The Team Jumbo – Visma Cycling rider crossed the line comfortably ahead of pre-stage favourite Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon – Circus), Davide Cimolai (Israel Cycling Academy) and team-mate Mike Teunissen following the 500-metre uphill drag.

Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) placed fifth to retain the OVO Energy green and Cetaphil points jerseys going into Tuesday’s fourth stage going into Tuesday’s fourth stage.

Cimolai’s top-three position marginally reduced Trentin’s overnight lead to seven seconds, with van der Poel and Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal) a further four seconds in arrears.

The race was briefly held at a level crossing near Widdrington, which threatened to give a six-rider breakaway comprising Harry Tanfield (Team KATUSHA ALPECIN), Rory Townsend (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes), Jacob Scott (SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling), Rob Scott (Team WIGGINS Le Col) and Belgian due Dries de Bondt (Corendon – Circus Cycling Team) and Christophe Noppe (Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise) a chance of the stage victory.

When racing resumed Mitchelton-SCOTT and Team Jumbo – Visma worked to bring them back, finally succeeding as the race hit the Newcastle Quayside with one kilometre remaining.

While there was disappointment to not see one of the four domestic riders taking the victory in front of Newcastle city centre’s big crowds, fans did help vote Tanfield the winner of the day’s Wahooligan Combativity Award, in what is the most local stage for the North Yorkshireman.

In the Eisberg sprints competition Rory Townsend reclaimed the red jersey, while built what is a commanding lead in the SKODA King of the Mountains competition, now 13 points clear of nearest challenger De Bondt.