Journals Riders

Inside the Tour of Britain: Rory Townsend’s race diary #3

Rory still in contention for the Eisberg sprints jersey after stage 2

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 Rory’s diary entry after stage 2

I’m still in the fight for my own personal goals and tomorrow we’ll have another crack at that

Stage 2 wrap

Gediminas Bagdonas (Ag2r La Mondiale), Sam Jenner (Team Wiggins Le Col) and Pete Williams (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling) formed the day’s break after 10 km of racing. Rory attempted to join them but the peloton wouldn’t let him go, perhaps because they regarded him as a GC dangerman being just 3 seconds down on race leader Groenewegen (Jumbo-Visma) at the start of the day.

Bagdonas the proceeded to take the first two intermediate sprints, enough to take the Eisberg sprints jersey off Rory. After some aggressive racing from Frederick Frison (Lotto Soudal) and Mathieu Van der Poel (Corenden-Circus) on the Scott’s View KOM, the break was reeled in. This provided Rory with an opportunity to for the third and final sprint. He was pipped by eventual stage winner Matteo Trentin, but nonetheless managed to grab two points to keep himself in contention for the jersey.

The peloton was the split in half on the final climb of the day after a strong attack from Pavel Sivakov of Team Ineos. Rory found himself on the wrong side, and finished the day in 64th place, rolling in just next to fellow race diarist Ethan Vernon.

Rory’s diary

Another fairly hard day out today. I tried getting in the early move again but it didn’t quite happen unfortunately. I thought at one point I was away and gone when the three of them were already up the road. I thought the peloton were going to let me go but one rider comes and then everybody follows and then after that it just didn’t seem to go. Jumbo-Visma were quite happy to have just three riders up the road instead of four, so that was a shame. 

Towards the back end it started getting quite spicy. A Lotto rider attacked on the second KOM and then Van der Poel went over the top and that really lit it up from there. A lot of teams started getting involved from that point and it just felt like it was a full on lead out into the base of the final climb and through the sprint we had before it. So I had to really fight once the breakaway was brought back to be in a good place for the sprint because I thought I could sneak another few points there. I just got pipped by Trentin. I got another couple in the bag but he’s obviously flying at the moment. The way he went up that climb after the sprint was so impressive, so fair play to him.

Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com 08/09/2019 Cycling – OVO Energy Tour of Britain 2019 – Stage 2 Kelso to Kelso, Scotland – Matteo Trentin wins in Kelso

I’m sure it was a really interesting finale to watch because a lot of different tactics were being played. Obviously I think Groenewegen is the quickest here in a straight up sprint, so it means teams are having to go about getting stages in a different way, which makes for really entertaining racing.

I’m still in the fight for my own personal goals and tomorrow we’ll have another crack at that and keep Bostock in a good place for the sprints. That’s our plan going forward.

Featured photo: SWpix.com

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Inside the Tour of Britain: Rory Townsend’s race diary #2

Inside the Tour of Britain: Rory Townsend’s race diary #1