Bevin Sprints to Third Place on Day Two in Britain3. September 2018, Barnstaple (GBR) — Road Team
A strong ride from Patrick Bevin on stage two of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain saw the New Zealander sprint to third place on the stage and move into third place on the General Classification.
Miles Scotson was involved in a crash in the neutral zone which held up the official race start, but once racing was underway there were multiple attacks from riders trying to form the day’s breakaway.
A small group gained a slight advantage over the bunch in the first five kilometers but were pulled back after the first categorized climb, the category two Chineway Hill.
Eventually, five riders were allowed to escape and the quintet managed to build up an advantage of more than six minutes as they entered the final 100 kilometers.
The peloton picked up the pace and shaved three minutes off the breakaway’s advantage with 50 kilometers to go, after the category two Bratton Fleming climb.
Attacks came from the bunch with 30 kilometers remaining, by which point the breakaway was just two minutes ahead, in anticipation of the biggest climb of the day, the category one Challacombe Hill.
Stefan Küng formed part of a six-rider chase group, the third group on the road, just under two minutes behind the breakaway as they reached the base of the climb.
The steep gradients of up to 22 percent took their toll on the bunch and caused large splits, while up ahead Scott Davies (Team Dimension Data) led the race solo and was then joined by Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-SCOTT) and Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF).
On the descent and run into the finish, Bevin formed part of a select nine-rider chase group, featuring some of the General Classification contenders, which was able to close in on Meyer and Tonelli, after Davies was dropped, and brought their advantage down from one minute to 10 seconds as they passed under the flamme rouge.
Meyer was able to distance himself from Tonelli in the final 300 meters while behind, Bevin proved to be the fastest in the chase group with enough speed to sprint to third place on the line, two seconds behind Meyer.
Bevin now sits in third place on the General Classification, eight seconds behind Tonelli who is the new race leader.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“The stage was a typically hard OVO Energy Tour of Britain stage. We spent all day going up and down and that really drains the legs. The parcours had three tough climbs grouped together and the race really split on the last KOM which was when I went in a group of seven that was chasing the remnants of the breakaway. It’s always a bit of a shame to win the sprint from the group but miss catching the front of the race but the two guys off the front absolutely deserved it. It was good to grab the time bonus and move into a good GC placing which hopefully we can keep until the TTT and see how things play out from there.”
Sports Director, Valerio Piva:
“It was a really fast start to the stage today and in the end, two riders from the five-rider breakaway were able to stay away. The gap was always around four or five minutes with Quick-Step Floors, Team Sky and Lotto-Soudal chasing but they weren’t able to close the gap. That’s when we s the attacks start and the two leaders just held off the group with Paddy in the final, finishing only two seconds ahead. Paddy was able to win the sprint and I think that if they had caught the two leaders, then he would have had a really good chance to go for the win."
“For the moment, we will continue to take the General Classification day-by-day and also give everyone the chance to try something before the team time trial in two days and then the queen stage with an uphill finish the day after that. Of course, we saw today that Paddy is strong but Tejay was also good and he was up there, finishing in the second group of 20 riders around 40 seconds back.”
OVO Energy Tour of Britain
Stage 2: Cranbrook > Barnstaple, 174.9km
Top 3: 1. Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 2. Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF) 3. Patrick Bevin (BMC Racing Team)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 3. Patrick Bevin 33. Tejay van Garderen 47. Stefan Küng