After yesterday’s sprint stage the peloton were faced with a slightly tougher day of racing in Scotland today, with the route starting and finishing in the town of Kelso. A break of three riders escaped the peloton early into the stage and the teams were happy to keep them under control, never allowing the gap to grow out much further than three minutes.
The pace increased as the race entered the final 30 kilometres, with the bonus sprint and final categorised climb only five kilometres away. The peloton was stretched out as they went through the sprint in Melrose, before they immediately started the climb of Dingleton. The pressure remained on at the head of the bunch which caused splits, with several riders dropped. Over the top Chris Hamilton, Chad Haga, Florian Stork and Cees Bol all made it into the reduced peloton.
With yesterday’s stage winner dropped, the fight was on and the speed in the group stayed high all the way to the finish. Bol moved his way up the peloton well after some assistance from the team, and going into the final 500 metres he was in a good position near the front of the bunch. However, a tight turn onto a narrow bridge saw a few riders in front of him run wide which forced Bol to go wide and pull on the brakes. As a result, he was out of position for the finale and the chance of a good stage result was gone, with Hamilton the first rider across the line for the team.