Walscheid triumphs in Scarborough, Cort Nielsen remains in blue
May 5 th 2018 - 19:28 [GMT + 1]
A spectacular stage under the Yorkshire sun and in front of impressive crowds saw Maximilian Walscheid sprint to victory by the sea in Scarborough. The German made the best of the hard work of his Sunweb team who chased all breakaway attempts and perfectly launched their sprinter on the final straight. Walscheid eventually beat Cort Nielsen and Aberasturi to the line to claim his first success this season. The overall leader’s blue jersey remains on the shoulders of Magnus Cort Nielsen with one day to go on the Tour de Yorkshire.
There was an atmosphere of Tour de France at the start of stage 3 : warm conditions, not a cloud in ths sky, a spectacular scenery and an impressive crowd. Richmond greeted the riders of the Tour de Yorkshire in style. The 126 riders still remaining in the race took off at 1:30 PM for a 181km ride towards Scarborough by the sea. After only 2 kilometres two men broke away: Le Turnier (COF) and Williams (ONE). They were to be rapidly caught by three other escapees: McEvoy (MGT), De Greef (RNL) and Kenway (VIT). Not too concerned by these early attackers, the pack reached km 10 with a 2’30’’ time deficit.
The Astana team of new race leader and yesterday’s stage winner Magnus Cort Nielsen moved to the front of the pack and started chasing slowly but surely, keeping the breakaway within decent distance. At the first intermediate sprint in Morton on Swale (km 38) won by De Greef ahead of Kenway and McEvoy, the pack was still 2’30 afrift. At the top of the very steep Côte de Sutton Bank (km 66), first climb of the day where Williams claimed the most KOM points, the gap remained exactly the same. And that margin wouldn’t change at the second bonus sprint (km 99) in Pickering, won by De Greef ahead of Kenway and McEvoy.
The decisive action really started on the second climb of the day, the Côte de Silpho (km 129) where the likes of Mark Cavendish (DDD) and Phil Bauhaus (SUN) started struggling and were dropped. Both sprinters would never manage to move back in the main bunch. At the top, the front five led out by McEvoy still enjoyed a 1’40’’ advantage. With teams BMC and Astana increasing the pace of the chase, the front five were finally caught at km 146.
After a short moment of calm, four riders managed to power away at km 154: Tulik (TDE), Bookwalter (BMC), Basso (SKY) and Chetout (COF). They were rapidly joined by Barthe (EUS). With 20kms to go, the front five had a slim 10’’ lead but were eventually caught in the final 10 kilometres. As the pack plunged towards Scarborough, Sylvain Chavanel gave it a go on his own. The Frenchman managed to stay clear from the pack enjoying a 10’’ lead with two kilometres remaining. But the long straight by the sea would proove too long for the Direct Energy rider finally caught after the red flame.
A bunched sprint it would be. Well led out by his Sunweb train, Max Walsheid powered to line only just beating Magnus Cort Nielsen (AST) and Jon Aberasturi (EUS) to claim stage 3. The German wins his first race of the season and his seventh professional victory at the age of 24. Second today, Cort Nielsen comforts his overall leadership and now has a 10’’ advantage over Van Avermaet (BMC) and 12’’ over Prades (EUS) with one stage to go. The Dane also takes command of the points classification while Cuming (ONE) keeps his the red jersey as best climber of the event.