With Taylor Phinney and Steve Cummings sat in first and second respectively overall, BMC Racing have been under pressure to protect their lead – as would be expected. Less expected, however, were the efforts required during stage three, when a six-man break went clear early on and Alexandre Pliuschin briefly threatened to stay out to the finish. But Phinney’s support team responded, burying themselves for their team leader, which bodes well for the challenges to come.
Rick Zabel and Sebastian Lander put in huge shifts on the front to reel in Pliuschin, while Cummings still had enough in his legs at the end of the stage to keep the leading group together in the final kilometres. Even former world road race champion and Tour de France green jersey winner, Thor Hushovd, abandoned his personal ambitions to put in a big effort for his colleagues.
— Taylor Phinney (@taylorphinney) February 7, 2014
Following the work of Brent Bookwalter and Ben Hermans at the Tour Down Under in support of eventual runner-up Cadel Evans, it appears the American team will be spoiled for choice when it comes to picking Evans’ supporting cast for the Giro d’Italia.