Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia-HTC) outsprinted Michele Merlo (Barloworld) and former race leader Chris Sutton (Garmin-Slipstream) to win the 154km stage 3 of the 2009 Tour of Britain between Peebles and Gretna Green Monday.
Dutchman Kai Reus holds the overall race lead, as Boasson Hagen moves up to second.
Australia's Darren Lapthorne part of a four-man breakaway that dominated the 153km Scottish borders stage, but was caught with 15km from the finish.
Agritubel's Emilien Berges then went into time trial during a solo bid for glory as the race swept into Gretna Green.
But Rabobank, protecting the yellow jersey of race leader Reus, hunted him down and Colombia's Hagen took advantage with a blistering finish.
"It's good to get into the race," said Lapthorne. "I haven't been feeling well for the last couple of days but it felt really good out there, it's just a shame we couldn't hang on."
Australia's Sutton, the winner of the first stage, was third in the bunch finish and remains third in the general classification, 12 seconds behind Dutchman Reus.
Rabobank's former double Olympic track champion Graeme Brown played his part in protecting Reus's lead. But he believes Sutton could still be the one to beat, as the eight-stage race continues its progress towards London this Saturday.
"He's in great form and is doing well but there is a lot more to come from me and hopefully I can show what I'm made of," he said. "It's all about the team and hanging on to that yellow jersey for as long as we can so if I can help them do that then I'm doing my job."
It was Hagen's fourth career win at the Tour of Britain - following a haul of three stages and the sprints title victory 12 months ago.
The 22-year old Norwegian, ranked third in the world by the UCI, now sits second in the general classification, 11 seconds behind Reus.
© 2009 AFP & BikeRadar
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