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Tour of Britain 2018: Stage 3

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Hello and welcome to our live coverage of stage 3 of the 2018 Tour of Britain. We're in for another hilly day and more GC action after yesterday's shakeup. Bardiani-CSF's Alessandro Tonelli is in the race lead, and the Italian will have a job on his hands if he's to hold off the likes of Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step Floors) today.

Today's stage, which starts and finishes in Bristol, will begin in around 20 minutes, with the official start coming quarter of an hour later at 11:45 UK time.

We're in for a fast and furious day today, with the stage measuring in at just 127.2km.

Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-Scott) won yesterday's stage, as the breakaway eluded a powerful chase group including the likes of Julian Alaphilippe and Wout Poels, among others.

Here's what the general classification looks like heading into the stage. There are a lot of big hitters up there – names that we can expect to see on the offensive today too.

And as the riders set off from Bristol, here's a look at the other classifications...

The riders will be climbing en route to the start proper, which should come in around 15 minutes. There are no hills early on today, though, but the break will no doubt look to establish themselves before the first of three intermediate sprints at Yatton after 17.9km.

The riders pass over the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge. In a few hours they'll be back here, just 2km from the day's finish.

125km remaining from 125km

Stefan Küng (BMC) is the first man on the attack, racing away immediately. 

Of course, the British domestic squads are looking to get in on the action too, with several teams represented towards the front as around 12 riders get a small gap.

That move didn't stick – it was too big and therefore too dangerous to let go.

122km remaining from 125km

119km remaining from 125km

Direct Énergie are very active on the front early on, shutting down several moves so far and sending Sylvain Chavanel on the attack at one point.

Now it's Max Schachmann's (Quick Step Floors) turn to have a go. The peloton is lined out behind him, and nobody is able to get a gap.

Mitchelton-Scott have several riders at the rear of the peloton, including yesterday's stage winner Cameron Meyer. Curious.

One Pro Cycling haven't made a break so far during the race. They have riders up front and are keen to make the day's move.

The peloton is still all together as we get within 1km of the first intermediate sprint of the day.

110km remaining from 125km

It looked like Patrick Bevin (BMC) beat Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin) to that intermediate sprint. If so, it means a three-second bonus for the Irishman.

Schachmann tries again, getting a small gap on the peloton

104km remaining from 125km

We're 3km from the climb now. Here's confirmation of the intermediate sprint result:

We're approaching the 100km to go mark and still no break has been established. Liepins and Mould are trying again.

100km remaining from 125km

More riders are trying to make it across to the trio, including Taylor Phinney (EF-Drapac).

99km remaining from 125km

That break group was brought back at the top of the climb and now Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) is having a go.

Shaw beat Schachmann and Wynants to the KOM. Just the 3, 2 and points for the trio.

Van Garderen has Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) for company. The duo are descending a few seconds ahead of the peloton.

93km remaining from 125km

Schachmann, Strakhov and a Team Sunweb are off the front of the peloton now.

Riders are being distanced from the back of the peloton as the gradient bites.

92km remaining from 125km

Turns out that it doesn't really matter who made that group because the peloton has just brought them back.

90km remaining from 125km

Chavanel attacks! The Frenchman gets a decent gap straight away.

And Chavanel takes the maximum 8 points over the top of Cheddar Gorge before dropping back to the peloton.

87km remaining from 125km

And predictably Gaviria is brought back as a Direct Énergie rider pushes on.

42km remaining from 125km

Maximiliano Richeze (Quick Step Floors) and Jay Thomason (Dimension Data) are chasing.

80km remaining from 125km

It looks like the break is going to brought back. TEn seconds is the gap now. Iljo Keisse (Quick Step Floors) and Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar) clip away from the peloton.

The Movistar rider was actually Rubén Fernández. In any case, he and Keisse have made it across to the Greipel group.

76km remaining from 125km

72km remaining from 125km

Strakhov makes it across. There are now four riders up front who lie just 49 seconds off the race lead – Strakhov, Eenkhoorn, Fernández and Holmes.

Now Keisse is trying to split the break up with an attack. Their advantage is still small, just 40 seconds at the moment.

We're just a couple of kilometres from the day's second intermediate sprint at Midsomer Norton.

Bardiani-CSF have a rider on the front of the peloton, while Sky are a big presence there too. They're working to keep the gap to the break small. It's under 30 seconds now.

Eenkhoorn take the sprint alone. Strakhov and Fernández took second and third.

The terrain is up and down from here on in, though just one classified climb remains – Providence Lane with 9km to go.

60km remaining from 125km

Now Dowsett's teammate Tony Martin has gone clear solo. He's over 12 minutes down so maybe he'll be allowed to go.

Martin is powering along, arms draped over the drops. The gap is edging out, but the peloton still have him in their sights as more riders try to get off the front.

51km remaining from 125km

The four-man break now has a minute over the peloton.

Quick Step Floors are working on the front of the peloton.

Ben Swift is the best-placed man on GC in the break. He lies 3:32 behind race leader Tonelli. The other three are all over 12 minutes down.

38km remaining from 125km

33km remaining from 125km

31km remaining from 125km

28km remaining from 125km

There is one unclassified climb left on the profile, starting with 20km to go. Then it's just the category one climb of Providence Lane and the climb to the finish on Clifton Down in Bristol.

The lead quartet are still plugging along, dutifully ignoring the warnings painted onto the road.

Maximilian Schachmann, who has been one of the most active riders of the day, is riding at the front of the peloton for his Quick Step Floors leaders Bob Jungels and Julian Alaphilippe.

19km remaining from 125km

15km remaining from 125km

13km remaining from 125km

And here's the profile on the climb and finale from Lasterketa Burua. Note the steep unclassified climb just a few kilometres from the finish.

10km remaining from 125km

9km remaining from 125km

Game over for the break with 9km to go. We're on the climb now.

EF-Drapac, Great Britain and BMC are all represented at the front of the peloton.

Fernando Gaviria is once again up front, trying a dig on the climb.

8km remaining from 125km

The peloton is shattering on the steep slopes. BMC pull Gaviria back.

7km remaining from 125km

7km remaining from 125km

What remains of the peloton is lined out on the descent, with Pidcock at the head. 

5km remaining from 125km

4km remaining from 125km

3km remaining from 125km

3km remaining from 125km

Van Garderen and Bevin are there for BMC too.

2km remaining from 125km

And we're back where we started – on Clifton Suspension Bridge. Van Garderen chases down Carthy.

2km remaining from 125km

1km remaining from 125km

Jungels and Alaphilippe take over.

Final 500 metres and Quick Step are still on the front.

Mads Würtz Schmidt opens the sprint early!

But it's Alaphilippe who takes advantage of Jungels' leadout to nip through and take it!

Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step Floors) wins stage 3 of the Tour of Britain!

Meanwhile, race leader Tonelli was dropped and will lose the green jersey today. He was almost a minute down on Alaphilippe.

Alaphilippe jumped onto the wheel of Würtz Schmidt after the Katusha man took it up early.

Stage 3 result:

Patrick Bevin (BMC) is the new race leader!

General classification after stage 3:

Bevin picked up two bonus seconds at the first intermediate sprint of the day, then six more at the finish. Meyer once again loses out on the leader's jersey on countback.

Julian Alaphilippe speaks after his win:

And here's what new race leader Patrick Bevin had to say:

There are now just 25 riders within a minute of the race lead, including stage winner Julian Alaphilippe, his Quick Step Floors teammate Bob Jungels, and Primož Roglič of LottoNL-Jumbo.

Tomorrow the peloton head to the Midlands for a stage from Nuneaton to Royal Leamington Spa. It's a bit lumpy, but nothing like the last two days, so a sprint finish seems the most likely outcome.

The green leader's jersey isn't the only one to change hands today, from Tonelli to Bevin. Alaphilippe takes the lead in the points classification and will wear a darker shade of blue tomorrow.

And that's it from me today. See you in the same place tomorrow at the slightly earlier time of 11am UK time for live coverage of stage 4!

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