Ethan Vernon (Great Britain) and Rory Townsend (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes) are keeping race diaries for The British Continental throughout the Tour of Britain. This is Ethan’s diary entry after stage 2
The pace was so high leading into the final climb, the group split to pieces
Stage 2 wrap
Stage 2 from Kelso-Kelso ended a reduced bunch sprint – won by Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) – after the peloton was split in half on the final climb of the day after a strong attack from Pavel Sivakov of Team Ineos. Ethan found himself off the back of front group on the decisive climb and ended the stage 66th, at the head of a large group of jettisoned riders.
The race settled down pretty quickly on today’s stage. A break of three riders was established and went in the first 10 minutes. The stage contained a few climbs in the middle, along with some narrow country lanes. On the Scott’s View KOM, Van der Poel went up the road which sparked a reaction from Jumbo-Visma and Mitchelton Scott and from then onwards it was full gas.
We had talked about the possibility of teams hitting out on the last climb, but the pace was so high leading into it, the group split to pieces. The climb was about 2.5 km long at an average of 6.5% with 20 km from the top to the line. Jake [Stewart] and I got over it with two Sport Vlaanderen riders about 10 to 20 seconds off the back of the lead 60 riders. But Corendon – Circus were driving the lead group so hard that we couldn’t get across.
We still had Connor Swift in the lead group so we just let Jumbo-Visma ride for Groenewegen in our group and just hung tight in case it all came back together. But the lead group stayed away and Connor took another 11th place for us [Matt Walls was 11th yesterday for Great Britain].
Tomorrow’s stage looks like it’ll be more than likely a bunch sprint with a slight uphill drag to finish, so we will have a similar plan to Stage 1.
Featured photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com. 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain – Stage 2: Kelso to Kelso, Scotland – Ethan Vernon of Great Britain Cycling Team