Ribble-Weldtite have revealed a mechanical spoiled their chances of a podium in the Tour of Britain team time trial.
The British Continental squad went into the 18km TTT as underdogs, but were hoping to take the fight to the big-budget WorldTour teams in Wales.
Under the guidance of aero expert and team rider Dan Bigham, Ribble-Weldtite had been targeting a podium finish in Camarthenshire, even dreaming of taking the victory over teams like Jumbo-Visma and Ineos Grenadiers.
But the dream quickly fell apart, as Ribble finished the day in eighth place, 1-09 down on the winners Ineos.
Speaking after the stage, the team revealed the Si Wilson, one of the powerhouses in the squad, snapped his chain early in the run, making it an uphill struggle to try and set a strong time.
Bigham said: “It was okay. We were good until the time check and then Si snapped his chain which was definitely not in the plan.
“Over the top [of the climb] we were fine. It was a decent result, just not what we’d hoped for and planned for.
“We were in a good place and then life throws you a bit of a curveball. I think we dealt with it okay.”
Ribble did set an early benchmark time with a time of 21-31 and an average speed of 50.7km/h, holding the hot seat before they were eventually knocked down the standings by the WorldTour teams.
But it was Ineos Grenadiers who went fastest, with time of 20-22 (53.6km/h average), putting Ethan Hayter into the race lead in the process.
Ribble-Weldtite’s general classification leader James Shaw is still in a strong position overall, currently sitting 15th overall, 1-15 behind Hayter heading into the queen stage on day four.
Shaw said: “We were basically a man down from the start. It feels like everything that could have gone wrong probably did.
“It’s not a disaster, but we know we’re capable of more.”
He added that the team also had mechanical issues on the morning of the race, including an electrical failure on one of the TT bikes, which added to the pre-race stress.
Ribble-Weldtite sport director Colin Sturgess added: “Gutted for the Ribble-Weldtite lads today. A top-five scuttled by a snapped chain for Si Wilson early doors. Loss of a powerhouse like Si had a massive knock on later in the race. Fair play to the boys though - love them to bits.”
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