Mark Christian was Raleigh-GAC’s top finisher on Stage 3 of the Tour of Britain, coming home in 19th place, but it was Yanto Barker’s presence in the break that got the Raleigh-GAC team in front of the cameras once again.
The break went shortly after the start in Newtown, Mid Wales and gave Barker and his breakaway companions the chance to establish a lead of over two and half minutes.
The break held until the outskirts of Abergavenny before the fireworks on the final climb.
Rising 500m in just 6km, the Tumble is one of the most feared climbs in the UK and is so often the feature of UK road races, which gives our home grown riders the opportunity to know it back to front.
Mark Christian flanked Matthieu Boulo for the climb and both were with the lead group as the climb approached but a badly-timed puncture at the foot of the Tumble put Boulo out of contention.
It was left to Mark Christian to take up the mantle and as the lead group fragmented on the steep slopes the Manx man clawed his way into 19th place giving Raleigh-GAC a top 20 position for the first three days of the Tour.
After finishing in 19th place Mark Christian now holds 19th place in the overall leaderboard too.
Team Manager Cherie Pridham. “Another solid day today and I’m pretty happy with what we’ve achieved so far.
“The day started off well with Yanto making a 155km break. Then the boys did a solid job delivering Matt and Mark to the Tumble. Mark beat some big names home to finish 19th. It was bad luck for Matt to puncture just before the climb but he still made it home just over a minute behind the lead rider to come home in the top 25. Without the puncture I’m sure we’d be looking at another high placing for Matthieu.
“Tomorrow is more of a transition stage before some hard climbs in Exeter (Stage 5). Still, climbs like Snows Hill and Bridge Valley Road tomorrow won’t make it an easy day. We’ll be prepared for all occasions, pushing for the opportunities and riding positively as we have been so far.
“We’ve had riders active in breaks and riders consecutively finishing in the top 20 of one of the top 10 stage races in the world every single day. We’re certainly taking on the race.
“There’s a long way to go yet though with some hard stages and a time trial so there’s a lot to look forward to.”
Overall Raleigh-GAC placings after Stage 3
- Mark Christian 19th @ 1m 02s
- Matthieu Boulo 24th @ 1m 23s
- George Atkins 45th @ 3m 44s
- Morgan Kneisky 53rd @ 5m 54s
- Ian Wilkinson 63rd @ 7m 07s
- Yanto Barker 99th @ 12m 13s