Scotland rider Evan Oliphant was one of the four riders involved in the breakaway yesterday and ended up second on the stage. The result was a mixture of satisfaction and frustration for him, the 23 year old taking the best result of his career but just missing out on the chance to win a stage of the 2.1 ranked Tour of Britain.
"I won a race in the British Premier calendar a couple of months back, the East Yorkshire Classic. But today's result is my biggest by miles," he said at the finish.
Oliphant normally rides with breakaway companion Paul Manning's Recycling.co.uk team. With the two of them making it into the four man break, they were always likely to help each other out against Sergei Ivanov (T-Mobile) and Kazuo Inoue (Bridgestone Anchor).
"We had a little bit of discussion with 20 kilometres to go and one-twoed it a little bit," Oliphant said. "I don't think the other two guys knew it at first. They sort of looked at me when Paul went but I was never going to chase him and he wasn't going to chase me. I went after he was brought back and was clear for a couple of kilometres, but they caught me. Then Paul went again, but they were onto him straight away."
"Everyone was just tapping through at the end, watching each other. Paul said that it was going to be a sprint and he would do what he could to help me. Ivanov got the inside line on the bend so I had to go around both of them. I would say that I was probably going faster at the end but had a gap on me at that point so I couldn't get back to him."
Oliphant and the rest of the break finished 10 minutes and 6 seconds ahead of the bunch, moving the Scot up to 34th overall and second in the bonus sprint classification. He's had a mixed Tour of Britain so far, riding well but also hitting the deck. "I crashed on the second day coming into Blackpool. I was on Mark Cavendish's wheel on the last bend but went down. So I have been a bit sore. Normally I am a good galloper so I knew I had a chance today, but I have not done much racing against the big boys."
Oliphant is not expecting to make the Great Britain team for the world championships, so his next target is the final round of the Premier calendar next week. After that, he will aim to ride strongly in the Commonwealth Games next month.
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