Short and promising, that’s the 3rd stage of the Tour of Britain in a nutshell. The race basically starts on descent and following a flat section the route climbs Cuck Hill and Cheddar Gorge in quick succession. The route continues as a false flat to the highest point of the day before the route takes a more gentle, slightly undulating character. Yet, the finale is not gentle at all.
Ashton Hill is the last KOM of the day. The 1,4 kilometre climb goes uphill at an average slope of 6.4%, while the hill is crested with only 7.4 kilometres remaining. The route drops to the base of the steep ramps towards the Clifton Down. The route climbs for 800 metres at 8.8% before the last 2.1 kilometres are a false flat.
Positioning is crucial at the bottom of the short, stiff climb to the Downs. You have to be in the first row when you hit the contorted 180 degrees left-hander underneath the Clifton suspension bridge, where the haul up begins. In 2014, Michal Kwiatkowski won the sprint of a shattered first group on this arrival, Rohan Dennis soloed to victory after a late attack in 2016.
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the intermediate sprints (at kilometre 17, at kilometre 69, and at kilometre 104) come with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Tour of Britain 2018 stage 3: Route map, height profiles, and more
Click on the images to zoom.