Tour of Beijing Stage 3: OPQS Controls Race, Protects Leader's Jersey
Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team put all riders at the front in the 162.5km Tour of Beijing Stage 3, as Tony Martin's GC lead on many riders was within 50", and they knew Stage 3 — which included a finish on the Badaling Great Wall — would feature relentless attacks from the peloton throughout the race.
The break of the day formed at the 35km mark, and several riders were within striking distance of the GC lead. The gap was more than 3 minutes at one point, but OPQS was full gas at the front to pull them back.
With 10km to go, only Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEDGE) remained, and he was soon also caught. Counter attacks quickly followed, and it looked like the attack of Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky ProCycling) within the final 3km might stick. Dario Cataldo was the only OPQS rider with the legs left to protect Tony Martin at that point after a long day of controlling moves.
Tony Martin took over chasing duties inside the final km, and the peloton managed to catch Boasson Hagen just a few meters before the line. Francesco Gavazzi (Astana Pro Team) took the win, with Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) placing 3rd
The complete team effort by OPQS kept Tony Martin in the GC lead over Gavazzi by 40", and Dan Martin by 50 seconds.
OPQS looks next to 165.5km Stage 4, with three Cateogory 3 climbs, followed by plenty of descending before a flat finish.