Tour of Britain: Dutch rider Lars Boom takes stage win

Boom beats team-mate Matthews
Boom beat team-mate Matthews in a technically tough finish

Dutch rider Lars Boom won stage three of the Tour of Britain to take the race lead from Mark Cavendish.

The 25-year-old Rabobank rider narrowly sprinted inches ahead of Australian team-mate Michael Matthews in a pulsating finish in Stoke-on-Trent.

Team Sky's Alex Dowsett just missed out on a solo win as he was caught 2km from the end of the 87-mile (140km) stage.

Geraint Thomas came third and Cavendish fifth on a twisting, climbing finish not suited to pure sprinters.

The riders will next travel to Welshpool on Wednesday for the 114-mile (183.7km) stage to Caerphilly.

Following the cancellation of the original stage two, between Kendal and Blackpool on Tuesday due to high winds, Team Sky looked in control of the race when they split the field, before sending Dowsett away on a solo move.

But as the peloton came back together in the latter stages, Rabobank kicked into gear over the final few miles of climbing, pushing Boom and Matthews into a final sprint to the line.

Boom took a 10-second time bonus, pushing him three seconds ahead of stage one winner Cavendish in the overall standings, although the Manxman retained the points jersey.

The tour, which started in Peebles on Monday, finishes in London on Sunday.

Stage Three, Stoke-on-Trent:

1) Lars Boom (Ned, Rabobank) 3h 23m 42s

2) Michael Matthews (Aus, Rabobank) same time

3) Geraint Thomas (GB, Sky Procycling) same time

4) Steve Cummings (GB, Sky Procycling) same time

5) Mark Cavendish (GB, HTC Highroad) same time

Overall General Classification:

1) Lars Boom (Ned, Rabobank) 8h 04m 35s

2) Mark Cavendish (GB, HTC Highroad) +3 sec

3) Geraint Thomas (GB, Sky Procyling) +6 sec

4) Michael Matthews (Aus, Rabobank) +7 sec

5) Boy Van Poppel (Ned, UnitedHealthcare) +8 sec

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