Second place for the second consecutive day after race leader Petr Vakoc crashed late in the stage promoted Movistar’s Juan José Lobato into the yellow jersey as the Tour of Britain, which finished in the grounds of spectacular Floors Castle in the Scottish Borders. Yet the Spaniard insists his primary goal will not be defending his lead but continuing to chase a stage win as the race prepares to head south towards Wednesday’s finish in Blyth.
“I think my first objective is to try to win a stage and if I can stay in the yellow jersey, then all the better,” said the Spaniard, who also maintained his grip on the points jersey.
“I don’t want to give the impression that I’m not so interested in the yellow jersey. It’s more that I’m taking the race day by day. If I can stay in contention each day there are time bonuses available on the line and that will suit me.”
While some riders described the stage three finish at Floors Castle as dangerous, Lobato disagreed. “The truth is that it was a bit crazy – not dangerous, just extremely fast for the last 10km as the road was mostly running slightly downhill.”
The Movistar sprinter said that teammates Alex Dowsett and Gorka Izagirre got him in the perfect position for the final dash, but admitted Sky’s Elia Viviani was too quick for him, for today at least. “He’s won twice now, but nobody is unbeatable,” Lobato affirmed. “There’s no doubt that Viviani can be defeated.”
Lobato said that having Englishman Dowsett on his team does offer him a bit of an advantage. But, as the Spaniard pointed out and Dowsett has been telling his teammates all week, “Alex is from the south of England and we’re an awful long way from there.”
He confirmed that neither the Englishman nor anyone else on his team have been able to tell him anything about Thursday’s key summit finish at Hartside. Before then, though, is that Blyth stage, where Lobato may well get another chance to test himself against the flying Viviani.