Team Sunweb’s Chris Hamilton finishes the day in 8th place after jumping ahead of a reduced peloton in a group who were in pursuit of the day’s early breakaway.
After a hectic opening to the stage in Devon, five riders eventually managed to clip ahead of the peloton opening up a four minute advantage over the main field. Things remained quiet in the bunch for Team Sunweb until 33 kilometres to go, when a crash in the peloton brought down Edward Theuns, forcing him to abandon the race.
A short while after, attacks from the bunch saw a chase group form with Chris Hamilton there for Team Sunweb. On the day’s final categorised climb the breakaway began to splinter with just two men from the early group staying up the road. The fresh legs in the chase group were able to cut the break’s deficit down to just 10 seconds in the final kilometres, but the leading duo had enough strength to stay away to take the stage honours. Chris finished the day in the chasing group in a solid 8th place and now moves up to 6th on the GC at 12 seconds.
After his crash Edward required stitches in his knee and attention to other wounds on his body, but thankfully no further serious injuries were discovered at the hospital.
Chris said: “I’m super happy with how today went, it’s one of the best results in my career and I look forward to seeing what the rest of the week will bring for us.”
Team Sunweb coach Luke Roberts said: “It was quite a tough day here in Britain. We had some rain during the stage and some quite difficult parcours with a lot of undulating, up and down roads. Unfortunately there was a crash where we lost Edward. He seems to be ok but he’s at the hospital for checks. In the final there was a difficult climb and we wanted to put Chris in a good position there so he could ride to a good result. He managed to go away with a very strong group of favourites, coming in just behind two riders from the early breakaway. Chris has done a great ride today to stay up there on the stage and keep himself up there for a good GC.”