Race report

Top 10 finish for Eekhoff in Newcastle

OVO Energy Tour of Britain

Riders were greeted with typical wet British weather on day three of the Tour of Britain, as Dutchman Nils Eekhoff sprinted to a top ten finish in Newcastle.

Eekhoff made the best of a messy finale, which saw the Team Sunweb train disrupted by road furniture that put protected sprinter Cees Bol out of position in the final few hundred metres.

The 183.2 kilometre stage from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, finished with a tough 700 metre uphill sprint to the line.

It was touch and go as to whether the day’s six rider breakaway would be caught in time for a bunch sprint, but the hungry peloton timed the catch to perfection and reeled the escapees in with only one kilometre remaining.

Early in the race, the breakaway had skipped ahead of a well-controlled peloton and were allowed a four minute gap to mop up all intermediate climb and sprint points on offer.

“Today was a jolly nice day on the road, it didn’t rain as much as they predicted so we were happy,” explained Team Sunweb road caption Roy Curvers.In the final, the race was getting really fast and we had to find our way around road furniture and up and down hills. Unfortunately we got a little mixed up in the last kilometre when Cees lost our wheel. I managed to come around the last corner in a good position and Nils was still in an ok position too, but Cees was unfortunately too far back to go for a real good result. I think Nils made it in the top 10 which is quite good, but unfortunately we couldn’t come with Cees in the sprint. I think we have to learn from today, take the good points out and improve the wrong points and look for the next opportunity.”

Team Sunweb coach Matt Winston added: “It was a really hectic finale on the run in, the last 15 kilometres were pretty difficult to stay together as a team. The guys did a good job though, and Roy really brought the guys into position going into the last kilometre. From there on the steep uphill it was pretty much a drag race to the line. Cees was probably a little bit too far back than what we would have wanted, but Nils did a strong sprint in the finish and got a top ten, so that’s a nice result in a hard uphill finish.”