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Zardini leads Tour of Britain

Italy's Edoardo Zardini emerged triumphant from the gruelling climb of The Tumble to claim victory in stage three of the Tour of Britain on Tuesday and the overall leader's yellow jersey.

Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo) had moved ahead of Zardini (Bardiani-CSF) as the pair battled at the front on the summit finish, but the Irishman was subsequently overtaken by his rival, who exhibited perfect timing as he broke clear to win by nine seconds.

Roche eventually came in third, 11 seconds back, with Pole Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) taking second place.

Dylan Teuns of Belgium (BMC Racing Team) was fourth, while defending champion Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) was fifth, 14 seconds back.

The Briton has now moved from 10 to 24 seconds off the top in the general classification, which sees Zardini 13 seconds clear of second-placed Kwiatkowski.

Roche, who has been linked with a move to Team Sky, is third overall, 17 seconds back.

As the riders started to approach The Tumble on the outskirts of Abergavenny, a three-man breakaway of Britons Michael Cuming (Rapha Condor) and Tom Stewart (Madison Genesis) and Italian Manuele Boaro (Tinkoff Saxo) struck out.

Boaro then went it alone, with the other two being swallowed by the peloton, but he was subsequently swept up himself as the bottom of the climb got near.

New Zealander Jack Bauer (Garmin-Sharp) instigated an early attack on the summit, but he could not sustain his momentum and it was Roche and Zardini who then put a gap between them and the rest before the latter finally crossed the line to seal the win in four hours, 35 minutes and two seconds.

There are five days of the race to go, with Wednesday's 184.6km stage taking the riders from Worcester to Bristol.

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