Van Avermaet now sits in third place on the General Classification going into tomorrow’s decisive final day, six seconds behind new race leader Chris Lawless (Team INEOS).
With five short, but punchy, categorized climbs littered throughout the 132-kilometer stage, and strong winds predicted, the peloton didn’t allow the nine-rider breakaway, that established in the first 20 kilometers, to go more than two minutes down the road, with CCC Team one of the teams controlling the race.
At the halfway point of the stage, the breakaway’s advantage had been reduced to one minute and within the next ten kilometers, crosswinds saw the peloton split into multiple groups with Van Avermaet, Michael Schär, Serge Pauwels, Nathan Van Hooydonck, and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck make the front group of around 20 riders.
Van Avermaet’s group quickly absorbed the remaining breakaway riders and established a 30-second advantage over the next chase group that proved enough to stay away for the remainder of the stage.
Van Keirsbulck lost contact with the group when he went off road, crashing into some bushes, but fortunately, escaping unscathed, while up ahead Van Avermaet had Schär and Van Hooydonck with him in the final 30 kilometers.
Strong teamwork from Schär and Van Hooydonck saw the pace kept high and Van Avermaet well positioned approaching the finish in the coastal town of Scarborough, where strong winds made for a tricky finale.
Van Avermaet proved his legs are still good after a long Classics season but he couldn’t get over Lawless and Kamp and settled for third place on the finish line.
The final stage features another five categorized climbs in the 175-kilometer stage from Halifax to Leeds and with the top ten riders separated by less than 30 seconds, it will be a battle for the General Classification.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Greg Van Avermaet:
“I am quite happy with how it went. It was a harder stage than it looked on paper I think and there are some big gaps already which is important for tomorrow. We still had three guys up there with Nathan and Michi, who did good work, and also Paweł who was quite good. It was a shame we lost Guillaume in the crash but things are looking quite good for us. There are a few players from Team INEOS still there but I think we have a good chance to do a good race tomorrow.”
“The legs were quite good. I was feeling quite good on the climbs and the sprint was fast with the tailwind. I had the feeling that I missed one gear to do a really good sprint. But, yeah I am happy that I was up there and I think on the climbs I can follow the best which is really important for tomorrow’s final stage.”
Tour de Yorkshire
Stage 3: Bridlington > Scarborough (132km)
Top 3: 1. Alexander Kamp (Riwal Readynex Cycling Team), 2. Chris Lawless (Team INEOS), 3. Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team)
CCC Team top 3: 3. Greg Van Avermaet, 20. Michael Schär, 21. Nathan Van Hooydonck
Photos: Cor Vos