Briton moves into second in the overall lead at the French race after stage three time trial, behind Movistar teammate Adriano Malori

Alex Dowsett narrowly missed out on a stage win at the French race, Circuit de la Sarthe falling finishing nine seconds behind his own Movistar teammate Adriano Malori.

The stage three result moves the Briton into third place in the overall standing after the second day of racing, which saw the riders take on an 83.9km road race in the morning before going solo in a short 6.8km individual time trial later in the day.

Anthony Roux (FDJ) took the morning’s spoils, including the overall lead, but slipped to third after the Movistar pair romped to the two top spots in the time trial. Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) had held the race lead prior to the start of the day, after winning stage one.

Russell Downing (Cult Energy) and Steve Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka) are the only two Brits featuring in the UCI 2.1 category race, with both securing top ten results on stages one and three respectively.

Dowsett will now look to support Malori and defend his position as the riders head into two fairly hilly days that culminate the race, as he also continues his build-up to an Hour Record attempt in May.