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 3
Our leadout was much better than stage 1 and we got a better result for it
Stage 3 wrap
Stage 3 from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Newcastle-upon-Tyne was marked by a six man breakway, containing Harry Tanfield (Team Katusha Alpecin), Rory Townsend (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes), Jacob Scott (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling), Rob Scott (Team Wiggins Le Col) and Belgian duo Dries de Bondt (Corendon Circus) and Christophe Noppe (Sport Vlaanderen Baloise). The race was held briefly at a level crossing before Mitchelton-SCOTT and Team Jumbo – Visma worked to bring them back, finally succeeding as the race hit the Newcastle Quayside with one kilometre remaining.
Ethan was visible in the closing stages, leading the peloton in the final 500m as it sped towards the uphill finishing straight. Some good Great Britain teamwork paid off, with Matt Walls finishing 7th.
Ethan’s stage 3 diary
We finally got the British weather today! It started off pretty wet and cold but only for the first half an hour, then turned out to be quite a nice day.
We had quite a few guys going for the break today and a few waiting back in case of a sprint. We weren’t 100% certain the break was definitely going to come back with the main sprint teams already getting stage victories already. A strong group of 6 countered the breaks that Jake [Stewart] and Connor [Swift] were in, which turned out to be the deciding break. The break and half the peloton got split up by a technical issue at a rail crossing which lasted around 10-15 minutes in the end.
The battle for the front going into the finish started not long after this, about 45 km out. It was a pretty chaotic final 25 km, with 10 roundabouts in 10 km, so we knew positioning was key for this stage. We got split up in the final 5 km but I managed to get Matt [Walls] most of the way through the bunch and onto a decent wheel (in about 10th place).
I then joined Rhys [Britton] and Jim [Brown] at the front of the race and we led out from the front into the final climb. I was last leadout man and swung off with about 350m to go for Matt to get 7th place. Our leadout was much better than stage 1 and we got a better result for it, even if the final climb didn’t suit us as much.
Tomorrow looks a nasty day with all the climbing, so I think we will be all in to help Connor out as much as possible!
Oh, and I forgot to add. The crowds were pretty insane today, even in the wet.
Featured photo: Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com. OVO Energy Tour of Britain 2019 – Stage 3 Berwick on Tweed to Newcastle Upon Tyne