MOUNT DIABLO STATE PARK -- Heat? What heat?

Utah's Robbie Squire, who rides for domestic team Jamis-Haggen, described it as a beautiful California day Tuesday for Stage 3 of the Amgen Tour of California. He scoffed at the peloton's concerns over temperatures in the 90s on a stage that began at Lake Cunningham Regional Park in San Jose and ended 108.5 miles later atop smoggy Mount Diablo.

After a gallant charge up Diablo, the American finished 30th, 5 minutes 48 seconds behind Australian winner Rohan Dennis, who rides for Team Garmin-Sharp. Squire is 76th out of 125 riders as the tour heads to Monterey on Wednesday for the start of Stage 4. But he won the only sprint classification of the day, in Livermore.

"Cyclists love to complain: 'It's too cold, it's too hot, too windy,' " Squire said. "Today was a perfect day."

Squire, 24, suffered like the rest of the field.

"It was hot, but I'll go just as hard if it is 100 degrees or 0 degrees," he said.

  • Lawson Craddock of Giant-Shimano is one of America's promising road racers. He finished seventh on the Diablo stage a year ago. He made another leap Tuesday by reaching the podium in third place.

    "Last year I attacked really hard," he said. "I learned the last 200 meters are really hard."

    This time, he worked with the final group before making a move that launched him into the top three.

    "I shifted down a little and stood up," Craddock recalled. "It didn't look pretty" but it was a success.

  • Optium-Kelly's Carter Jones of Boulder, Colorado, appreciates the tour that allows some of the world's elite cyclists to compete alongside American domestic teams.

    Jones marveled at being "towed" up Mount Diablo by Bradley Wiggins, the 2012 Tour de France champion.

    "This is what I watch on TV," he said after finishing eighth on the stage and is sixth overall.

  • Despite the rising thermometer, only two riders failed to finish Tuesday's stage. Janse Van Rensburg of South Africa did not start Stage 3. The race began Sunday with 128 riders. Many expected a handful of cyclists to drop out during the climbs as sizzling temperatures baked the Bay Area mountain stage.

    Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.