Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team riders Serge Pauwels and Peter Velits did a good job in the third stage of the Santos Tour Down Under. The 2 OPQS riders were in a select group of 30 riders which headed to the finish in Stirling.
The stage to Stirling was animated by a breakaway of Will Clarke (Argos-Shimano) and Simon Clarke (Orica Greenedge). With less then 50 kilometres a group of 12 riders including Serge Pauwels started to chase, but they were caught quickly. But the gap of Clarke and Clarke was reduced to less then half a minute. The sign for some riders to attack the peloton andmake the jump to the breakaway. With 40 kilometres to go a group of 8 riders got in the front, with the peloton chasing behind them.
The 8 leaders managed to hold off the bunch till 6 kilometres from the line, but from then the big group took over. In the finale kilometres there were several attacks which caused a strung out field. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Blanco) took the win eventually in front of Matthew Goss (Orica Greenedge) and Philippe Gilbert (BMC). Pauwels finished 21st in the same time as Slagter.