British neo pro, Erick Rowsell, has scored his first professional victory by winning the third stage of the Tour de Normandie.
Rowsell, 21, a former British junior champion, attacked with seven kilometres remaining of the 190km stage from Elbeuf-sur-Seine to Flers.
Rowsell, brother of Team GB track rider Joanna, held off a field packed with the development teams of WorldTour squads to snatch his first win for the Scottish-registered UCI Continental team.
“It great for me to get a win, as it’s been a while since I’ve won a race myself,” he said. “I have been a part of many wins through team work and I love it when a teammate wins, but it’s a great feeling to be the one standing on the top step of the podium.”
The stage started at a high tempo before settling down but on a final circuit with a tough uphill finish to Flers, the pace increased.
“I wanted to have a go at getting away in the last lap and spoke with Alex Blaine and he told me just to wait and not go too early, so that’s what I did. I just followed on the climb and then made my move a bit later and it worked,” said Rowsell.
Rowsell now stands eighth overall, the only British rider in the top 10, with four stages to go. He trails race leader, Jérôme Cousin (Team Europcar) by 2.25 minutes.
Meanwhile, Endura Racing have two riders in the top 10 of Italy’s five-stage Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, a UCI 2.2 race contested by a field of mainly Pro Continental teams that includes an Astana WorldTour squad led by Alexandre Vinokurov.
Endura’s Iker Camano is fourth and Paul Voß is fifth with two stages remaining.