Tour of Britain stage three
When: Tuesday, September 9
Finish: The Tumble
Unusually, the most important stage of the Tour of Britain occurs as early as stage three this year. The total of four climbs, the most of any stage at this year’s Tour of Britain, makes this, effectively, the queen stage. Things get off to a difficult start with a trio of climbs in quick succession, and the middle part of the stage also includes several rises that have not been officially classified as climbs.
But today is all about The Tumble. As the only hilltop finish in the whole race, this will be the climb on which anyone hoping to win the overall classification will have to perform on. It’s a sizable six kilometres in length, but the real difficulty is its relentlessly steep gradient of 10 per cent, which does not ease up. It is much harder than the Haytor climb that has been used as the most important ascent in recent editions, and as such expect a shift in power from powerful punchers to lighter, purer climbers.
Time gaps will be big, riders are likely to reach the finish line in small groups, and the GC will be drastically shaken-up. Whoever has an off day will have to animate the race in the remaining stages.
This area has been used several times for the British National Championships, and Monmouthshire earlier this season played host to the 2014 edition a few months ago, where Peter Kennaugh outsprinted Ben Swift to win.
0km START, Newton 11:00
8.4km KoM, Nueadd-goch Bank, Cat 2 11:27
34.5km KoM, Knighton, Cat 3 12:04
41.7km KoM, Beggars Bush, Cat 3 12:14
80.6km Sprint, Llyswen, 13:10
115.4km Sprint, Abergavenny 13:59
138.8km Sprint, Monmouth 14:32
150km FINISH, KoM, The Tumble, Cat 1 15:31