Yesterday's third stage of the Kellogg's Tour of Britain covered 123 miles, and for 103 of those the Norwegian showed the spirit that defied his doctor when he wrote off Lauritzen's sporting hopes after he had smashed his leg parachuting.
After finishing 47 seconds clear of the pack in the ride from Newport, Lauritzen told how he took to a bike to strengthen his damaged limb. 'The doctor said that I would not be fit enough for sport, but I wanted to show him that he was wrong.' Lauritzen said. By 1984, he was good enough to win a bronze medal in the Olympic road race and so a professional career was launched.
The day began for Lauritzen, the Frenchman, Thierry Claveyrolat, and the Belgian, Peter Farazyn, when they turned into Rosemary Lane, a deceptively named thoroughfare which became a narrow, rough climb to Beacon Ash. As one breakaway by three riders died so another was born, with Lauritzen and company borne away with the aid of a tail wind.
It was eventually to produce an average speed of 27mph and bring the race into Coventry 40 minutes ahead of schedule, but before that finale the three leaders had built an advantage of 5min 26sec at the foot of Cleeve Hill in the Cotswolds.
That was enough for the Australian, Phil Anderson, nervously protecting a lead of four seconds over Italy's Wladimir Belli, and the hunt was on. After 98 miles, the lead was under a minute and Lauritzen's partners lost heart.
'I knew I had a better chance to win if I was alone because then a rider can give 100 per cent,' Lauritzen said. 'The others seemed to give up when they heard that we were being caught, so I attacked.'
With two days racing to come, Anderson is in a similar situation to when he won the race two years ago. Then he held a one second lead from start to finish. This time he has four to spare.
KELLOGG'S TOUR OF BRITAIN Third Stage (123 miles, Newport-Coventry: 1 D Lauritzen (Nor) TVM 4hr 29min 57sec; 2 J Svorada (Cz Rep) Lampre + 47sec; 3 E Schurer (Neth) TVM; 4 C Zamana (Pol) Subaru; 5 C Lillywhite (GB) Banana; 6 F Andreu (US) Motorola; 7 K Reynolds (GB) Banana; 8 W Belli (It) Lampre; 9 A Kappes (Ger) Mecair; 10 H Redant (Bel) Collstrop same time. GB: 19 J Tanner (Neilson- Tivoli) +47; 29 S Yates (Motorola); 44 A Doyle (Neilson-Tivoli); 52 H Lodge (Collstrop) s/t; 63 B Luckwell (GB Professionals) +20:10; 64 B Smith (Banana); 65 W Randle (Neilson-Tivoli) s/t; 67 S Way (GB Professionals) +30:32; 68 B Burns (GB Professionals); 69 S Douce (Banana); 70 N Perry (GB Professionals); 71 M Walsham (Banana) s/t; 72 C Young (GB Professionals) +49:27; 73 T Harris (GB Professionals) s/t. Overall: 1 P Anderson (Aus) Motorola 14:01:53; 2 Belli +4; 3 B Namtvedt (Nor) Subaru +8; 4 H Imboden (Swit) Mecair +20; 5 F Lemarchand (Fr) Gan +23; 6 Schurer +28; 7 Andreu +32; 8 P Haghedooren (Bel) Collstrop s/t; 9 H Frison (Bel) Lotto +1:18; 10 Kappes +3:11. GB: 17 Tanner +10:20; 19 Yates +10:21; 29 Lillywhite +12:59; 37 Lodge +14:07; 44 Doyle +16:53; 49 Reynolds +23:21; 61 Smith +42:44; 63 Luckwell +44:46; 65 Randle s/t; 67 Walsham +53:25; 68 Way +55:08; 69 Burns; 70 Perry s/t; 71 Douce +55:28; 72 Young +1:07:16; 73 Harris +1:18:02. Stage team: 1 TVM 13:31:25; 2 Collstrop 13:32:12; 3 La William s/t. Overall team: 1 Motorola 42:16:32; 2 Lampre 42:20:45; 3 Mecair 42:22:18. Mountains: 1 Berzin 46pts; 2 Belli 39; 3 Anderson 36. Sprints: 1 Lillywhite 17; 2 Lauritzen 15; 3 E Berzin (Rus) Mecair 10. Points: 1 Belli 32; 2 Anderson 28; 3 Schurer 27.
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