By Andy Jones
Russell Downing took the win in to Newton Stewart this afternoon, showing once again that he is the man to beat on British soil
Stage three ended in another bunch sprint that Downing took comfortably ahead of Simon Gaywood and Malcolm Elliott.
Downing, although winning, had had a difficult day, "We rode amazing again as a team. We had three in that front group and I was there. Then I bust a spoke just as we were at about forty seconds."
"So, I got a bit of a bad change and went back to the bunch. It?s one of those like, oh no the moves gone and that was going to be the move of the day but I was happy because Graham [Briggs] and Pete [Williams] were in there."
"So I just sat there and started attacking on the climb. The legs have just got better and better everyday. I was pretty nailed after the race in Majorca I think really, training hard too after the race and then I crashed last night in the crit so I?ve not being having much luck.?
?The race came together on the little roads, Halfords put it in the gutter and brought it back. Tom Murray punctured at crucial spot and managed to get back to the front group, so he did a ride there.?
Tom Murray managed to retain the leaders jersey despite his problems, ?We missed the important break earlier on today. There was a couple of really dangerous Pinarello riders in it and a few Raphas."
"It was my fault more than anyone else?s. I just missed the split going over the first climb. But the boys did a really good ride, all going through and off for most of the day. Can?t fault them on that and they protected my lead. We?d just started to come back together and it was up to me then, but then I double punctured."
"It?s been an interesting day out there, but I managed to get back on some how. A few of the lads helped me back on and I just dug in for the finish. Made it in the end. I was going to give it a go for the stage sprint but I just got a bit swamped coming out in to the last corner but was pretty happy to be just in the front group at the end of that one."
The break of eight riders got away at about the 20 mile mark, but with 26 miles to go the group, that was now seven after Downing had taken service earlier for a broken spoke, was caught by the chasing pack lead by Halfords Bikehut on the Corriedoo Forest KOM prime.
The final run in came through St John?s Town of Dalry , over Glenlee before sweeping in to the finish at Minnigaff, Newton Stewart.
Halfords-Bikehut rider Ian Bibby dons the King of the Mountains leader's jersey. Photo by Andy Jones.
Kristian House (Rapha Condor) wears the green jersey as leader of the sprint competition. Picture by Andy Jones.
1 Russell Downing (CandiTV Pinarello RT)
2 Simon Gaywood (Team Corley Cycles)
3 Malcolm Elliott (CandiTV Pinarello RT)
Kristian House (Rapha Condor Pro CT)
Ian Bibby (Halfords Bikehut)
Tom Murray (Plowman Craven Madison)
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