Stage 3 was the final chance for the sprinters to grab a win at Tour de Yorkshire. While today’s profile was the most demanding so far, we were hoping to mix things up, put other teams under pressure, and create some opportunities for ourselves.
Starting with only five guys and obviously wanting to protect Greg made this a tall order, but we gave it a good go. We started our effort with Danilo Wyss and Patrick Bevin setting a stiff pace on a short steep climb with about 50 kilometers to go, which caused some splits in the bunch.
From there, we caught the early break and once the race reset, attacks started flying. With around 25 km to go, I jumped in a move with five guys. We snaked through the outskirts of Scarborough and bounced through some of the city’s cobblestone streets.
I hoped that without a full contingent of sprinter’s teams in the main bunch due to the earlier split, there would be a greater chance for us to get a little gap. Despite a big effort from the five of us, they kept us pretty close and brought us back inside the final 10 km.
Then Paddy tried a nice move with about 4 km to go, but he also got caught in the closing kilometers.
While the bunch sprint was tactical and chaotic, I appreciated the amazing crowds, stunning coastline and breathtaking finish line scene and was pleased that Greg was able to sprint to eighth.
Tomorrow will be without a doubt the most demanding day of this race. It features a jagged profile and total altitude gain of a full-on mountain stage, so I think the strongest guys will end up in the front. Hopefully, that means a few of us BMC Racing Team guys are in there going for it.