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Tour of Britain 2019: Groenewegen's power too much for Van der Poel on Stage 3

Joe Robinson
9 Sep 2019

A dominant performance from the Dutch sprinter secures second win in three days. Image: SWpix

Dylan Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) made light work of the steep finish into Newcastle to take Stage 3 of the Tour of Britain to upset pre-race favourite Mathieu van der Poel, who could only manage second.

The Jumbo-Visma rider launched a brutal sprint on the double-digit gradients of Grey Street to bag his second stage victory of the week by a comfortable margin in a dominant show of power.

Van der Poel could only manage second after being boxed in during the final sprint while Davide Cimolai rolled over third in another consistent performance.

Groenewegen's victory came after a perfect lead-out by teammates Mike Teunissen and Amund Jansen who both picked up top 10 results on the stage after delivering Groenewegen for the sprint in the final 200m.

Fifth for Matteo Trentin on the day was enough to see the Italian retain the race lead into a second day, seven seconds ahead of Cimolai.

Fog on the Tyne

Stage 3 saw the Tour of Britain leave Scotland for England and a 182km route from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Newcastle city centre.

The first two stages had been won by sprinters – of sorts – with Groenewegen and Trentin having shared the honours.

The third day, on paper, suggested another sprint could be on the cards. In reality, a final 500m uphill with gradients of over 20% suggested otherwise. In fact, what it did suggest was our likely first real observation of Van der Poel.

The Dutch cyclocross star seemed tailor-made for the finale of Stage 3 and was a clear favourite at the start of the day.

Regardless, Van der Poel was happy to let teammate Dries de Bondt into the day's break alongside Rob Scott (Team Wiggins), Jacob Scott (Swift Pro Cycling), Rory Townsend (CayonDHB), Harry Tanfield (Katusha-Alpecin) and Christophe Noppe (Sport Vlaanderen).

They did well to build a four-minute break, working well, with Scott scooping up most of the day's mountains points to increase his lead in the climber's competition.

It was all pretty routine until the race was caught out by a level-crossing that split the main peloton in half and halted a large group of riders for three minutes.

The race was temporarily neutralised by the organisers, with the break and bunch being stopped for the stragglers to regain contact.

Once that happened, a convoluted process of allowing the peloton to ride to the break before allowing the break to restart and regain their four-minute lead took place. 

The race then resumed at a ferocious pace as the break sniffed an opportunity at a surprise stage win. The peloton also sensed this and put the hammer down, stringing the bunch out as Mitchelton-Scott led the charge.

It was looking touch and go for a while as the race negotiated the coast towards Tynemouth and the gap fluttered near 2 minutes with less than 20km to go.

Eventually, the will of the break was broken at the final moments, with the bunch making the catch towards the Flamme Rouge and the steep final 500m.