Three British riders are set to battle it out on the final day of the Tour de Yorkshire for the mountains jersey with just two points separating the trio.
The current jersey wearer is Mike Cuming, who has held the red jersey since stage one of the race, but missed out on adding to his total today as Madison-Genesis team mate Johnny McEvoy got into the day three breakaway.
“I was a bit disappointed to miss the move, but I saw Johnny go on the right hand side and it was great to have him there. That was his KOM jersey today because he saved it for me personally so Johnny is the man today.” Cuming said.
McEvoy was able to rack up six points over the third stage’s two climbs to move just two points behind Cuming heading into the gruelling stage four.
Cuming said: “[Tomorrow is a] big day, we’ve now got two cards to play to go for the jersey, and Richard Handley is a class act I could see him getting up there on the stage too. We’ve recced the stage and its really ridiculously hard. If we can get myself or Johnny in the break then awesome if we can help Rich get a stage result then awesome. But it’s been a great Tour so far.”
With three climbs in the first 50 kilometres of the stage, it is possible the lead in the mountains classification could change rapidly as points are accrued over the ascents,
“If it is raced full gas from the start like the stage yesterday [stage two], I could see the race split up a little bit. If a break doesn’t go straight away, it’ll be a horrible day.”
The third British rider currently in contention is One Pro Cycling’s Pete Williams, who was a breakaway companion with McEvoy on Saturday and also racked up six mountains classification points. The Yorkshireman will be riding on home roads tomorrow and if the opportunity arises he plans to take the fight to the Madison-Genesis duo.
“If I’m in the front of the bike race and it’s there to have a go at then yes absolutely, but I’ve had a hard day out today and my legs might fall off tomorrow. It’s an incredibly tough stage so who knows what will happen,” he said.
The tough day that lies in wait for the peloton contains six climbs including the infamous Park Rash. However, all six climbs have the prize of four, two and one points on offer for the first three riders over the climb.
That means that an outsider could swoop in to steal the jersey with a big day over the climbs of Yorkshire, something that Williams is well aware of.
“Essentially there have been two mountains each day and tomorrow is a completely different day and someone completely new could be in the breakaway tomorrow so its still massively open,” he said.