Having been one of the animators of the race in 2012, where he took the overall King of the Mountains title, it was almost a case of business as usual for House, as he took off early in the stage in the company of four other riders, remaining out front until the final climb of the day.
“I wanted to be in the move today, and I could tell as soon as we started that Sky were going to try to shut it down pretty early. I’d looked at the route the day before and didn’t think a move would go in the first 30km, but I just kept trying and we ended up getting clear pretty quickly.”
“I kind of stuffed up the first KOM sprint, by going early and then waiting too long to make my second jump. The second one was better, because it was harder and I got that right.”
In spite of the break collaborating well throughout the stage, with both Team Sky and Omega Pharma – Quick Step keen to keep the race together the five riders were reeled in on the final climb. Despite being rejoined by the bunch House still had the strength to counter attack and take second on the final climb of the day.
“We were caught on the last climb and one guy went straight past us, but then it sort of slowed again so I attacked for the points. It hurt like hell to do it but I managed second which put me in the jersey.”
While House was pleased to score well in the competition he remains realistic about the size of the difficulty of aiming to win the overall competition again.
“I won it last year and I know how hard it is to win this classification overall. But by the same token I’ve done it once, so why not try and do it again!”
Tomorrow’s stage takes the riders 187km from Carlisle to Best Banks.