OVO Energy Tour of Britain: Sprinters in the Spotlight on Stage 35. September 2017, Scunthorpe (GBR) — Road Team
The riders faced wet weather conditions on stage 3 of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain with rain greeting them from start to finish as the sprinters once again took center stage.
It was a fast start to the day with attacks flying off the front of the peloton from KM 0 as rider after rider, including Stefan Küng, tried to force an early move. But, the peloton chased down each one, until, after 10km of racing, five riders were given the freedom to go clear.
With the peloton sitting up, the advantage of the breakaway began to rise steadily before, after more than 60km of racing, it peaked at around four minutes. Race leader at the start of the day, Elia Viviani’s Team Sky continued to set the tempo behind and soon the time gap was brought under control over the first half of the 178.5km course.
After hovering around the three-minute mark for most of the day, the lead of the breakaway began to fall steadily with 50km to go with the chase from behind beginning to heat up and the gap being brought to within one minute before riders started to attack at the front of the race.
On the third and final categorized climb of the day, which came with 16km remaining, just three riders from the original breakaway remained in front, but with the peloton trailing by less than 20 seconds, the race was eventually brought back together approaching the final 10km of the day.
With teams eyeing another bunch sprint to the line in Scunthorpe, the battle for position quickly began, and BMC Racing Team joined the sprinter’s teams at the front of the bunch as they tried to gain control of the run into the line.
Despite a late attack from Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors), the peloton was all together in the closing meters of the race with Caleb Ewan (ORICA-Scott) going on to take the win and regain the leader’s jersey.
All six of BMC Racing Team’s riders finished safely in the bunch with Silvan Dillier maintaining his fifth place overall on the General Classification, 15 seconds behind Ewan heading into stage 4.
Inside the Race Car with Sports Director, Valerio Piva:
“We were waiting to try to do something in the wind but there was never a good place or an open part of the parcours to do this, and in the end, it was the sprinters’ teams who controlled the race. We don’t have a pure sprinter, and Floris Gerts was blocked a little in the final and Silvan Dillier was recovering from yesterday. Stefan Küng is very strong and motivated, but there wasn’t really the opportunity to do something. We were looking for the right moment, but it just wasn't possible today. The General Classification is still open and the time trial will make a difference, and I think we can do a good job there. After that, it will be more clear who we will protect and maybe we can then try something different.”
OVO Energy Tour of Britain
Stage 3: Normanby Hall Country Park > Scunthorpe, 178.5km
Top 3: 1. Caleb Ewan (ORICA-Scott) 2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Dimension Data) 3. Alexander Kristof (Team Katusha Alpecin)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 15. Stefan Küng 18. Floris Gerts 32. Brent Bookwalter