Sky was the limit as team quinella stage

The Weekend Post - - News - SAM ED­MUND

TEAM Sky have flexed their mus­cles at the Jayco Her­ald Sun Tour, stran­gling a blis­ter­ingly-fast Stage 3 with a dom­i­nant one-two fin­ish.

Welsh pair Owain Doull and Luke Rowe surged clear of a nine-man break­away in the last 5km of a gru­elling 161.6km mis­sion from Sale to War­ragul.

The race fin­ished more than 40 min­utes ahead of sched­ule af­ter the 84-man pelo­ton whipped along at an av­er­age speed of 46.4km/h.

Rowe let his Cardiff com­pa­triot Doull take the win on the line — his first pro­fes­sional vic­tory on the road af­ter be­ing part of Great Bri­tain’s world record pur­suit team at the 2016 Olympics.

“I’m buzzing, ac­tu­ally,” Doull said at the fin­ish.

“We ear­marked to­day’s stage as a po­ten­tial day for the break to go … and we were both pretty keen.”

Race leader Michael Woods and ti­tle ri­val Richie Porte fin­ished safely in the pelo­ton ahead of Satur­day’s de­ci­sive sum­mit fin­ish on Arthurs Seat.

But all the fire­works hap­pened up the road as seven rid­ers — Will Clarke, Nathan El­liott, Neil Van Der Ploeg, Conor Murtagh, Liam White, Luke Mudg­way and Ryan Ca­vanagh — joined the Sky pair in a lead group that fi­nally formed af­ter 45km.

It lasted an­other 100km be­fore Rowe and Doull used their nu­mer­i­cal ad­van­tage to make their move.

“The gap was com­ing down pretty quick … so we said: ‘With 5km to go we’ll start one-two’ing’,” Doull said.

“Luke went first, but didn’t quite get the gap. I went over the top, I got a gap and then Luke jumped across.”

Rowe’s last pro­fes­sional win came al­most two years ago when he won Stage 2 of the 2017 Her­ald Sun Tour. A big crash 35km into the stage took down sev­eral rid­ers, with na­tional road cham­pion Michael Freiberg and Carter Turn­bull aban­don­ing the race.

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