A heavy downpour in the neutral section made the early stages of the race frantic and very stressful for the riders. It took nearly 30 KM until the peloton was happy with a composition of riders and the early break was formed. Zeb had a minor crash but as Team Innos shut the race down behind the breakaway he quickly rejoined the peloton.
Signing on in the sun. The day quickly changed.
The group of six quickly established a lead of over a minute as they contended with a winding run through Yorkshire villages and almost constant downpours. Dan contested the race’s intermediate competitions placing 3rd in the first sprint, but it was over the days only KOM the Cote de Bagby Hill that the breakaway was whittled down. Dan was 2nd over the summit but the break was reduced to 4.
Over the next 50 KM the quartet worked brilliantly, working in a team time trial formation, Dan regularly traded long turns with his companions, easily recognisable by his superb aero position.
As the race moved into the final stages the quartet still held a gap of 20 seconds with 2KM to go, a tailwind really benefiting the riders in the break and the continued to cooperate until the final 600m where the riders opened up a their sprints, forced to by the peloton bearing down on them. Despite being swamped on the line Dan held on for a position just outside the top 10 and with it took the Dimension Data jersey for the race’s most combative.
We caught up with Dan after to get his thoughts: “The team had a plan today, and we executed it perfectly. We knew there was the chance to get in the move and when it went the group seemed ideal. With the weather, it was a long, hard day and I’m pretty sure that showed to anyone watching at the end! We’re looking forward to the challenge of the next 3 days.”