Cadel Evans stormed to victory in Stage three of the Tour Down Under to take the overall race lead.

The Australian has climbed from fourth to first in the overall standings after today's win, with a gap of 12 seconds separating him from fellow Australian Simon Gerrans.

The veteran cyclist made his move 10km from the end of the stage when the riders took on the Corkscrew Road climb.

Evans powered up the climb with main contenders Richie Porte and Simon Gerrans close behind him but the Australian soon got away from them and used his descending skills to hold on to his advantage.

The BMC rider crossed the line 15 seconds in front of second placed Nathan Haas and a group of 12 riders.

Another 10 seconds were awarded to Evans as a time bonus, extending his advantage at the top of the standings.

Stage two's winner Diego Ulissi finished third and drops to third in the overall standings, 15 seconds off the lead.

The two time champion of the Tour Down Under Simon Gerrans limited his losses as he failed to keep up with Evans and now drops to second place.

Evans was pleased with how the stage went and was happy to get the win.

The 36-year-old told reporters: "I had an idea of the opportunity I could get on Corkscrew climb and I knew what to do.

"My team did a fantastic job to position me where I had to be. I had been training well but winning is what we are here for.

"It’s amazing to be back racing in Australia and win.

"A stage race is all about the leader’s jersey and time bonus is the key to win this race overall."

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