Tour of Britain: Stannard solos to victory on stage 3

Ian Stannard (Team Sky) won stage three of the Tour of Britain from Congleton to Knutsford with an aggressive ride in the country lanes and rolling hills of northwest England.

The British Classics rider was part of the break of the day with Kristian House (ONE Pro Cycling), Graham Briggs (JTL Condor) and Matt Cronshaw (Madison Genesis) that opened a six-minute lead on the peloton. None of them were a threat to the overall lead of stage two winner Julian Vermote (Etixx-QuickStep) and so were given a chance to pursuit the stage victory.

Stannard attacked alone with 41km to go after the long but steady Cat and Fiddle climb in the rugged Peak District. He powered his way to the finish to savour a special solo victory. Briggs won the sprint for second place at 1:46, with House sitting up to take third place after leading out the sprint.

The peloton refused to help the Dimension Data team organise a chase and rode steady throughout the stage, finishing almost six minutes behind Stannard, with Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani-CSF) winning a surprisingly hotly contested sprint for fourth place.

Stannard was proud to have won his first ever stage of his national tour. It was also his first victory since he outfoxed three Etixx-Quick Step riders in the final at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in 2015. He was extra happy to greet his partner and young family at the finish after riding on what are now his local training roads when he is at home in Britain.

"It's a pretty big day for me. I was motivated for this stage because it was pretty much on home roads," Stannard said. "I was keen to get away. It's always nice to win from a breakaway and go solo too. I really enjoyed it today. I knew I want to go over the top of the Cat and Fiddle with about five minutes on the peloton, we'd have a chance on the run-in then. I heard it went out but I didn't know much more. I was just happy to be up there. It as special to be racing at home."

How it happened

After a wet and windy in northern England on Monday, the Tour of Britain peloton enjoyed warmer, dry conditions on stage three on the roads through the Cheshire and into the stunning Peak District in the northwest of England. The only rider not to start was talented young American Adrien Costa of Etixx-Quick Step. He crashed hard on Monday, finished the stage but needs special treatment for his injuries.

The climbs began in the final 60km, with House taking the points atop the climb in Alderley Edge. Soon after, on the Brickworks climb, Cronshaw was distanced as the other three kept the pace high and their lead on the pack at six minutes. Xandro Meurisse (Wanty Groupe Gobert) picked up a single point over Alderley Edge to give him a one-point lead in mountains competition. However, House also took the maximum 10 points over the Brickworks climb, putting him in fourth in the mountains competition and making him a real threat to Meurisse.

The Cat and Fiddle

Next up was the 10km Cat and Fiddle climb, named after the pub that sits at the summit. The road climbs gradually, allowing the break to cover it at speed, while Dimension Data set a steady pace behind. Vermote suffered a mechanical, breaking some spokes in a wheel but was soon back in the bunch after a wheel change.

House was the first to the exposed treeless summit and so grabbed maximum points. However behind Meurisse fought back to take the remaining points and ended the stage in the leader's special jersey with 33 points. Nicolas Roche (Team Sky) is second with 32 points after his aggressive ride on stage two and House is third with 26 points.

Stannard knew the break led the peloton by more six minutes, and so went on the attack as the road dived off the climb to the flat lanes of Cheshire. He knew he had the power to get away from his British rivals and did not want to risk a sprint finish. Cheered on by the large local crowd, Stannard soon opened a 90-second lead and never looked back.

By the time Stannard reached the finish, he had time to straighten his jersey, wave to the crowd and let out a big sigh of relief after a big day out and special victory.

Briggs stuck to House's wheel in the finale and won the sprint for second place thanks to his speed honed on the British circuit race scene. The peloton also fought for victory despite being five minutes back, with Ruffoni taking the sprint for fourth place some 5:43 behind Stannard.

The Tour of Britain continues on Wednesday with the 217km fourth stage from Denbigh to Builth Wells in Wales. With several nasty climbs and remote roads, it could be a key day in the fight for overall victory.

He seals the deal by crossing the line, what a ride by @TeamSky @IStannard #tob2016 pic.twitter.com/0vhOiStl6P

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky4:14:12
2Graham Briggs (GBr) JLT Condor0:01:46
3Kristian House (GBr) ONE Pro CyclingRow 2 - Cell 2
4Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:05:43
5Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team SkyRow 4 - Cell 2
6Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 5 - Cell 2
7Christopher Latham (GBr) Team WIGGINSRow 6 - Cell 2
8Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-DrapacRow 8 - Cell 2
10Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-BikeExchangeRow 9 - Cell 2
11Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 10 - Cell 2
12Ian Bibby (GBr) NFTORow 11 - Cell 2
13Diego Rubio (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 12 - Cell 2
14Nicolas Vereecken (Bel) An Post-ChainreactionRow 13 - Cell 2
15Oliver Wood (GBr) Great BritainRow 14 - Cell 2
16Hayden McCormick (NZl) ONE Pro CyclingRow 15 - Cell 2
17Mark Christian (GBr) Team WIGGINSRow 16 - Cell 2
18Alexandre Blain (Fra) Madison GenesisRow 17 - Cell 2
19Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto SoudalRow 18 - Cell 2
20Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension DataRow 19 - Cell 2
21Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 20 - Cell 2
22Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 21 - Cell 2
23Ben Swift (GBr) Team SkyRow 22 - Cell 2
24Steele Von Hoff (Aus) ONE Pro CyclingRow 23 - Cell 2
25Jack Bauer (NZl) Cannondale-DrapacRow 24 - Cell 2
26Dion Smith (NZl) ONE Pro CyclingRow 25 - Cell 2
27Thomas Stewart (GBr) Madison GenesisRow 26 - Cell 2
28Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 27 - Cell 2
29Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 28 - Cell 2
30Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 29 - Cell 2
31Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension DataRow 30 - Cell 2
32Carlos Barbero (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 31 - Cell 2
33Domingos Gonçalves (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 32 - Cell 2
34Russell Downing (GBr) JLT CondorRow 33 - Cell 2
35Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 34 - Cell 2
36Steven Lampier (GBr) JLT CondorRow 35 - Cell 2
37Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 36 - Cell 2
38Ruben Zepuntke (Ger) Cannondale-DrapacRow 37 - Cell 2
39Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Great BritainRow 38 - Cell 2
40Karol Domagalski (Pol) ONE Pro CyclingRow 39 - Cell 2
41Peter Williams (GBr) ONE Pro CyclingRow 40 - Cell 2
42Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 41 - Cell 2
43Adam Blythe (GBr) Great BritainRow 42 - Cell 2
44Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 43 - Cell 2
45Erick Rowsell (GBr) Madison GenesisRow 44 - Cell 2
46Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 45 - Cell 2
47Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 46 - Cell 2
48Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension DataRow 47 - Cell 2
49Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team SkyRow 48 - Cell 2
50Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale-DrapacRow 49 - Cell 2
51Jasper Bovenhuis (Ned) An Post-ChainreactionRow 50 - Cell 2
52Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 51 - Cell 2
53Ryan Mullen (Irl) Cannondale-DrapacRow 52 - Cell 2
54Marco Marcato (Ita) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 53 - Cell 2
55Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 54 - Cell 2
56Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 55 - Cell 2
57Miguel Angel Benito (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 56 - Cell 2
58Daniel Pearson (GBr) Team WIGGINSRow 57 - Cell 2
59Edmund Bradbury (GBr) NFTORow 58 - Cell 2
60Jochem Hoekstra (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 59 - Cell 2
61Alistair Slater (GBr) JLT CondorRow 60 - Cell 2
62Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
63Amets Txurruka (Spa) Orica-BikeExchangeRow 62 - Cell 2
64Jacob Scott (GBr) An Post-ChainreactionRow 63 - Cell 2
65James Shaw (GBr) Lotto SoudalRow 64 - Cell 2
66Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar TeamRow 65 - Cell 2
67Hector Saez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 66 - Cell 2
68Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 67 - Cell 2
69Mark McNally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 68 - Cell 2
70André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal0:06:04
71Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 70 - Cell 2
72Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 71 - Cell 2
73Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 72 - Cell 2
74Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 73 - Cell 2
75Wouter Poels (Ned) Team SkyRow 74 - Cell 2
76Jonathan McEvoy (GBr) NFTORow 75 - Cell 2
77Loic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 76 - Cell 2
78Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 77 - Cell 2
79Oliver Ket-Spark (Aus) An Post-ChainreactionRow 78 - Cell 2
80Gabriel Cullaigh (GBr) Great BritainRow 79 - Cell 2
81Javier Aramendia (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 80 - Cell 2
82Dale Appleby (GBr) NFTORow 81 - Cell 2
83Gorka Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 82 - Cell 2
84Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 83 - Cell 2
85Robert Partridge (GBr) NFTORow 84 - Cell 2
86Liam Stones (GBr) NFTORow 85 - Cell 2
87Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
88Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing TeamRow 87 - Cell 2
89Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 88 - Cell 2
90Daniel McLay (GBr) Great BritainRow 89 - Cell 2
91Damien Shaw (Irl) An Post-ChainreactionRow 90 - Cell 2
92Jorge Arcas Pena (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 91 - Cell 2
93Mark Stewart (GBr) Great BritainRow 92 - Cell 2
94Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 93 - Cell 2
95Thomas Moses (GBr) JLT CondorRow 94 - Cell 2
96Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 95 - Cell 2
97Robert Power (Aus) Orica-BikeExchangeRow 96 - Cell 2
98Javier Moreno (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 97 - Cell 2
99Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-BikeExchangeRow 98 - Cell 2
100Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension Data0:06:26
101Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:06:29
102Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky0:07:13
103Mathew Cronshaw (GBr) Madison Genesis0:07:20
104Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) Dimension DataRow 103 - Cell 2
105Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica-BikeExchangeRow 104 - Cell 2
106Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 105 - Cell 2
107Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 106 - Cell 2
108Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 107 - Cell 2
109Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 108 - Cell 2
110Marco Coledan (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 109 - Cell 2
111Alexander Edmondson (Aus) Orica-BikeExchangeRow 110 - Cell 2
112Conor Dunne (Irl) JLT CondorRow 111 - Cell 2
113Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 112 - Cell 2
114Owain Doull (GBr) Team WIGGINSRow 113 - Cell 2
115Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team WIGGINSRow 114 - Cell 2
116Taylor Eisenhart (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 115 - Cell 2
117Jonathan Dibben (GBr) Team WIGGINSRow 116 - Cell 2
118Matthew Holmes (GBr) Madison Genesis0:07:26
119Johann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension Data0:07:38
120Taylor Karl Gunman (NZl) Madison Genesis0:10:20
121Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:10:25
122Emiel Wastyn (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction0:29:53
DNSAdrien Costa (USA) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 122 - Cell 2
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Sprint 1 - Alsager, km. 9.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Kristian House (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling3pts
2Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Graham Briggs (GBr) JLT Condor1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 2 - Sandbach, km. 51.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Graham Briggs (GBr) JLT Condor3pts
2Mathew Cronshaw (GBr) Madison Genesis2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Kristian House (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 3 - Alderley Edge, km. 96.6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Mathew Cronshaw (GBr) Madison Genesis3pts
2Graham Briggs (GBr) JLT Condor2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Kristian House (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Mountain 1 - Alderley Edge, km. 98.3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Kristian House (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling6pts
2Graham Briggs (GBr) JLT Condor5Row 1 - Cell 3
3Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky4Row 2 - Cell 3
4Mathew Cronshaw (GBr) Madison Genesis3Row 3 - Cell 3
5Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert2Row 4 - Cell 3
6Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky1Row 5 - Cell 3
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Mountain 2 - Brickworks, km. 112.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Kristian House (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling10pts
2Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky9Row 1 - Cell 3
3Graham Briggs (GBr) JLT Condor8Row 2 - Cell 3
4Mathew Cronshaw (GBr) Madison Genesis7Row 3 - Cell 3
5Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky6Row 4 - Cell 3
6Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert5Row 5 - Cell 3
7Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Wanty - Groupe Gobert4Row 6 - Cell 3
8Peter Williams (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling3Row 7 - Cell 3
9Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension Data2Row 8 - Cell 3
10Johann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension Data1Row 9 - Cell 3
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Mountain 3 - Cat & Fiddle, km. 133.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Kristian House (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling10pts
2Graham Briggs (GBr) JLT Condor9Row 1 - Cell 3
3Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky8Row 2 - Cell 3
4Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert7Row 3 - Cell 3
5Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky6Row 4 - Cell 3
6Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky5Row 5 - Cell 3
7Peter Williams (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling4Row 6 - Cell 3
8Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Great Britain3Row 7 - Cell 3
9Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step2Row 8 - Cell 3
10Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Wanty - Groupe Gobert1Row 9 - Cell 3
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Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky15pts
2Graham Briggs (GBr) JLT Condor14Row 1 - Cell 3
3Kristian House (GBr) ONE Pro Cycling13Row 2 - Cell 3
4Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani CSF12Row 3 - Cell 3
5Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky11Row 4 - Cell 3
6Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Christopher Latham (GBr) Team WIGGINS9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-BikeExchange6Row 9 - Cell 3
11Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo5Row 10 - Cell 3
12Ian Bibby (GBr) NFTO4Row 11 - Cell 3
13Diego Rubio (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Nicolas Vereecken (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction2Row 13 - Cell 3
15Oliver Wood (GBr) Great Britain1Row 14 - Cell 3
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