Bradley Wiggins of Team SKY led a group of riders on a breakaway from the peloton with about three-and-a-half miles (six km) remaining to set himself up for a second straight stage win at the Amgen Tour of California bicycle race Tuesday.
Unfortunately for Wiggins, the man who finished second in Monday’s time trial through Folsom was up to the task and then some.
Rohan Dennis of Garmin-Sharp blew past Wiggins, to win the third stage of the 2014 campaign. Tiago Machado of NetApp-Endura and Lawson Craddock of Giant-Shimano also shared the podium in the most difficult stage of the race so far.
Stage three featured climbs totally 10,000 feet up Mt. Hamilton and Mt. Diablo in temperatures that reached the low 90’s.
Wiggins is a fan favorite for both his riding ability and his dry humor with the press.
"It doesn't get much hotter than (that) in a race and my biggest concern today was just exploding," he told TeamSky.com.
Wiggins finished ninth, but still leads Dennis by 24 seconds with five stages remaining.
Dennis crashed in the first stage –a mostly-cross-country race, mixed with a small bit of street riding in Sacramento on Sunday.
The fourth leg of the tour starts in Monterey and ends in Cambria. The National Weather Service says the temperatures should stay in the 70's and 80's for most of the race.