Tour du Loir stage 3: Briggs on song while McCormick soldiers through

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April 19th, ’14.  The 208km marathon stage of the Tour du Loir et Cher E Provost between Savigny and Vendome was destined to be a painful one and so it proved with almost five hours in the saddle for the stage winner Graham Briggs; who was fastest in a three-man sprint at the end of the day.

April 19th, ’14.  The 208km marathon stage of the Tour du Loir et Cher E Provost between Savigny and Vendome was destined to be a painful one and so it proved with almost five hours in the saddle for the stage winner Graham Briggs; who was fastest in a three-man sprint at the end of the day.  The British rider, riding for the Rapha Condor JLT team, enjoyed his first win of the season, after previously racing the New Zealand Cycle Classic at the end of January; besting Team Trefor-Blue Water’s Rasmus Mygind and Metec-TKH Continental’s Brian van Goethem in the sprint.  

The riders on the podium were just three of a number of attackers who went on the hunt during the long day’s racing.  Along with Briggs, Mygind and van Goethem, Yann Guyot, Sebastian Wotschke, Polychronis Tzortzakis, Patrick Konrad, Arno van der Zwet, Jasper Hamelink, Oscar Landa and George Harper also attacked during the stage.  But in the end it was four riders who had the strength to stay away to the finish, with Yann Guyot being dropped before the finishing sprint; but he still had enough to fend off the chasing peloton by 14 seconds.

Briggs’ win was enough to see him rocket up the standings and into the overall lead, 5 seconds ahead of Rasmus Mygind and 51 seconds ahead of yesterday’s leader Troels Vinther of Cult Energy Vital Water.  While Mygind will not be donning the leader’s jersey, his work on the three climbs of the day were enough for him to secure enough points to edge into the lead in the king of the mountains classification.  Amaury Capiot of Lotto Belisol U23 team maintains his lead in the young rider classification.

The words “Ha mate I’m cooked,” sum up nicely the feelings Hayden McCormick experienced during a day of more than five hours on his machine.  His work for teammate Amaury Capiot continues to pay off, but from Hayden’s perspective he is looking forward to a decent break.  “I didn’t know I was doing this tour till a day before,” he said, “And just finished [a] big training block so [I’ve] come in rooted.”  

The penultimate stage of this year’s Tour du Loir is substantially shorter than today, at 165km in length, but as the route profile shows something more akin to a row of jagged teeth there are no signs that the riders will be getting an easy ride to the finish.  Ange is the start and finish line but for the duration of the stage it’s entirely either up or down with four categorised climbs of the Cote de Saint Aignan sur Cher, the Cote de Seigy, the Cote de Bourre and the Cote de Saint Julien de Chedon to contend with.  The final kilometres oughtn’t to be too bad as a downhill section leads the way to a brief flat period but expect the field to be well and truly strung out over minutes with many a rider still feeling the effects of today’s race miles.

Stage 3 results:
1st:  Graham Briggs (GBR) Rapha Condor JLT
2nd:  Rasmus Mygind (DEN) Team Trefor-Blue Water
3rd:  Brian Van Goethem (NED) Metec-TKH Continental Cyclingteam
4th:  Yann Guyot (FRA)
5th:  Anthony Maldonado (FRA)
6th:  Filippo Baggio (ITA) Nankang-Fondriest
7th:  Romain Cardis (FRA)
8th:  Melvin Rulliere (FRA)
9th:  Emmanuel Keo (FRA)
10th:  Alfonso Fiorenza (ITA) Nankang-Fondriest
OTHER:
155th:  Hayden McCormick (NZ) Lotto Belisol U23

General classification after stage 3:
1st:  Graham Briggs (GBR) Rapha Condor JLT
2nd:  Rasmus Mygind (DEN) Team Trefor-Blue Water
3rd:  Troels Vinther (DEN) Cult Energy Vital Water
4th:  Yann Guyot (FRA)
5th:  Geert Van Der Weijst (NED) Cyclingteam Jo Piels
6th:  Fabien Schmidt (FRA)
7th:  Amaury Capiot (BEL) Lotto Belisol U23
8th:  Carlos Barbero Cuesta (SPA) Euskaltel
9th:  Julien Morice (FRA)
10th:  Tormod Hausken Jacobsen (NOR) Team Oster Hus-Ridley
OTHER:
131st:  Hayden McCormick (NZ) Lotto Belisol U23

Mountains classification after stage 3:
1st:  Rasmus Mygind (DEN) Team Trefor-Blue Water
2nd:  Dries Hollanders (BEL) Metec TKH Continental Cyclingteam
3rd:  Tormod Hausken Jacobsen (NOR) Team Oster Hus-Ridley

Young rider classification after stage 3:
1st:  Amaury Capiot (BEL) Lotto Belisol U23
2nd:  Tormod Hausken Jacobsen (NOR) Team Oster Hus-Ridley
3rd:  Dany Maffeis (FRA)
OTHER:
35th:  Hayden McCormick (NZ) Lotto Belisol U23

Team classification after stage 3:
1st:  Metec TKH Continental Cyclingteam
2nd:  Team Trefor-Blue Water
3rd:  Rapha Condor JLT
OTHER:
16th:  Lotto Belisol U23

By:  Ed Wright

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