Knowsley – Llandudno: a look back

Mark Renshaw took his first win of the season (TOB)

Mark Renshaw took his first win of the season (SweetSpot)

Mark Renshaw of OPQS took the win from Ben Swift after a confused finale. There were several attacks over the Great Orme but it all came back together on the descent for a reduced bunch sprint.

King of the mountains leader Mark McNally (An Post) made the break again. He was looking to extend his lead in the competition and was joined by Chris Lawless (Great Britain), Lasse Hansen (Garmin), Rob Partridge (Giordana), Ian Bibby (Madison) and Pablo Lastras (Movistar).

GC contenders lead the way on the Great Orme (TOB)

GC contenders lead the way on the Great Orme (SweetSpot)

The attacks began on the hills before the final run-in, and the break split 13km from the finish with Hansen, McNally and Lastras remaining alone out front. They didn’t last long though, as OPQS and Sky took to the front and the trio were brought back before the final climb.

Sylvain Chavanel had the most potent effort on the Great Orme, but it wasn’t enough to stay away until the end. Michał Kwiatkowski got away on the descent but he too was brought back. His team were on the front in the final kilometres though, and in the end it was Niki Terpstra who led out Mark Renshaw for the win.

Stage winner Mark Renshaw (SweetSpot)

Stage winner Mark Renshaw (SweetSpot)

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.Rider reaction

Manuel Bongiorno (Bardiani-CSF)

Yesterday we rode very well with Colbrelli and Ruffoni. Today, the stage was too complicated with climb and the road.

Tomorrow we’ll try to take a good result on The Tumble but other teams have some very strong riders like Chavanel, Reichenbach and Wiggins. I don’t know the last climb [some sections 10%] We can try yeah, we can attempt with another rider – a lot of teams are very strong. The legs are good so we’ll try.

After the Tour of Britain we’ll go for the Trittico Lombardo, Memorial Pantani and Giro dell’Emilia. Its is a very good race for me and the team, so we’ll try to take a good result in Lombardia and also Trittico Lombardo and Giro dell’Emilia

Leopold König (NetApp-Endura)

I just wanted to test my legs today. My feelings in the race were really bad, especially at the beginning of the race when I felt completely empty and without power, so I just wanted to test the legs before tomorrow’s stage.

I think in the final I was not so bad, I followed one of the strongest guys in the race but the climb was just too short to make it clear to the finish. I think we can be satisfied today though
To be honest I don’t know about tomorrow because after my last race in Colorado I was sick and I’m still not 100% healthy.

Normally I would say I want to win tomorrow for sure but we’ll see. I can’t say with my condition whats going to happen – I don’t really have confidence but after today I think anything is possible.
Next year? Yeah, its not decided yet. We have to wait for the official announcement. We’re still talking.

Adam Blythe (NFTO)

In the coming days I think I’ll just be getting round, rolling round. Tomorrow’s at The Tumble so I’ll just ride my own pace up there and get to the top. That’s about it really. The day after and the rest of the week its similar to today so we’ll see if we can get up there and ride into it a bit.

My legs were feeling a bit achey today, but its always normal after just one day of racing so hopefully I feel a bit better tomorrow and have a good go again but yeah we’ll see

As for next year, I’m open to offers and things like that, so I’m going to see what happens but at the moment there are no set plans so we’ll see

Mark McNally (An Post – ChainReaction)

We’ll see if I can hang on tomorrow, I’ll give it another go. All you can do is try. It’ll be more difficult tomorrow but Nothing’s impossible.
One of my best friends Ian Bibby was in the break, he managed to get them to wait for me so I owe him a couple of coffees.

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Good day for
OPQS – They tried a number of options and still won even with Cavendish injured
Mark McNally – Managed to get into the break again to extend his KOM lead

Bad day for

 Chris Lawless – The 18 year-old had to drop back from the breakaway due to a puncture

Stage result
1 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 4:38:54
2 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky
3 Sam Bennett (Irl) Team NetApp-Endura
4 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Sharp
5 Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team
6 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
7 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) IAM Cycling
8 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
9 Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani CSF
10 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling

For full results and standings look here.

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Stage 3: Newtown – The Tumble (179.9km)

tob s3 prof

More hills, and the first of two uphill finishes in the race. Its the hardest finish of the race – a 6km climb with 3km at 10%. Before that its up and down all day, and the stage could go a long way to deciding the winner of the race.

Who will win?

Leopold König is the best climber in the race – he showed that with his seventh place finish at the Tour. He told me that he doesn’t feel great, but he was on the attack today and should figure in the finale. Reigning champion Brad Wiggins hasn’t had much racing recently but will be in contention.

Sylvain Chavanel leads IAM and is a great all-rounder. He is building for the Worlds and has been in very good form recently. Swiss climber Sebastian Reichenbach will be the backup option should Chavanel fail. Michał Kwiatkowski is another jack of all trades. He struggled in the mountains in the Tour but this is no col.

Bardiani-CSF have a few cards to play in the form of Enrico Battaglin and Manuel Bongiorno. They are outsiders for GC but always liven a race and I think they’ll snatch a stage at some point. Ion Izagirre is Movistar’s man but he isn’t the strongest climber here. Giovanni Visconti could step up if the Spaniard fails.

*****
**** Leopold König, Nicolas Roche, Brad Wiggins
*** Sylvain Chavanel, Michał Kwiatkowski
** Enrico Battaglin/Manuel Bongiorno, Ion Izagirre
*  Giovanni Visconti, Sebastian Reichenbach

tob s2 map

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