In idyllic conditions for a time trial, Rory Sutherland (Health Net-Maxxis) won stage 3, the Mt Hood Cycling Classic Gorge Delights time trial in a decisive manner, stopping the clock with the fastest time of 37:29, with an average speed of 29.61 mph (47.64 kmph).

Slotting into second place, Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) was 25 seconds slower, and GC leader into the stage, Darren Lill (BMC) finished in third place, at 32 seconds back.

"Well, I felt good and I think I paced myself well, I gave it my best shot. If anyone else went faster than that, well done to them because I couldn't have gone faster." said Lill right after he crossed the line, while waiting for the final results.

"I just went as hard as I could. Hopefully it will be a good time, I've been working on my timetrialing and my climbing so hoping it's going to pay off today and tomorrow." said Jacques-Maynes also waiting for the results.

Mike Creed (Rock Racing) finished at 1:04 behind the leader moving him up to sixth place in the overall

The 18.5 mile course started off with a flat 5 miles before the first obstacle, 2-mile (cat 3) climb up the Rowena Loops. The road gradually descended into the town of Mosier, and then back up a cat 4 climb to the Historic Mosier Tunnels, than finished off with 5 miles of rolling terrain to the finish line.

The conditions were very different than last year's time trial when the riders faced brutal headwinds and sidewinds. This year, it was a tailwind all the way especially at the bottom of the first climb which allowed the riders to conserve energy.

"But with the tailwinds as opposed to brutal headwinds, it's a total different race, the climbs are the same, all the pieces in between were radically different, you could sit there and really conserve your energy, hit it when the going is good and save the energy when there's no point. You can pedal hard in the eleven tooth or coast along in the eleven tooth for 1k an hour slower so you lose 5 seconds in the downhill but you gain a minute from saved energy." said Jacques-Maynes about the conditions.

Not only did Sutherland take over the overall lead going into the queen stage, he gave himself a small cushion of 30 seconds over Jacques-Maynes and a second more over Lill.

In the two previous years, the winner of the time trial also won the overall classification. Will this be repeated this year? The answer will be known at tomorrow's stage, the queen stage where the men will cover 101 miles with 11,200 feet of climbing in the Wy'East Road Race. The stage finishes off with a 35-mile, 4500-feet ascent to the summit finish at Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort where the final two-mile stretch to the ski resort has an average gradient of 10%, including sections that approach 12 percent.

Last year, Lill jumped from a disintegrating breakaway group to win the stage with a 21 seconds gap over second place Phil Zajicek (Health Net-Maxxis), then riding for Navigators. The Bissell team will try to put their riders in a break, especially Teddy King, to put pressure on Health Net-Maxxis, and BMC will play the wildcard. The jokers could be the Rock Racing and Successful Living teams trying to move up Mike Creed and Brad White, respectively in the overall classification. Jittery Joe's Neil Shirley has also stated that he will ride aggressively, and we can always count on Ryan Trebon (Kona) to be in the moves

The KOM competition will also heat up with 3 points opportunities including the finish line. Current leader, Portland native, Doug Ollerenshaw (Rock Racing) will need to protect his lead and get more points to keep the jersey til the end.

Top 10 Stage Results
1 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Health Net/Maxis 37.29 (46.884 km/h)
2 Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team 0.26
3 Darren Lill (RSA) BMC Pro Cycling Team 0.33
4 Ian McKissick (USA) BMC Pro Cycling Team 0.41
5 Justin England (USA) Toyota-United 0.58
6 Michael Creed (USA) Rock Racing 1.04
7 Edward King (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team 1.25
8 Ben Kneller (USA) Jittery Joe's 1.27
9 Jeremy Vennell (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team 1.27
10 Bradley White (USA) Successful P/B Parkpre 1.29

Top 10 General Classification after Stage 3
1 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Health Net/Maxis 5.57.52
2 Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team 0.30
3 Darren Lill (RSA) BMC Pro Cycling Team 0.31
4 Justin England (USA) Toyota-United 1.13
5 Ian McKissick (USA) BMC Pro Cycling Team 1.18
6 Michael Creed (USA) Rock Racing 1.24
7 Edward King (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling Team 1.41
8 Jonathan Garcia (USA) BMC Pro Cycling Team 1.49
9 Bradley White (USA) Successful P/B Parkpre
10 Chris Baldwin (USA) Toyota-United 1.53

Full results here.