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Tour de Yorkshire 2018: Sunweb's Max Walscheid wins Stage 3

Martin James
5 May 2018

German outsprints Magnus Cort Nielsen for the win, but Dane extends his overall lead. Photo: SWPix.com

Team Sunweb’s Max Walscheid won Stage 3 of the Tour de Yorkshire in a hotly contested sprint finish in Scarborough today.

The German left his effort late, but had the speed and power when it mattered to ride past his rivals and claim the win.

Overall leader Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana) of Denmark followed up his stage win yesterday with an impressive second place today.

Jon Aberasturi (Euskadi-Murias) crossed the line third and Mark Cavendish (Dimension-Data) – who had hit the front in trademark style only to fade at the death – a disappointed fourth.

The time bonus for Nielsen’s second place saw him extend his overall lead over Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) from four seconds to 10 going into tomorrow’s final stage.

The stage got underway in Richmond in bright and warm spring weather, with enormous crowd cheering the riders off – scenes that would be repeated throughout the 185km eastward ride towards Scarborough.

Yesterday’s winner Magnus Cort Nielsen was in the leader’s blue jersey, though you wouldn’t know it given how similar the colour is to the regular Astana jersey.

The break of the day came when a quintet of riders scrambled off the front of the peloton, looking to build a lead.

The group comprised Jonathan McEvoy (Madison-Genesis), Mathias Le Turnier (Cofidis), Robbert De Greef (Roompot), Peter Williams (One Pro Cycling) and

Adam Kenway (Vitus).

They steadily built up a lead, working well together, and going into the second categorised climb of the day, the Cote de Silpho (1.5km at 8.2%), the gap to the peloton behind was holding at around 2:20sec.

With still a further 50km to ride once they reached the top, the climb wouldn’t be where the day would be decided but it certainly was an opportunity for the favourites to ask some questions of each other.

And Van Avermaet duly obliged, ordering his BMC troops to switch to full interrogation mode at the front of the peloton.

They duly obliged, and by the time they reached the top of the climb they had halved the deficit to the five up front. The game was clearly up, and the race quickly came back together.

With the kilometres ticking by on the run-in to Scarborough, another group tried to go clear but never established much of a gap.

Then, just when a sprint finish looked all but guaranteed, veteran Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie) went clear, going for glory on the high-speed approach into Scarborough, holding on well into the final kilometre only to miss out with the finish line in sight.