Tour of Britain

Tour of Britain: Lars Boom wins stage three to take overall lead

Photo: courtesy
Guy Dedieu

Photo: courtesy
Guy Dedieu

Rabobank’s Lars Boom won stage three of the Tour of Britain in Stoke-on-Trent to take the overall lead as Team Sky rider Alex Dowsett fell short after a late charge for the line.

Time trial specialist Dowsett jumped the lead group with 15km remaining but was reeled in with 1km to go, before Boom outsprinted team-mate Michael Matthews, while Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) came third.

“With 200 metres to go I managed to jump over (Steve) Cummings and (Geraint) Thomas and then the corners started so they couldn’t pass us anymore,” said Boom. ” My first aim was to pull for Michael (Matthews) and then I felt good so I am happy to win.

“We knew that you can’t bring HTC and Cavendish or the Sky boys to the finish.  We knew we would have to surprise them, and we managed to do that.

“I know that it is always tricky with the wind when you are in England.  I saw the Sky guys move up to the front and there was point that there was a lot of wind.  It was a good point to go and we managed to get away.

“It is nice to win.  It’s nice to win before the World Championships.  I am to try and defend the jersey and win the overall, that is the goal now.”

Russell Hampton (Sigma Sport), Boy Van Poppel (UnitedHealthcare) and Andrew Fenn (AN Post Sean Kelly) formed the day’s break, and soon gained an advantage of more than three minutes.

Fenn, who will ride for Omega Pharma Quick-Step next year, began to fall victim to the pace, before Jonathan Tiernan-Locke bridged across to the lead duo.

Stage two was cancelled due to high winds but testing conditions continued on Tuesday, leading to a split in the peloton which saw Sky, Leopard Trek, HTC-Highroad and Rabobank all well represented.

Hampton, Van Poppel and Tiernan-Locke’s lead began to tumble and the trio sat up to join a leading group of approximately 25 riders.

Team Sky got all five of their riders in the break and after Dowsett, who claimed his first professional victory in the Tour du Poitou-Charentes last month, made his bid for the line, three HTC-Highroad riders, including Mark Cavendish, were forced to do the work.

Dowsett opened up a 25 second advantage ahead of the run-in to Stoke but fell victim to the chasing group, before Boom, who now leads Mark Cavendish in the overall by three seconds, proved strongest on the technical finish to claim victory.

Hampton tops the King of the Mountains classification, while Cavendish wears the points jersey, Matthews is the best young rider and Pieter Ghyllebert (AN Post Sean Kelly) leads the sprints competition.

“We will have to talk tonight,” said Hampton. ”We have looked at the stages on our training camp a few weeks ago. I know some of the climbs from the Junior Tour of Wales, so it brings back some memories. We will try and be aggressive and see what comes of it.”

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