Top ten for Stannard on a super fast stage three at the Tour de l’Avenir

Sun 20 Aug 2017

Mitchelton-SCOTT all rounder Robert Stannard mixed it well in the bunch sprint on stage three of the Tour de l’Avenir today, taking eighth place for the Australian national team.

An intensely fast stage saw 140kilometres covered in just under three hours of racing with a late attack of six riders getting caught cruelly inside the final 100metres as peloton sought to bring about the bunch sprint finale.

Kristoffer Halvorsen (Norway) was the main beneficiary and sealed the stage victory with Stannard doing well to maintain position at the front to kick for eighth place.

Both Lucas Hamilton and Jai Hindley remain in good positions on the general classification, only four seconds adrift as the race edges ever closer to the important mountain stages.

“It was a really good team contribution from the guys today,” said sport director James Victor. “The pace was so fast throughout the stage that we couldn’t switch off for a second and we showed how concentrated we are by getting Rob up there towards the end to contest the sprint.”

“The late attacks made the finale quite challenging, but we had done our research on the finishing circuits and we were well prepared for how technical it was going to be.

“Rob is in really great shape and is very keen to get up there and match the sprinters in the finals, there will be more opportunities for him with three more flat stages coming up so we need to stay alive to any chances that come our way.

“No real change on the GC means no real surprises, we were attentive about our positioning for Lucas and Jai and the team did a great job of keeping them among the favourites today.

Callum Scotson has fitted in really well. He has such a strong engine and understands our objectives for the race and in the coming days his horsepower will be important for us.”

How it happened:

Today’s third stage had been extended to 140kilometres with the addition of one extra finishing circuit and got underway south of Rennes, close to the Atlantic coast.

Set to be another rolling day for the sprinters the early breakaway duly formed after a fast first hour of racing with fourteen riders off the front at one minute with 70kilometres left to race.

The pace was relentless with nearly 100kilometres covered in the first two hour of racing and the breakaway group split on the approach to the finishing circuits in Chateaubriant.

Only 20seconds separated the field with 25kilometres remaining before quickly coming back together seven kilometres later in anticipation of the sprint finish.

A group of six riders sought to defy the bunch with a late attack on the final lap, holding 25seconds going into the last 7km.

In the end it was the bunch that won out as the peloton stormed past the leaders inside the final 100metres with the Norwegian Halvorsen taking the stage victory from the sprint and Stannard in eighth place for Australia.

Tour de l’Avenir stage three results:

1. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Norway) 02:56:05

2. Alvaro Hodeg (Columbia) ST

3. Christopher Lawlessc(Great-Britain) ST

8. Robert Stannard (Australia) ST

General Classification after stage three:

1. Kasper Asgreen (Denmark) 09:05:27

2. Kristoffer Halvorsen (Norway) 00:00:04

3. Alvaro Hodeg (Columbia) ST

23. Lucas Hamilton (Australia) ST