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Tour of Britain 2017: Caleb Ewan beats Edvald Boasson Hagen in close sprint

Patrick Morrish
5 Sep 2017

Ewan took Stage 3 of the Tour of Britain in a stage marred by poor weather, beating Boassan Hagen into second and Kristoff into third

Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) won Stage 3 of the 2017 Tour of Britain from a bunch sprint into Scunthorpe’s Central Park, after a short climb within the final few kilometres failed to shell the pure sprinters. The win puts Ewan into the overall race lead after overnight leader Elia Viviani (Team Sky) could only manage eighth on the stage.

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) looked to have the better of his rivals but a late lunge from Ewan was enough to deny the Norwegian.

The last two riders of the breakaway, Ian Bibby (JLT Condor) and Pete Williams (One Pro Cycling) were caught with 10km to go as Team Sky and Dimension Data massed on the front of the peloton, looking towards protecting their sprinters for the final rise to the line in Scunthorpe, which began 3km from the line.

A late flyer by Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) excited the final kilometre but was ultimately unsuccessful, and the race came back together for the final drag to the line.

JLT-Condor’s Graham Briggs made it into the early breakaway and his sprinting and climbing prowess saw him inherit the lead in the sprints and KOM competition.

Ewan leads the Wiggle points competition as well as the overall.

How the race unfolded

The rain did not discourage the fans, who turned out in force, or the racers, as five riders attacked from the gun and established a break after two kilometres of racing.

Bibby and Briggs were joined by Harry Tanfield (Bike Channel-Canyon), Pete Williams (One Pro Cycling), and Matt Holmes of Madison Genesis.

Team Sky and Dimension Data massed on the front of the peloton to allow the breakaway to build its lead.

The five riders are all from British domestic teams so having raced together frequently they worked together well to build a lead of 3m 10 at the first intermediate sprint.

Briggs showed no signs of fatigue from his efforts yesterday, and took all three of the intermediate sprints. Since he sat joint first in that competition at the start of the day, he will inherit the Eisberg sprints jersey at the close of today’s stage.

Since Briggs began the day four points off the lead of the SKODA King of the Mountains competition, there seemed a high chance that he could be taking two trips to the podium at the end of the day.

And the JLT-Condor rider duly delivered, collecting maximum points on the Greetwell and Wrawby category three climbs, which came at 87.6km and 110.9km respectively. He will have two jerseys to choose from come tomorrow.

With 40km to go, Team Sky, looking to protect Elia Viviani’s leader’s jersey, strung out the bunch and began whittling the gap to the break down, and the five escapees saw their lead halved to 1m 30s in 10km.

Graham Briggs’s final paid the price of his exertions as he lost touch with the break with 24km to go, whilst his erstwhile companion Tanfield forged ahead with Bibby to attempt to hold off the bunch, only to be caught by Holmes and Williams 2km later.

The final Category three climb of the day to Winterton saw Ian Bibby take maximum points to protect his teammate’s lead in the SKODA competition.

Nevertheless, the break was caught soon after the climb as the Orica-Scott and Dimension Data squads looked towards setting the race up for a sprint in order to challenge Elia Viviani’s four second lead over Caleb Ewan, with Edvald Boasson Hagen a further three seconds back.

Tour of Britain Stage 3: Normanby Hall Country Park to Scunthorpe, 172km, result

1. Caleb Ewan (AUS) Orica-Scott, 4:04:05
2. Edvald Boasson-Hagen (NOR) Dimension Data, at same time
3. Alexander Kristoff (NOR) Katusha-Alpecin, at st
4. Brenton Jones (GBR) JLT-Condor, at st
5. Mads Wurtz Schmid (DEN) Katusha-Alpecin, at st
6. Andrea Pasqual (ITA) Wanty-Groupe Gobert, at st
7. Elia Viviani (ITA) Team Sky, at st
8. Philippe Gilbert (BEL) Quick-Step Floors, at st
9. Daniele Bennati (ITA) Motistar Team, at st
10. Nikolas Maes (BEL) Lotto-Soudal, at st

Tour of Britain: General Classification after Stage 3

1. Caleb Ewan (AUS) Orica-Scott, 13:54:34
2. Elia Viviani (ITA) Team Sky, at 0:06
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) Dimension Data, at 0:07
4. Karol Domagalski (POL) One Pro Cycling, at 0:14
5. Silvan Dillier (SUI) BMC Racing, at 0:15
6. Kamil Gradek (POL) One Pro Cycling, at same time
7. Alenxander Kristoff (NOR) Katusha-Alpecin, at 0:16
8. Fernando Gaviria (COL) Quick-Step Floors, at 0:18
9. Lars Boom (NED) LottoNL-Jumbo, at 0:19
10. Zdenek Stybar (CZE) Quick-Step Floors, at 0:20

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