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"This victory is very pleasant if you just get back in competition and it gives a confidence boost also because there are a lot of strong sprinters in the peloton."

Photo: Sirotti


04.09.2016 @ 23:31 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Less than an hour after Marcel Kittel’s win in Fourmies, André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) proved that he is ready to lead Germany at the World Championships when he took a dominant win on the first stage of the Tour of Britain. After a splendid lead-out from Lotto Soudal, he easily beat Caleb Ewan (Orica-BikeExchange) and Ramon Sinkeldam (Giant-Alpecin) to take his first win since the Tour de France and move into the overall lead.


André Greipel: It’s a confidence boost to beat all those strong sprinters

André Greipel finished off the teamwork and won the sprint in Castle Douglas ahead of Ewan and Sinkeldam. The German champion is also the first leader of the general classification. Jens Debusschere finished tenth in the sprint.


André Greipel said:


"It's always nice to start of with a victory. We're setting goals to win a stage and we've reached that on the first day. We can be happy.


“Really nice to start off with a victory in the Tour of Britain – we reached our goal in the first day and everything else is on top. We reached the yellow jersey together – I’m very proud of the guys today.


“Based on the profile, today’s stage was the easiest one of the week. There were five riders in the breakaway, but they weren’t a threat. Our trainee James Shaw did a lot of work together with the riders of Lotto NL Jumbo, Dimension Data and Team Sky. As we’re here with teams of only six riders, it’s difficult to control the race.


”For us it was important to be in the front of the peloton in the finale. We managed to set up a perfect lead-out: Gallopin and De Buyst prepared us for the sprint while Sieberg and Debusschere gave everything they had in the last kilometre. With five hundred metres to go there was a sharp curve and we had to be in front by then. What followed was a slightly uphill finish. Everyone did a perfect job which is very important when you race with small teams.


"It's not always easy to make a leadout with six guys. We had to chase down the break and we did a good job to keep me up there in the last corner. I had a really good leadout until the final 150 metres with Marcel Sieberg and Jens Debusschere in front of me. Of course I'm happy to finish it off.


“Before the Tour of Britain I had a very long training period so I had to wait and see how I was doing. This victory is very pleasant if you just get back in competition and it gives a confidence boost also because there are a lot of strong sprinters in the peloton.


"I had a bit of a break after the Tour and from there I tried to stay focused and worked hard. Now I start in the race mode again and I'm happy to win here on my first day. I think this race is in a good spot in the calendar and I chose this race because it helps towards my upcoming goals. I just try my best.


“There are several hard stages to come and I don’t know if and when we’ll be able to sprint again. We’re only with six riders so it’s hard to control the race and because the route is never flat tomorrow it will be even more difficult. With thirty kilometres to go we still have a hard climb to cover with four hundred elevation metres and after that there is the hilly finish. We’ll have to see how the race evolves because it’s a course that should suit Gallopin really well too.


"It's going to be quite tough but with Gallopin we have a rider to support there for a day like that and we're going to try."


Orica-BikeExchange: This is a good sign of Ewan’s form

Cyclassics Hamburg winner Caleb Ewan produced a powerful sprint today to finish onto the podium in the opening stage of the Tour of Britain.


The 22-year-old battled for the victory after positioning himself well in the final kilometres thanks to the work of his Orica-BIkeExchange teammates.


After a tight left hand corner in the final 500metres, Ewan opened up his sprint, powering into a respectable second place with Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) claiming the stage victory.


Ewan's impressive result on day one from a star studded field of sprinters gives the team and sport director Matt Wilson confidence in his form and potential for stages the to come.


“We are very happy with the result today,” explained Wilson. “It’s very much a who’s who of bunch sprinters here at this race so it is a great result to kick things off. The guys did a good lead out today so to come away with second place is a good sign of Ewan’s form.”


The 161kilometre opening stage finished with a bunch sprint as predicted and with more potential sprint finishes to come the team is very much aiming to move up one step on the podium.


“There are five or six stages that could be potential bunch sprint finishes,” continued Wilson. “So it is looking good for us and it would be great to come away with a stage win here at this race.”


Ramon Sinkeldam grabs rare opportunity with podium place in British opener.

Ramon Sinkeldam was the first for Team Giant-Alpecin in 3rd place as Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) won the sprint and will be the first leader in Britain.


Ramon Sinkeldam said: “I was not perfectly placed with 1km to go, so I decided to gain some spots just before the last corner. I managed then to get in the wheel of Greipel and Ewan and I sprinted in their wheel to the finish.”


Coach Marc Reef added: “Five riders managed to be in the break but the gap was always under control by the sprint teams throughout the whole stage. In the finale, the sprint preparation didn’t go the way we planned it but Ramon managed to be in the top five positions before the final corner with 500 meters to go. In the end, Ramon took a good 3rd place.”


Maximilano Richeze shows good form in comeback race in Britain

Etixx – Quick-Step was represented in the sprint by Maximiliano Richeze, who made his return to racing after a well-deserved break he took following the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The 33-year-old Argentinean, one of the 17 riders of the team to get a victory this season, came fourth in Castle Douglas, a promising result for the next stages, in which Max will be sure to get involved again, if everything will go to plan.

Peter Williams off to perfect start in attempt to defend British mountains jersey

Almost immediately the first attack of the day went away. ONE’s Pete Williams was straight into action, jumping into the group of two riders before quickly being joined by two others to form a leading group of five.


The Great Britain National team chased for a couple of kilometres before sitting up along with the rest of the peloton. This allowed the breakaway to establish a lead of 4 minutes over the peloton.


Arriving just 4km into the stage, the first Sprint point by the river front in Glasgow saw Williams begin to defend his Yodel Direct Sprints Jersey, sprinting home in 2nd position behind the An Post Chain Reaction rider. This was followed 38km later by sprint point number 2 in Kilmarnock, where once again Pete Williams crossed the line in 2nd position.


Back in the peloton the rest of the team were sitting in the wheels and concentrating on guiding Australian sprinter Steele Von Hoff to the finish later on in the stage.


The first Skoda King of the Mountain’s point on this year’s Tour of Britain came after 77km of racing. The 3rd category climb on the outside of Skares stood at 3km in length. As the five breakaway riders were still holding an advantage of 2 minutes over the peloton the battle commenced. Jumping early was Tom Moses, a training partner of Pete Williams riding for the JLT Condor team, who sprung clear to take the maximum points with Williams crossing the line 2nd.


Williams didn’t have to wait long before he got another bite of the cherry on the 1.5km long climb out of Kerse, where Williams took maximum points whilst Moses could only manage 4th.


As the breakaway continued to work well together they passed the 3rd and final sprint point in the town of Dalmellington where Williams just sat in 2nd place and focused on the up coming KOM climb rather than racing for maximum points.


Once on the long exposed 2nd category climb on the outskirts of Dalmellington and still holding a lead of 1 minute 30 seconds the maximum points were sure to come from the breakaway. Once again Moses went early on the climb, whilst the other four riders sat and looked at each he opened up a small advantage. Quickly Williams jumped clear springing across to Moses.


The pair worked well together on the 5km long climb until 600metres to go when once again Moses jumped clear. Williams once again closed the gap before jumping forward in his own attack to cross the line first to claim maximum points on the climb and take the Skoda KOM leaders jersey into stage 2.


Following the final KOM and with 50km still to race the breaks days were number. With a lot of representation from different teams on the front of the peloton they had the break well within their sights. Finally reeling the five escapees back with 20km remaining.


Road Captain Kristian House organised the team behind and had them in order up towards the front of the peloton staying out of trouble and looking to guide sprinter Steele Von Hoff to the finish. Each rider making sure they were offering protection to Von Hoff.


As the pace in the peloton went up the battle to stay at the front intensified and rounding the final bend with 500metres to go there was a large crash taking a number of riders to the floor.  Narrowly avoiding the ‘get down’, Von Hoff opened up his trademark sprint to claim 7th position over the line.


Going into stage 2 Pete Williams holds the Skoda King of the Mountains jersey and sits in 4th place (and highest ranked British rider) on the General Classification thanks to the time bonuses he picked up during the stage at each of the Yodel Direct Sprint points.


An Post talent sits second overall at Tour of Britain

For An Post, Jasper Bovenhuis is in the Yodel Direct sprints jersey and second on GC just one second of the lead.


 It was a day when the team hit the road with a plan. Attacking from the gun Jasper Bovenhuis and Emiel Wastyn created a gap of 10-15 seconds. They rode flat out and were joined by three other riders and within 14 kilometers had pulled out a gap of nearly four minutes.


Bovenhuis took the first sprint. After that the break held the gap steady even with the big teams putting riders on the front but controlling rather than chasing the leaders down. Bovenhuis took the next sprint with a great lead out from Wastyn, giving him a good lead in the sprints classification halfway through the stage. The guys worked hard to try and get Wastyn into contention for the KOM jersey but it was just a bit too much although he did take 3rd place on all three in the stage.


With a fantastic lead out from Wastyn, Bovenhuis took the third sprint and was assured of the Yodel Direct jersey at the day of the stage. When the gap was dropping, Wastyn put in several solo attacks with the hope of gaining the most combative award on the day but sadly to no avail. In the end the break was caught with just under 10 kilometers to go and it was going to be a bunch sprint.  A crash on the final bend took out several of the sprinters but Nicolas Vereecken raced home to a great 12th place and 16th overall at +10 seconds.


Bovenhuis was awarded the Yodel Direct sprints jersey and sits just one second behind the leader on the GC in 2nd place, a fantastic day for our rider from the Netherlands.


Having the two riders in the break was a great tactic. All the An Post Chain Reaction riders were in the first bunch across the line with the same time as the leader and with Bovenhuis ending up 32nd and Wastyn 50th after all their hard work on the day.


Jasper Bovenhuis said:


“Today we attacked from the gun and immediately had a gap of over 10 seconds. We rode flat out to the first sprint which I took from the front. On the other sprints it was Emiel who got the pace up and lead me out to cross the line first. We tried to get the KOM for Emiel but the other riders made it too difficult. In the end Emiel tried his luck solo to get most aggressive rider but that somehow did not work as planned. Overall it was a great day but this is a long and tough tour so we will see how things go”


DS Kurt Bogaerts added:


“I could not have asked for a better start to the tour. Jasper and Emiel rode like champions today and were rewarded with the jersey for Bovenhuis. It would have been nice for Emiel to get most combative after all his attacks but that was not to be. It was also great to see all our riders in the first group across the line. Let us see what happens over the next few days”


Caja Rural takes lead in teams classification at Tour of Britain

In Tour of Britain, Domingos Gonçalves finished 13th in the expected bunch sprint in the opening stage. Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) took the win and the leader’s jersey, while Caja Rural - Seguros RGA is leading the team classification after putting three riders in top20 on the stage.
On Monday, the British race continues with a lumpy stage from Carlisle to Kendal. The Caja Rural - Seguros RGA riders are ready to show off the team colors and get in the mix once again.


BMC: Tomorrow’s stage at the Tour of Britain will be epic

Stage 1 of the Tour of Britain came down to a predicted bunch sprint in which Rick Zabel was BMC Racing Team’s best-placed rider in 16th place, behind stage winner Andre Greipel. All six BMC Racing Team riders finished in the bunch.


Sports director Jackson Stewart said:


“It was a pretty straightforward stage for us, which is always the case when you have a breakaway go away and a predicted bunch sprint. Both Rohan Dennis and Rick Zabel had mechanical problems in the final 20km but they were able to get back to the bunch without any problems. We had Rick up there for the sprint and our objective was to keep Rohan out of trouble. There was a crash in the final kilometer and there are a lot of big sprinters here fighting for that last turn, so it’s never an easy finish. Tomorrow could be a really epic day I think. It’s really up and down and long, and I think a strong breakaway could go or a good day for the GC guys.”


Madison Genesis save energy on first day in Britain

With aspirations of the general classification and tomorrow’s brutal stage through the Lake District at the forefront of their minds, Madison Genesis took a conservative approach to the opening day of the 2016 Tour of Britain. Following the stage, Erick Rowsell confirmed the team tactic was to stay out of the breakaway.


“We think tomorrow will be a tough one, so we are trying to save our legs for that. Today was a case of staying in the wheels, saving as much energy as possible and staying safe in the finish and we did that."


A wheel change for Matt Cronshaw within the confines of Glasgow was far from an ideal start to the Tour – but he would quickly return to the peloton. In the Alex Blain was the highest finisher for Madison Genesis in 17th.


Movistar escape late crash at the Tour of Britain

Movistar Team started the second competitive engagement with the first stage of the Tour of Britain, 161km between Glasgow and Castle Douglas. None of the blue were affected by the crash one kilometer from the finish, an incident that nearly affected both Alex Dowsett and, above all, Juanjo Lobato who was unable to contest the sprint. Gorka Izaguirre finished 23rd.


On Monday the riders face 188 km between Carlisle and Kendal with many hills in the region of Dumbria and a very demanding finish (500m with slopes of 11%).


Elia Viviani crashes on first day in Britain

Elia Viviani and Danny van Poppel were caught up in final corner crash as the Tour of Britain kicked off in Scotland.

The Team Sky pair were battling it out through a tight and technical final kilometre in Castle Douglas, but were unable to contest the bunch kick as a number of top sprinters, including Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), came to grief.


Both Viviani and Van Poppel were able to eventually cross the line and ride back to the bus before warming down.


Team Sky worked on the front during the 161.5-kilometre opener with Nicolas Roche and Ian Stannard, who was also bloodied on the knee after an early crash departing Glasgow.


Team Sky began to group towards the front in the closing stages, and despite multiple late attacks from Emiel Wastyn (An Post-Sean Kelly), the race was back together with 9km to go.


Stannard, Roche, and Ben Swift pushed the pace into the final kilometre, but chances of a good result came to an abrupt halt on the final corner.


Mark Cavendish ‘all right’ after crash in Tour of Britain opener

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s stage win and Yellow jersey hopes came to an abrupt end when Mark Cavendish got involved in a late crash.


The African team was seen near the front of the pack nearly all day, trying to deliver Cavendish to the stage win. Unfortunately, the Manxman got involved in a crash in the final corner, that also saw Elia Viviani (Sky) taking a fall. While this crash meant that others would take the stage win glory today, Cavendish was able to get up again shortly to finish the stage.


"I don't know, Elia just… next thing Elia was underneath me and I think he lost his front wheel," Cavendish told Cyclingnews. “I'm all right. I've hurt my arm a bit but nothing is broken.


"I was all right actually, I was OK."


Sports director Roger Hammond said:


“It was one of those days, I guess. There was an early break but we were able to keep the gap under control. Other teams joined in in the chase, as it was always going to be a bunch sprint finish. We were positioned well in the run-in. Unfortunately, Mark crashed inside the last few hundred meters. There are more chances to come.”


Dylan Groenewegen goes down on first day in Britain

Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider Dylan Groenewegen crashed in the Tour of Britain’s stage today while going through the last corner and missed his chance to win in Castle Douglas. German André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) won the 166-kilometre stage and took the lead in the general classification


"I have some pain in my ribs and abrasions," said Groenewegen. "Crashing in the final corner is also part of sprinting. As a team, we rode well today. We were briefly trapped in the final, but we came out of it well. In the last corner, I was sitting in Mark Cavendish’s wheel. Wouter Wippert slipped in the bend and took out Cavendish. I fell too."


In the streets of Castle Douglas, LottoNL-Jumbo took the lead. Everything went perfectly until the final corner at 200 metres out.


"It was perfect,” said Sports Director Merijn Zeeman. "We played our cards for Dylan Groenewegen because it was a stage for the sprinters. We took responsibility in the final kilometres, but in the last corner, everything went wrong.”


The race continues tomorrow with a 188-kilometre hilly stage from Carlisle to Kendal.


"Fortunately, there are some other days when I will have a chance to win again,” added Groenewegen. “ Today, I saw a good Paul Martens and Bertjan Lindeman, so we will fight on Monday for the break and a good result with them because I expect that tomorrow will be too difficult for me.”



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