Alaphilippe takes stage three as Bevin moves into Tour…

Julian Alaphilippe sprinted to victory in stage three of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain on Tuesday.

The Frenchman got the better of Patrick Bevin (BMC Racing) and Emils Liepins (ONE Pro Cycling) to take the stage for his Quick-Step Floors team.

The adaptable 26-year-old, who won the King of the Mountains title at this year’s Tour de France, cut the gap at the top of the overall standings to two seconds.

Bevin’s second-placed finish was enough to take the leader’s green jersey ahead of Cameron Meyer (Mitchelton-SCOTT).

Alaphilippe told the official race website: “I’m happy to win, especially today as it’s my first race after a good break.

“My team did a really good job today. I’m surprised to be active in the race, especially in the final kilometres – maybe it’s because I’m fresh.”

A frantic stage started with an attempted four-man breakaway involving British pair Ben Swift and John Mould, but it never established itself at more than a minute, and was soon hauled in.

In a bunch finish, Bob Jungels set things up perfectly for his BMC team-mate Alaphilippe, who pipped Bevin and Liepins, with home favourite Ethan Hayter coming home in fourth place.

Bevin said: “It was hard all day – I’m not sure if the TV pictures did it justice, but the pace never really came off.

“It was a classic Tour of Britain day. The guys did a great job and we got it right over the final climb.

“The stage win would have been really nice, but we’re still in the hunt for the overall.”

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