Tour of Britain 2016: Ian Stannard solos to stage six win

Team Sky man leads home British one-two-three as break succeeds in Cheshire

Ian Stannard (Team Sky) soloed to victory on stage three of the Tour of Britain, his first win of the 2016 season, as he led home a British one-two-three at Tatton Hall in Knutsford.

Stannard was one of four riders to go clear early in the race, and left his fellow breakaway companions behind as they crested the 10km Cat and Fiddle climb.

Graham Briggs (JLT-Condor) and Kristian House (ONE Pro Cycling) held on to take second and third respectively, meaning an all-British podium, but Belgian Julien Vermote (Etixx-QuickStep) held on to his overall lead by finishing in the peloton.

Ian Stannard soloed to victory on stage three of the 2016 Tour of Britain (pic: Sweetspot)

A super-fast start to the race saw Stannard power the breakaway, as the quartet of House, Briggs, Matt Cronshaw (Madison-Genesis) and the Team Sky man went clear.

With no threat to Vermote’s overall lead, the peloton – with Etixx-QuickStep having lost Adrien Costa overnight – were happy to let them go.

Three riders, namely Jack Bauer (Cannondale-Drapac), Emiel Wastyn and Damien Shaw (An Post-Chain Reaction) gave chase but to no avail.

Cronshaw lost contact with the other breakaway riders on the Brickworks climb, as the advantage sat at more than six minutes.

The three remaining escapees stuck together up the Cat and Fiddle climb, working well together, but when Stannard attacked just over the summit there was no bringing him back.

Vermote punctured, which briefly threatened his lead, but he returned to the peloton with little trouble as Mark Cavendish and Dimension Data took charge of pace-setting duties.

It soon became apparent that the battle for the stage would be between Stannard, House and Briggs but the Team Sky man’s advantage sat at a steady 45 seconds.

That eventually eked out to more than a minute however, and then a minute-and-a-half as Stannard put the power down.

He entered Tatton Park with a sizable lead, and was able to enjoy the final run-in through the park and past the large numbers of spectators.

Julien Vermote successfully defended his overall lead despite a puncture on the Cat and Fiddle climb (pic: Sweetspot)

House led Briggs through the park gates, meanwhile, as he and his former team-mate eyed each other down the final straight.

Briggs proved the faster sprinter, however, to claim second place while the sprinters fought for the minor placings from the peloton and took the chance to test their sprint trains – Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani-CSF) edging out Danny van Poppel (Team Sky).

Vermote was safely in the peloton, meanwhile, maintaining his six-second advantage over Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) overall.

Tour of Britain 2016: stage three – result

1) Ian Stannard (GBR) – Team Sky – 4.14.12hrs
2) Graham Briggs (GBR) – JLT-Condor +1.46
3) Kristian House (GBR) – ONE Pro Cycling – ST
4) Nicola Ruffoni (ITA) – Bardiani-CSF +5.43
5) Danny van Poppel (NED) – Team Sky – ST
6) Ramon Sinkeldam (NED) – Giant-Alpecin – ST
7) Chris Latham (GBR) – Team Wiggins
8) Rick Zabel (GER) – BMC Racing
9) Dylan van Baarle (NED) – Cannondale-Drapac
10) Luka Mezgec (SVN) – Orica-BikeExchange

General classification

1) Julien Vermote (BEL) – Etixx-QuickStep – 13.53.15hrs
2) Steve Cummings (GBR) – Dimension Data +6”
3) Daniel Martin (IRL) – Etixx-QuickStep +1.04
4) Ben Swift (GBR) – Team Sky +1.08
5) Xandro Meurisse (BEL) – Wanty-Groupe Gobert – ST
6) Tony Gallopin (FRA) – Lotto-Soudal
7) Dylan van Baarle (NED) – Cannondale-Drapac +1.12
8) Guillaume Martin (FRA) – Wanty-Groupe Gobert – ST
9) Tom Dumoulin (NED) – Giant-Alpecin
10) Nicolas Roche (IRL) – Team Sky +1.16


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