With Stage Two’s individual time trial still open for times through Saturday, we’re already taking a look at Sunday’s decisive third stage. It’s another hilly contest, a very English version of Stage One. Complete with a trip up both Fox and Box HIlls, it’s the first summit finish of the Winter Is Here Tour and a sneak peak at who might rule the day on the slopes of Ventoux on Stage Five.
Stage 3 takes us across the pond to the streets of London and Surrey Hills. This course provides points for 2 sprints and 2 KOMs.
We’ll stay neutral up the small climb from the river and then it’s “Fight’s On”. The first Mall sprint will be shortly after the flag drops so expect a large field rush for those intermediate points. Make sure you screenshot that – the race jury is unlikely to be as generous with investigating segment times this stage. The route then stays mostly flat on a big loop around town. Eventually, we’ll head across the Thames and onto the relentless slopes of Fox Hill. Whatever is left of the field by here will be shredded up the climb.
Riders will do well to find a group on the downhill and back through the flats. And organized group should be able to run down any stragglers from groups ahead. Around the Mall again, this time in the opposite direction tags the second sprint segment of the race.
Once back across the river and through the subway tunnel, the route turns up iconic Box Hill. While not as sharp as Fox Hill, this is still a challenging climb. Box shallows out right before the banner and then changes to a weird cut-scene as you ride through the end of the KOM. Stay on the pedals; THIS IS NOT THE FINISH!
Just beyond, there is a short but punishing unnamed hill. The blue finish banner should be at the top of that hill. (Since the algorithms for meetups seem to lack the attention to detail I would like, there’s some chance that banner will be before the top of the hill or some place over the top, at 50 mph and -9%. Believe me, it won’t be for lack of studying the course and distances on the part of the directors).
(If you keep riding down the hill and around to the start/finish arch you will earn the London Preztel badge – if you’re into that kind of thing…)
Log in early enough to handle any tech issues. The race CANNOT be late joined.
PLEASE screenshot your SPRINT times if at all possible (same for KOMs but less important)
Then send those to your captain.
Always race through the blue banner, no matter where it is (meetup finishes and results are often a little wonky and the game doesn’t always do what we expect).
See you Sunday!