The Merv Dean Memorial Tour of Bendigo is set for a thrilling finish on Monday.
Just eight seconds separate InForm TM Insight MAKE team-mates Luke Plapp and Jarrd Drizners going into Monday's criterium at the Huntly Livestock Exchange.
Plapp appeared to have a mortgage on the event after he won Saturday's opening stage at Bagshot and Sunday morning's individual time-trial in Bridgewater.
However, the tide turned in Sunday afternoon's 79km third stage.
Drizners, Castlemaine's Nick Simpson and Echuca-Moama's Trent Stevenson broke away from the peleton in the first half of the race and the main group couldn't reel them in.
Drizners won a three-man sprint to the finish line in Bridgewater.
The trio finished two minutes clear of Plapp and the rest of the peleton.
The margin, plus the time bonus for winning the stage, cut Plapp's lead to less than 10 seconds with just the criterium remaining.
Stevenson, who is 25 seconds behind in third place, remains in the hunt for general classification honours, but would need to produce a brilliant ride in the criterium to take that much time off the leaders.
St Kilda's Jordan Villani is in fourth place, 52 seconds behind Plapp.
Sam Eddy is the best placed Bendigo rider in fifth spot - one minute and 40 seconds behind.
Earlier in the tour, Plapp produced a brilliant turn of speed to defeat his rivals by 25 seconds in the opening 82km stage on Saturday.
The 18-year-old showed his class by surging clear of a group of eight riders, while Drizners was one minute and 50 seconds behind.
Sunday morning's 12km time-trial was always going to be critical to the outcome of the tour.
Plapp burned around the course in a slick 14:31.74 - 12 second quicker than runner-up Villani.
Drizners was a further four seconds behind.
That trio put a gap on the rest of the field, with Sam Eddy fourth in a time of 15:36.66.
Meanwhile, Hawthorn's Alastair Hastings leads the B-grade tour by nine seconds from Seymour's Shayne Kirby. Tolland's Paul Millynn has a slender five-second advantage on Echuca-Moama's Malcolm McLeod in the C-grade race.
Monday's criterium action at the Huntly Livestock Exchange starts at 9.30am with the C-grade race.
The A-grade event is scheduled to begin at 11.20am.