Roger Hammond (Cervélo) got his closest yet to a stage win in the Circuit Franco-Belge race with a second place on stage three taken Tom Boonen (Quick Step). Up-and-coming American sprinter Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream) was third.
Eighth on the first day's bunch sprint, on stage three from Antoing to Ichtegem Hammond formed part of a seven-rider group that crossed the line six seconds ahead of the main bunch.
The seven had formed part of a slightly larger move that went clear on a highly tehnical finishing circuit. Eight kilometres from the finish the break still had around 30 seconds on the bunch and the attacks started, with race leader Farrar and last year's winner Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) both trying to get clear.
However, none of these moves worked out and it came down to a small group sprint. Hammond was unable to get ahead of Belgian national champion Boonen, but still managed to outpower Farrar for second.
The 178 kilometre stage was buffeted by very strong winds all day, with numerous riders either abandoning exhausted or crashing out. One group was left so far behind they were told to stop by the commissaires. Jeremy Hunt (Cervélo) was amongst those who packed.
With one stage of the four-day Franco Belge race remaining, overall Hammond is now lying in third place, 18 seconds down on Farrar. Boonen is in second place, 10 seconds down.
Hammond is having a strong finish to the end of the season. Having finished the Vuelta - the first ever major stage race he has taken part in - the Cervélo rider was one of just two British riders to finish the World Championships men's road-race last Sunday. After the Circuit Franco-Belge Hammond will be racing Paris-Tours next weekend.
Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.
CW Live: Marianne Vos to miss cyclocross World Championships; Full list of teams for Paris-Roubaix and Paris-Roubaix Femmes confirmed; David Gaudu issues apology for Demare remarks; cycling charity facing eviction; Liège–Bastogne–Liège route adjusted
All the news you need to know in the world of cycling
By Tom Thewlis • Published
Giant moots $20m investment in Stages Cycling
Leading bike manufacturer reportedly set to invest in power metre and indoor riding brand
By Tom Thewlis • Published