under winner Stuart O’Grady

Robbie McEwen, Tour Down Under 2011, stage three



Robbie McEwen, race leader at stage start

Aliaksandr Kuchynski and Luis Pasamontes escape, Tour Down Under 2011, stage three



Aliaksandr Kuchynski and Luis Pasamontes head an escape group

Jack Bobridge attacks, Tour Down Under 2011, stage three



Jack Bobridge launches at attack

Matt Goss, race leader, Tour Down Under 2011, stage three



Stage one winner Matt Goss back in the lead

Related links

Tour Down Under 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

Cavendish plans to fight on despite Down Under crash

Swift benefits from Sky’s strength and crashes for first win

Armstrong grumpy Down Under due to new doping allegations

Swift settles into Sky’s lead-out role

Cavendish holds fire at Tour Down Under

Cavendish-Greipel duel: Let the fun begin

Sky’s Thomas keeping covered Down Under

Armstrong faces questions on doping investigation and 2009 payments

Armstrong in Adelaide: One more time

Tour Down Under 2011: Who will win?

Tour Down Under 2011: Start list

Farrar heads Garmin-Cervelo’s Down Under assault

Cavendish to face Greipel Down Under with in-form Goss

Cavendish to start 2011 Tour Down Under

Farrar to ride Tour Down Under

Tour Down Under 2011: Stage reports



Stage two: Swift avoids crashes to take win



Stage one: Goss takes TdU opener



Cancer Council Classic: Goss wins Down Under opener after Sky crash

Tour Down Under 2011: Photo galleries



Tour Down Under stage three gallery



Tour Down Under stage two gallery



Tour Down Under stage one gallery



Cancer Council Classic gallery