Brändle (IAM Cycling) attacked from a four-rider breakaway in the final three kilometres, and successfully pursuited to the finish to hold off Iljo Keisse (Etixx-Quick Step).
“Today was important for me – the last six or seven days, I was questioning myself because my body was not working,” he said.
“I had good feelings at home in training, but the last stages were hard. I couldn’t put any power through the pedals.
“My body hasn’t worked the same as normal in the 40°C. So yesterday, when I saw the forecast for today said the temperature would go down to 30°C, I looked at the stage’s profile and map and I started dreaming about winning it."
Brändle said he realised the group would stay away when it entered the final 50 kilometres with an advantage of nine minutes over a nonplussed peloton, but the presence of Keisse in the group meant he did not want to take his chances in a sprint finish.
“I was afraid [of Keisse], that’s why I attacked,” he added. “I saw he was suffering on the last climb, so I thought ‘don’t take a risk, try and drop him before the finish’. “
The 25-year-old Austrian rider compared his victory here to the two he took on consecutive days in last year’s Tour of Britain into Exeter and Hemel Hempstead.
He said: “In the breakaway, the feeling was the same as it was in Britain: we had strong riders, we worked together.
“I told them we had to work together and not go too hard in the climbs. In the end I was lucky to be the strongest.”
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Nick Bull is an NCTJ qualified journalist who has written for a range of titles, as well as being a freelance writer at Beat Media Group, which provides reports for the PA Media wire which is circulated to the likes of the BBC and Eurosport. His work at Cycling Weekly predominantly dealt with professional cycling, and he now holds a role as PR & Digital Manager at SweetSpot Group, which organises the Tour of Britain.
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