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Rapido Guide: Tour of Yorkshire 2017 – Stage 3 Preview

Course:

As expected, yesterday’s stage never quite became tough enough to send the sprinters and their teams out the back door and thus avoid the bunch gallop many had correctly expected. The main result of this is that the general classification shall be determined by the final day at this year’s Tour of Yorkshire, a rolling day in the saddle which serves up plenty of harsh gradients to ensure the overall race winner is a worthy champion. The decisive day is a 194.5km route from Bradford to Sheffield, encompassing eight classified climbs, creating what is likely to be an attritional day for the peloton. Akin to an Ardennes style race profile, an elite group of riders shall be formed over the final four climbs, the first beginning just 20km away from the finish line.

Tour of Yorkshire Stage 3 Preview

Contenders:

Omar Fraile has previously won the mountains classification jersey at La Vuelta, equipping him with the necessary survival skills to negotiate the final salvo of climbs which lead into Sheffield. He looked good during Liége – Bastogne – Liége and will not be afraid of animating the race during the final moments.

Serge Pauwels was our pre-race favourite for the overall win at this year’s Tour of Yorkshire, but we do now find ourselves leaning somewhat more favourably in the direction of his teammate Fraile. Regardless, the Belgian rider is a class act when it comes to climbing, and though he has been the quieter of the two Dimension Data riders, this may be an indication that Pauwels is saving everything for this final day.

Brent Bookwalter is a dangerous combination of climbing prowess and sprint speed, leading a BMC squad which has plenty of strength to support him in any attempt to win the overall classification on the final day. His ability uphill is certainly a threat to his rivals here, but whether or not he is suited to this Ardennes style finale is the big question.

Stephane Rossetto appeared in great form during Liége – Bastogne – Liége, a key protagonist during La Doyenne, he should find the latter half of the stage to his liking in Yorkshire. His best hope for victory is to attack from slightly further out than is expected, gaining an advantage on his rivals ahead of Sheffield, thus avoiding any worries about sprinting for the win.

Maurits Lammertink is not a particularly familiar name for many with an interest in professional cycling, yet the Katusha rider has enjoyed a good campaign in the Ardennes and could use Stage 3 as a springboard to overall victory.

Tao Geoghegan-Hart should be the best bet for Team Sky to secure the first stage win and overall win by a British rider at the Tour of Yorkshire since its inception in 2015. The lithe climber has twice finished third at the youth edition of Liége – Bastogne – Liége, demonstrating a talent for handling himself on a course which packs steep climbs late in the day. If the race has truly broken apart with only 30km remaining, then it is likely that he shall seek to step up and take advantage.

Other riders to watch for include Thomas VoecklerAnthony TurgisTom StewartPieter WeeningMauro Finetto and Stef Clement.

Outcome:

1st Maurits Lammertink 2nd Tao Geoghegan-Hart  3rd Stephane Rossetto

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Madison-Genesis Roster 2015

Though the world of rider transfers has been a quiet affair as of late, this has not necessarily meant teams have been struggling to recruit new talent. British team Madison Genesis are sufficiently happy with their latest acquisitions that they have already confirmed their roster for the 2015 season. Despite only being a presence on the domestic scene for two years thus far, Roger Hammond’s men have already displayed great strength and depth across the board; from town centre criteriums and one day classics (such as Lincoln Grand Prix) to Tour of Britain prominence. Such success has ensured that the services of Tobyn Horton, Tom Scully, Mike Northey, Tom Stewart and Liam Holohan have all been retained for another year. Alongside the afore mentioned riders, who are rapidly becoming fixtures under the management of Roger Hammond, are several additions of both experience and talented youth.

Mark McNally is the reigning Tour of Britain King of The Mountains after a successful year at An-Post, but will be leaving the continent (5 years based in Belgium) in order to bolster Madison Genesis’ impact upon the ToB. Alongside McNally is Northern Irishman Martyn Irvine, a versatile rider on both track and road who may find favour in the Tour Series criteriums next year. The purchase of Erick Rowsell from Team NetApp-Endura may prove to be an inspired move, as the 24 year old seems able to turn his hand to a variety of disciplines with great success. A transfer from within the domestic scene comes in the form of Matt Cronshaw; a fixture for several years now (despite being only 25) he has ridden for the various guises of Rapha, Raleigh, Sigma Sport and Giordana – no doubt offering a wealth of tactical nous because of it.

Possibly the biggest coup Hammond has achieved in the market is signing the extremely talented James Mclaughlin for 2015. The Guernsey born rider has achieved great success this year with impressive showings as a Time Trialist – most notably being the first non-WorldTour rider home (5th) at the Commonwealth Games ITT. The 19 year old Joe Evans has also made the move to Madison Genesis after progressing well from his 2013 National Time Trial title, while also displaying an aptitude on the track too.

The official Madison Genesis press release is as follows:

Madison Genesis 2015 Team Line-up

Matt Cronshaw
Matt joins the team after a strong 2014 season during which he was one of the most consistent riders throughout the year. Matt’s attacking and aggressive style of racing will make him a valuable asset for Madison Genesis in 2015.

Joe Evans
A National Junior Time Trial Champion in 2013, Joe attracted the attention of the national team for 2014 which saw him win the Isle of Man Junior Tour plus medalling in both the Team Pursuit and Madison at the European Championships. At just 19 years old Joe will be one of the youngest riders in the team.

Matt Holmes
Returning for his second year with the team, Matt more than earned his place with a very solid 2014 despite several setbacks early on, including being run over the day before his first international appearance with the team. His never-say-die attitude ensured he regained full fitness and was a reliable teammate.

Liam Holohan
Liam is returning for the third year to the Madison Genesis team. The coffee obsessed climber has had a very good 2014 season, winning a stage of the UCI categorised An Post Rás in Ireland and followed that up with a very creditable eleventh place in the National Road Race Championships.

Tobyn Horton
Despite an illness stricken 2014, fast finisher Tobyn was a consistent performer in criteriums in the UK, winning both the Canary Wharf stage of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series and the London Nocturne.

Martyn Irvine
Martyn is a hugely versatile rider, steadily building his reputation as a world class cyclist on both the track and the road. A world scratch race title in 2013 was confirmation of his quality. That quality has also translated to the road, a former multi-national criterium champion as well as high profile UCI races make him a hugely experienced member of the team.

Dom Jelfs
A member of the inaugural Madison Genesis team, Dom has been a valued member ever since. Despite an illness stricken 2014, Dom finished a very respectful sixth in the National Irish Road Race Championships. Now recovered, 2015 should see Dom back as one of the strongest riders in the UK peloton.

James Mclaughlin
James had a breakthrough year in 2014 by finishing tenth in the Commonwealth Games Individual Time Trial. That made him the highest placed non-world tour rider in that event – a testament to his ability to time trial. With a power to weight ratio equivalent to the best in the world, James is an exciting prospect when the road goes up.

Mark McNally
A former U23 European Track Champion, Mark has been forging his career on the road in Belgium for the last five years, with huge amounts of success. A versatile rider, Mark was part of a Tour Series winning team in the UK before heading off to Europe and winning the overall of La Mi-août En Bretagne. This year he also won the King of the Mountains classification at the Tour of Britain.

Mike Northey
Mike has been the corner stone of the team this past year. Equally effective in the Tour of Britain and criteriums, the versatile New Zealander’s positive outlook has seen him win at Beverly and podium in the classic Lincoln Grand Prix.

Tristan Robbins
A bright young prospect for the future, Tristan won both the National Junior Road Race and Points Race this year. Despite his tender years, he recently finished a highly commendable fourth in the Points Race at the Open National Championship Points. In 2015 it will be interesting to see how far he can go on the road.

Erick Rowsell
One of the most accomplished juniors of his generation, winning both the Junior National Time Trial and Road Race (2007 and 2008) Erick confirmed that promise by winning a stage of the Tour of Normandie as a professional. His tactical nous and experience makes Erick a great addition to the team.

Tom Scully
Tom returns for his second year with Madison Genesis after a hugely successful 2014 which saw him win the Commonwealth Games Points race. The formidable Kiwi is accomplished at winning races alone and in bunch sprints and will once again bring a huge amount of firepower to the team.

Tom Stewart
After a breakthrough 2013 season, Tom firmly established himself on both the UK and international circuit with a fantastic season with Madison Genesis. He won two rounds of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series, achieved a top ten in the National Road Race Championships and capped it off with a podium spot on stage six of the Tour of Britain after a stage long breakaway with arguably two of the biggest stars of world cycling.

Overall, Roger Hammond seems to have successfully built himself a squad which will cement the team’s place amongst the favourites of the Tour Series and Premier Calendar, but also add fuel to their achievable ambitions of being competitive at the Tour of Britain. An interesting note is the prominence of riders who are either currently riding track programmes or have previous top level success on the boards – perhaps a way of targeting those he think best suited to the obligatory criteriums his team shall face.

The most notable departures from Madison Genesis this season are hot prospect Alex Peters (joins newly formed SEG Racing), track specialist Andy Tennant (says he will be part of Bradley Wiggins’ new venture) and the fan favourite Ian Bibby (transfer unknown currently).