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Tour of Britain 2018: Alaphilippe wins as Bevin takes race lead

Joe Robinson
4 Sep 2018

Quick-Step Floors execute perfect lead out to lead Alaphilippe to victory

Julain Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) wins Stage 3 of the Tour of Britain after a fast-paced 125km dash around Bristol. A perfect lead-out by teammate Bob Jungels allowed the Frenchman to power ahead of a reduced peloton to take the stage.

Behind, race leader Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF) was dropped on the run into town seeing the race lead change over to Patrick Bevin (BMC Racing) thanks to six bonus seconds snatched on the finish line.

The day was fast paced and frantic with constant attacks but no true breakaway. Instead, teams such as BMC Racing, Quick-Step Floors and Team Sky kept the pace high, shedding the fast men and some of those still in contention for General Classification.

Tomorrow's 183km route from Nuneaton to Royal Leamington Spa should be a day for the sprinters but various lumps on the run to home could present another opportunity for those with strong legs. 

The tale of the stage

Stage 3 of the Tour of Britain was a whistlestop tour of Bristol. Just 125km, taking the peloton out of the south-west city and then back with three categorised climbs and a lumpy finish. 

Yesterday's stage had multiple winners. Firstly Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-Scott) for winning the stage and then Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF) for taking the race lead.

The riders departed Bristol with the attacks starting immediately. Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) went early, as did Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin) and a sprinkling of British Continental talent.

More attacks happened on the climb to Shipham with Max Schachmann (Quick-Step Floors) and James Shaw (Lotto Soudal) instigators although, the peloton had no interest in allowing a break to escape. The stage was too short and it would be too difficult to bring them back. 

A fast pace over Cheddar Gorge did little for breakaway hopefuls but pinched the bunch enough to drop some of the weaker riders. 

Eventually, a break of four did go away but with a small gap of just 49 seconds, constantly in sight of the peloton. They were caught, spurring four more including Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) and Ben Swift (Great Britain) although they were never allowed more than a minute.

The final climb of Providence Lane was enough to scupper the hopes of the break and also shattered the peloton as riders such as Tom Pidcock (Team Wiggins) and Jungels tried to attack but to no avail. 

Race leader Tonelli was one of those riders who lost contact on the climb, meaning a new race leader would be declared at the end of the stage. 

The race swelled in the final few kilometres on the run into town. Most sprinters were nowhere to be seen and the GC contenders were eyeing a potential stage win and bonus seconds.

Quick-Step Floors took the bull by the horns as Jungels took to the front setting an unrelenting pace, preventing any attacks before Alaphilippe could sprint to the stage win.

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