Welsh international Julian Winn was set to retire shortly after the Tour of Britain in order to take up a position as head coach with his national federation. However, the current King of the Mountains leader has now changed his mind and will continue until the Commonwealth Games in March.
"I was going to call it a day after the Newport Criterium next week, but will now go on until after the Games," he told Cyclingnews before today's start in Buxton. "I was due to start coaching but the Welsh federation have agreed that I will do it in a part-time capacity until I stop racing."
Winn won all the primes on yesterday's tough stage to Sheffield, being first over the line on the second category Cow and Calf and Oxenhope Moor climbs and the first category Holme Moss and Snake Pass.
Today's stage is the last one featuring KOH primes in this year's race. The 32 year-old has a lead of six points over South African road race champion and Tour de Langkawi winner Ryan Cox (Barloworld), with a possible twelve up for grabs on today's 184.2 kilometre stage from Buxton to Nottingham. Third category climbs of Cromford (30.6 km), Ab Kettley (160.8 km) and Upper Broughton (166.9 km) offer Cox the chance to overtake his Welsh rival, but Winn will equally aim to take some points.
He explained how the day went at yesterday's post-stage press conference. "I got into the break and went for the first two climbs. It was more because I thought if we got caught, then I might have the consolation of holding the jersey. But when the lead went up to six or seven minutes, I went full gas for the last two.
"I have set my stall out now so I definitely will be trying to sniff up a couple more points. Getting the jersey here would be great. I have won the mountains competition in the FBD Milk Rás, the Commonwealth Bank Classic, the Tour of Guadeloupe and the Tour of Rhodes. I seem to always end up in this jersey, for some reason. It always seems to fall onto my shoulders."
Winn said that missing the break on stage one provided the motivation for his effort. "I think the first day caught me and my team out," he said. "That messed up any GC aspirations for me, and yesterday was quite a frustrating day too, sitting there but having good legs. So I was determined to go up the road, trying for the stage. That is how this jersey came about.
"I felt good all day, I was never in trouble. I just hesitated a bit at the end when the other four got away on the last drag. It wasn't a case of having bad legs, it was a moment's hesitation which caused the gap. We chased quite hard, me and Russell, but got back on. Another two got up to us just before the finish and that took us by surprise, but Luca had already gone. He went into that finishing straight perfectly...he is probably one of the best riders in the world, so I am not too disappointed. "