10th for Mezgec as the breakaway survives on stage three Tour of Britain

Wed 7 Sep 2016

The third stage of the Tour of Britain was animated with an early breakaway of four riders successfully staying away until the finish line after a challenging 179kilometre stage.

All six of the ORICA-BikeExchange team made it through the hilly day safely in the main peloton with Luka Mezgec the highest place finisher sprinting in to tenth.

“We were hoping for a bunch sprint today but there wasn’t much cohesion from the rest of the sprinter's teams," said sport director Matt Wilson. “It ended up with a bit of a Mexican stand off and that was it, the leaders stayed away.”

“It’s a bit of a shame we didn’t end with a sprint but tomorrow is another day and hopefully we can keep it together in the final for a sprint.” 

How it happened:

In a repeat of the first two stages the racing began ferociously as soon as the peloton left the start line in Congleton.

Within the first 15kilometres of the stage a small group of four riders attack and set a blistering pace to successfully establish a lead of four and a half minutes. 

The quadruplet of Matt Cronshaw (Madison Genesis), Ian Standard (Team Sky) Graham Briggs (JLT-Condor) and Kristian House (ONE-ProCycling) maintained a strong advantage for the majority of the stage.

Cronshaw was eventually distanced from his breakaway companions as they headed over two first category climbs, leaving three of them battling for glory.  

Stannard made a strong move, riding away to claim the stage solo, one-minute and 46 seconds ahead of Briggs and House. 

With the first three spots taken, the remaining peloton sprinted in for fourth place with Mezgec concluding the day in tenth place. 

Tomorrow is the longest stage of the tour at 218kilometres with 4133metres of climbing as the race heads into Wales starting in Denbigh through to Buith Wells.

Tour of Britain results after stage 3:

1. Ian Stannard (Team Sky) 4:14:12
2. Graham Briggs (JLT-Condor) +1:46
3. Kristian House (ONE-ProCycling) ST
10. Luka Mezgec (ORICA-BikeExchange) +5:43 

General classification after stage 3:

1. Julien Vermote (Etixx-Quickstep) 12:53:15
2. Stephen Cummings (Dimension-Data) ST
3. Daniel Martin (Etixx-Quickstep) +1:04
25. Amets Txurruka (ORICA-BikeExchange) +4:43