Viviani floors the opposition to take Britain stage 3

Elia Viviani claims his second stage win as Vakoc crashes out of race lead. JJ Lobato now holds the yellow jersey.

LONDON (AFP) — Elia Viviani of the Sky team won a sprint finish in Tuesday’s third stage of the Tour of Britain over 216km between Cockermouth and Floors Castle.

It was the second stage win of the race for the 26-year-old Italian, who also was victorious in Sunday’s stage 1.

“When the break at the end went out from two-minutes-30 to four-minutes-20, I did wonder if we would pull it back for a sprint finish,” said Viviani. “The problem was that we needed to do the last climb very quickly, and if we did that I was not sure if I would be able to stay in the first group or not.

“Andy Fenn positioned me perfectly and then I had to wait a little bit. After nearly 220km it is not the same as 170km— you don’t have the same legs. It was a very good test for the worlds, and the climb at full gas with 20km to go was also very good.”

Petr Vakoc (Etixx-Quick-Step) lost his overall lead after crashing and ceding 10 minutes to the day’s winner. Spaniard Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) of Movistar, who finished second for the second successive day, took the overall race lead 10 seconds ahead of Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka).

“I felt myself a little bit more tired today, on a flatter finish.” said Lobato. “When I got to Viviani’s wheel, with 400m to go, I was lacking some strength and couldn’t get past him. I came here to win a stage and don’t really look forward to any classifications at the moment; there are some chances for me in the upcoming days and I really hope to win some stages.”