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"I'm disappointed because it is better to win without this. He is a big champion and I've never seen him do this before. But we won in London and that is the main thing."

Photo: Sirotti

ELIA VIVIANI

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TOUR OF BRITAIN

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13.09.2015 @ 20:39 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Elia Viviani battled to a final stage victory at the Tour of Britain as Wout Poels wrapped up second place overall in London.

 

14 laps around the streets of the British capital saw a spectacular finish to the stage race and once again it came down to a sprint battle.

 

Viviani kicked early and had an impressive run on the left-hand side of the road on the narrow finishing straight. Yet the Italian was forced towards the barriers as Andre Griepel (Lotto Soudal) veered across the road, blocking has path and causing Viviani to check up, crossing the line second.

 

The race judges reviewed the finish and overturned the initial result, handing the win to Viviani, with Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) taking second and Matteo Trentin (Etixx - Quick-Step) third. Team Sky had helped to control the stage, keeping the gap manageable to the day's eight-man break before setting up the final sprint.

 

Poels was part of the final lead-out and held on to an impressive second place overall, eventually coming home 13 seconds back on Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka).

 

The final stage wrapped up a successful race for the team which yielded four stage wins - three for Viviani and one for Poels. The Dutchman also took team Sky's fifth overall podium finish in six years at their home tour.

 

After the stage the Sky website caught up with Viviani who talked them through the sprint and also looked ahead to a tilt at the world championship road race.

 

He told TeamSky.com: "Today we were at the front and we worked a lot with Pete (Kennaugh) and Ian (Stannard) to keep the group together to do a sprint stage in London. After yesterday I saw I had good speed in the legs after a really hard week, so we thought we could win today. The guys did amazing work and have done all week for Wout and myself. We had a really strong team for this race.

 

"(Ben) Swifty and Andy (Fenn) put me in a perfect position for the last corner. We saw the road go up and I knew we couldn't start the sprint too early. When I saw Greipel go I went directly on his left-hand side. He came across a little bit, a little bit and that edged me towards the barriers. I'm disappointed because it is better to win without this. He is a big champion and I've never seen him do this before. But we won in London and that is the main thing.

 

For Viviani attention now turns to the world championships in Richmond and the Italian will make the trip over to the States full of confidence.

 

"This week has been really good with lots of stages over 200 kilometres," he added. "It has given me a very good base for the worlds and I am really confident. I think the Tour of Britain is the perfect roads for the worlds this year."

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