Australia’s Rohan Dennis has triumphed on a gruelling mountain finish to win the third stage of cycling’s Tour of California and narrow the gap to leader Bradley Wiggins.
Dennis, who was runner-up in stage two, sprinted away from the pack with a little more than 200 meters to go on the final 6.5km climb up Mount Diablo.
Riding for Garmin-Sharp, Dennis won by six seconds from Portugal’s Tiago Machado (Netapp-Endura) with American Lawson Craddock (Giant-Shimano) a further two seconds back in third.
Englishman Wiggins, the 2012 Tour de France winner, finished ninth in the stage and retained the leader’s jersey but second-placed Dennis cut his advantage from 44 seconds to 24 seconds with five stages left.
Tuesday’s 174km “Queen Stage” began in San Jose, ascended and descended Mount Hamilton and concluded at the summit of Mount Diablo.