TOUR OF BRITAIN
"ALAPHILIPPE STAMPS HIS AUTHORITY ON THE RACE. IS THERE A MORE VERSATILE RIDER IN THE PELOTON?"
Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) won stage three from a reduced sprint, after a formidable leadout from his team-mate Bob Jungels.
It was the climb of Providence Lane just eight kilometres from the finish that proved decisive, decimating the weary peloton and providing a launchpad for attacks from Tom Pidcock (Team Wiggins) and Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors).
Chaos reigned under the flamme rouge, as the heavily reduced sprint trains battled it out for control, with Jungels' mighty leadout proving decisive.
The OVO Energy green trikot of the overll race leader will be worn tomorrow by Patrick Bevin (BMC), after Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF) was distanced on the approach to the finish line. Bevin was second in the sprint, nabbing six bonus seconds to add to the two he acquired earlier in the day on the first intermediate sprint.
And it's yet another change of leader for the Wahoo Points trikot, too – with Cam Meyer (Mitchelton-Scott) giving way to Alaphilippe.
The start of the stage saw plenty of mayhem, as riders desperate to get into the break attacked repeatedly throughout the opening kilometres. Eventually a four-man break led by Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) did escape, only to be reeled in just before that final climb of Providence Lane.
The early chaos meant most of the Skoda King of the Mountains points were distributed before the break finally got away. As such, any chance of unseating Scott Davies (Dimension Data) from the lead was snuffed out early doors. The Welshman remains in the Schwarz for another day.
It was the same story in the Eisberg Sprints competition, with Matthew Teggart (Team Wiggins) safely rolling along in the bunch, secure in his lead for another day and the intermediate points spread liberally between at least six different riders.
Tomorrow the race heads to the Midlands with a finish in Leamington Spa.