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House in prime spot
- Updated: February 23, 2011
England’s Kristian House held on to his overall lead after the third stage of the inaugural Cell C Tour of South Africa in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.
Following Monday’s rest day and Sunday’s aborted second stage in Johannesburg due to traffic snarl-ups, the stage started in earnest at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium, before finishing 171 kilometres later, on Marine Drive along the beachfront.
SuperSport.com reports that Yohann Gene (Europcar) outsprinted a small group at the finish, to take the stage honours ahead of Johann Rabie (Team Bonitas).
A breakaway formed immediately after the start, including Arran Brown (MTN-Qhubeka), Johan van Zyl (Toyota CSA) and Tomasz Kiendys (CCC Polstat). Rapha Condor-Sharp, the team of race leader House controlled the pace, only giving the escape a maximum lead of two minutes.
At this point, the race was relaxed as riders enjoyed the sightings of elephants and giraffes amongst other wildlife, as they passed the Addo Elephant Park.
Europcar had changed their focus from winning the general classification to winning a stage after team leader Anthony Charteau crashed out of the race on the first stage.
The team showed their intent at 65km to go, when they took full advantage of strong winds to put the race in the ÔÇ£gutterÔÇØ. The breakaway was brought back and the peloton was splintered with several different groups forming on the road. Twenty-four riders made up the front group that included the gold jersey of House.
En route to the finish, two short steep climbs had to be negotiated and five riders which included Rabie and Daryl Impey (MTN-Qhubeka) got a small gap on the first one.
However, a lack of cooperation saw them being brought back before a group of 10 riders formed at the top of the final climb. Gene proved the strongest from this group and made the trip from France worthwhile for his team. House ended fifth on the stage to retain the race lead going into stage four.
1 Yohanne Gene EUC FRA 4hrs 05min 27sec
2 Johann Rabie BNT RSA 04:05:27
3 Gregory Habeux VWA BEL 04:05:27
4 Tony Hurel EUC FRA 04:05:27
5 Kristian House RCS GBR 04:05:27
6 Jonathan Tiernnan-Locke RCS GBR 04:05:27
7 Jacques Janse van Rensburg VMC RSA 04:05:27
8 Thomas Degand VWA BEL 04:05:27
9 David George LIF RSA 04:05:27
10 Perrig Quemeneur EUC FRA 04:05:27
1 Kristian House RCS GBR 07:47:30
2 Tony Hurel EUC FRA 07:49:52
3 Jacques Janse van Rensburg VMC ESP 07:49:52
4 David George LIF RSA 07:49:52
5 Daryl Impey MTN RSA 07:49:52
6 Jonathan Tiernan-Locke RCS GBR 07:49:52
7 Johann Rabie BNT RSA 07:49:52
8 Yohann Gene EUC FRA 07:49:52′
9 Perrig Quemeneur EUC FRA 07:49:52
10 Reinardt Janse van Rensburg MTN RSA 07:49:52