Quick-Step Floors spice up Tour of Britain stage 1 finale
Fernando Gaviria takes third in the first bunch sprint contested since the Tour de France.
Julian Alaphilippe and Bob Jungels, who resumed racing after a four-week break they took following Clasica San Sebastian, which the former won, sparked a move inside the final ten kilometers of Tour of Britain stage 1, on the short but sharp Belmont Hill. The Tour de France KOM winner and his Liège–Bastogne–Liège victor teammate went clear over the top of the climb, and were joined by two other riders, before Jungels decided to take off from that group in an impressive show of strength, going into time trial mode and opening a ten-second gap with three kilometers left.
The peloton began a frantic chase and reduced the gap, before catching Bob agonizingly close to the finish line in Newport, just under the red kite. The lead-out trains made their way to the front, fighting for position, and Fernando Gaviria was the first to launch his kick, some 200 meters from the line. The Colombian looked in pole-position to get the victory, but faded in the final meters and got passed by Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott), concluding the day in third.
For Gaviria, a double stage winner at this year's Tour de France, it was the 14th podium of the season and a result which will give confidence to the 24-year-old, who is riding his first stage race since the month of July. Next week, Fernando will have more opportunities to get another victory at the Tour of Britain, after the ones he picked up in 2015, as a stagiaire, and 2017, at his previous participations.
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