The 3rd stage of the Tour of Britain from Cockermouth to Floors Castle saw Elia Viviani (Team Sky) secure his 2nd win of the tour from another bunch sprint. Tyler Farrar would be our shining light today as he made the break of the day, only to be caught with 3km to go.
Initially it would be 6 riders who formed the break of the day, including Tyler. With the stage taking place over 216km of Scottish roads, the peloton allowed Tyler and his breakaway companions to get just over a 6 minute lead. There would be 3 category 2 climbs during the last half of the stage and Tyler managed to summit each one of the climbs first.
It was on the penultimate climb though where the break split in two and Marcin Bialoblocki (One Pro Cycling) and Matt Cronshaw (Madison Genesis) joined Tyler in a bid for glory. The trio worked well together as Lotto-Soudal, Team Sky and Cannondale-Garmin sent troops forward to take over the chase from Etixx-Quickstep.
With 12km to go and a gap of just 1 minute, the peloton had the upper hand. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung were keeping well positioned behind the race leaders Etixx-Quickstep team with the imminent sprint finish about to unfold. Just before the break were caught near the 3km to go banner, a crash in the pack took out the race leader Petr Vakoc. The chaos saw our sprint train loose formation as the riders unaffected steamed ahead.
Viviani was fastest once again with Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) 2nd and Matteo Trentin (Etixx-Quickstep) 3rd. Our African team were unable to contest for the stage win as Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Edvald Boasson Hagen both rolled in around 20th position. The day’s events did see Tyler win the most combative prize of the day and Edvald moved up to 2nd on GC with Serge Pauwles now 10th on GC too.
Tyler Farrar – Rider
I wanted to give it a try today and managed to get into the break. It was a long day, but I thought for a while that we could make it. In the end we were caught. Nevertheless, winning the most combative award is a good motivation for the next coming days. Additionally, I got a hard ride into my legs, which is also good ahead of the Worlds later this month.
Michel Cornelisse – Sports Director
The team did a good job today. We wanted to be represented in the break, and Tyler managed to get into the move of the day. There was one rider in the break that wasn’t too far back in the GC, so Etixx-QuickStep started to chase and kept the break in sight. On the second KOM of the day Tyler attacked and they managed to drop that rider. After that the gap grew. With 30 kilometers to go, it still looked possible to win the stage, but then the sprinter teams decided to chase hard. They caught the break with 3 kilometers to go. The team rode really well today.