Tour of Britain (st. 3)
Visconti (6th), Izagirre (9th) both now into Tour of Britain’s overall top ten; Alex Dowsett fights beyond expectations, loses only one minute and a half in race’s only mountain-top finish
Italian Edoardo Zardini (BAR) repeated his action from one of the stages of this year’s Giro del Trentino with a resounding victory on the only mountain-top finish of the 2014 Tour of Britain, which he leads after a fine performance by the Movistar Team riders. Despite the efforts by Alex Dowsett to keep his hopes alive in view of a favouring 9km ITT in London on Sunday, the Essex-born rider had to surrender to a pace change in the group, 2km from the finish, with only about ten riders sticking including two of the Blues: Giovanni Visconti and Ion Izagirre.
Gio’s sixth spot and Ion’s ninth, combined with Szmyd’s correct labour, just one minute off Zardini’s pace, saw the lads directed by José Luis Laguía winning the teams’ stage classification and leaving two of their references into seventh and tenth overall. The GC will surely change in the lumpy, tricky stages ahead in the next four days before the race hits UK’s capital, starting with Wednesday’s 184km to Bristol via the Bridge Valley ascent (Cat-2.)