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Tour of Britain - 2.1

Great Britain, August 30-September 4, 2005

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Stage 3 - September 1: Leeds - Sheffield, 160km

By Shane Stokes

Day three is a carbon copy of last year’s stage to Sheffield won by Colombian Mauricio Ardila, who went on to win the race. It’s certainly the hardest of this year’s Tour, with four tough climbs lying between the start in Leeds and the finish in the hometown of Malcolm Elliot, former points winner in the Tour of Spain.

A sprint in Otley (19.5 km) starts the ball rolling, after which the field will encounter the category two climbs of Cow and Calf (31.9 km) and Oxenhope (59.4 km). The day’s feed comes shortly before the sprint in Huddersfield (89.9 km), and from this point on things get nasty. The first category climbs of Holme Moss (106.2 km) and Snake Pass (127.4 km) fragmented the peloton twelve months ago and should have precisely the same effect this time round, with anyone planning on winning this year’s Tour needing to be close to the front. A fast descent then brings the riders to the final intermediate sprint in Millstone Edge (152.8 km), with the stage finish in Sheffield coming shortly afterwards.

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