Tuesday 11 September 2012 | Jedburgh to Dumfries 177.8km
Mark Cavendish comfortably sprinted to the stage three win at the Tour of Britain to put yesterday’s disappointment behind him.
The Great Britain rider was perfectly led out by his Team Sky colleagues to eradicate the frustration of ’s stage 2, in which he narrowly missed out on the win.
It was the Manxman’s 13th triumph of the season and immediately after the stage he said: "I knew the finish, that it would have a tailwind going downhill, so that meant I could go early, and I had a perfect lead out.
"Luke was so fast at the end, and Bernie before him, and Brad and Jez kept it strung out before that. It was a pretty textbook display."
Asked if he would now be gunning for the overall victory, Cavendish added: "I'm here for stage wins, not the GC. Wearing the IG Markets gold jersey would be an honour but I've worn it before and I've only got the world champion's jersey for a few more days so I want to savour that more than anything."
The action had commenced in Jedburgh, and Team Sky were active from the start with Rowe bagging three bonus seconds by winning the day’s first intermediate sprint before five riders were allowed to move clear of the bunch.
The quintet built up a steady lead as they passed over the three categorised climbs, but with UnitedHealthcare and Team Sky tapping a steady tempo at the head of the peloton, their advantage was gradually reduced and Pete Williams (Node 4), Bernard Sulzberger (Raleigh) and Kristian House (Rapha–Condor) were swept up inside the final 22km.
Peter Hawkins (Team IG) and Wesley Kreder (Vacansoleil) pressed on bravely from that group - and were joined by new escapee Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin) as they circled back towards Dumfries - but with Hunt and Wiggins setting a blistering pace on the front, their days were ultimately numbered within 2.5km of the finish.
It was then that Knees and Eisel assumed control, and there turns saw many riders shelled out of the back before Rowe stepped up and led Cavendish out for a straightforward sprint to the line.
Stage Three, Jedburgh to Dumfries Whitesands, 152.6km
1) Mark Cavendish, GBR, Team Sky, 3:54:30
2) Leigh Howard, AUS, Orica GreenEDGE, same time
3) Aidis Kruopis, LTU, Orica GreenEDGE, same time
4) Luke Rowe, GBR, Team Sky, same time
5) Sam Bennett, IRL, AN Post Sean Kelly, same time
6) Russ Downing, GBR, Endura Racing, same time
7) Boy Van Poppel, NED, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling, same time
8) Jonathan McEvoy, GBR, Endura Racing, same time
9) Barry Markus, NED, Vacansoleil - DCM, same time
10) Yanto Barker, GBR, Team UK Youth, same time
IG Gold Jersey, General Classification, after Stage Three
1) Leigh Howard, AUS, Orica GreenEDGE, 13:16:28
2) Mark Cavendish, GBR, Team Sky, same time
3) Boy Van Poppel NED, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling, + 0.04
4) Luke Rowe, GBR, Team Sky, same time
5) Rony Martias, FRA, Saur Sojasun, + 0.10
6) Russ Downing, GBR, Endura Racing, + 0.12
7) Steele Von Hoff, AUS, Garmin - Sharp, + 0.16
8) Nathan Haas, AUS, Garmin - Sharp, same time
9) Sep Vanmarcke, BEL, Garmin - Sharp, same time
10) Sam Bennett, IRL, Team IG - Sigma Sport,+ 0.17
Chain Reaction Cycles Points Classification, after Stage Three
1) Boy Van Poppel, NED, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling, 36pts
2) Russell Downing, GBR, Endura Racing, 34pts
3) Luke Rowe, GBR, Team Sky, 33pts
4) Leigh Howard, AUS, Orica GreenEDGE, 29pts
5) Mark Cavendish, GBR, Team Sky, 29pts
SKODA King of the Mountains Classification, after Stage Three
1) Kristian House, GBR, Rapha Condor, 46pts
2) Pablo Urtasun, SPA, Euskaltel - Euskadi, 41pts
3) Richard Handley, GBR, Rapha Condor, 32pts
4) Peter Williams, GBR, Node4 - Giordana Racing, 32pts
5) Russell Hampton, GBR, Team Raleigh - GAC, 28pts
Yodel Sprints Classification, after Stage Three
1) Peter Williams, GBR, Node4 - Giordana Racing, 27pts
2) Rony Martias, FRA, Saur Sojasun, 12pts
3) Kristian House, GBR, Rapha Condor, 10pts
4) Jonny Clarke, AUS, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling, 7pts
5) Matthias Krizek, AUT, Liquigas - Cannondale, 7pts
Team General Classification, after Stage Three
1) Garmin - Sharp, USA, 39:50:12
2) Team Sky, GBR, + 0.02
3) Endura Racing, GBR, same time
4) Saur Sojasun, FRA, + 0.03
5) Team UK Youth, GBR, same time