Former world and Olympic champion Bart Brentjens claimed another sprint victory to record his second successive Croc Trophy stage win – but defending champion Urs Huber retains the overall lead.
Stage three, the hardest of the ten-day race at 144km long and with 1,600m of climbing, ended with Brentjens and Huber going head-to-head, with the Dutchman edging out the Swiss rider by just one second.
Huber remains on track to defend his title and holds a four minute, 23 second lead over Brentjens, with Belgium’s Mike Mulkens more than half-an-hour back in third.
“I am more than happy with today’s result,” said Mulkens, who was third on the stage. “The first two days were not bad, but still, in a way everyone expected a third place from me.
“Now I have it – and I’ll defend it with all my might.”
In the women’s race, the quartet of Australian Taigh Banson, Austria’s Rene Haselbacher and Estonians Jaan Kirsipuu and Allan Oras had a face-to-face encounter with a kangaroo who ran into their path.
“It was just unbelievable,” said Haselbacher. “It just jumped straight through our group and suddenly both I and the kangaroo were spectacularly spun through the air.”
Australia’s Abby McLennan leads the women’s overall classification.