The Tour of Britain: Final Weekend goes Boom
Lars Boom wins the 2011 Tour of Britain, while the Cavendish/Renshaw double act perform one last time to take final stage win
The final weekend of the Tour of Britain started with Lithuanian Gediminas Bagdonas (AN Post - Sean Kelly) taking the Tour's longest stage Bury St Edmunds to Sandringham, 199.7km ahead of Britain's Ian "Superman" Wilkinson (Endura Racing). Lars Boom (Rabobank) had a strong showing from his team to thank for ensuring that he would have the honour of wearing the IG Markets gold leaders jersey on the streets of London come the last act on Sunday.
The stage was set then for a unique Tour of Britain double header to settle the final account, with two stages in one. The first, stage 8A, an individual timetrial in the morning, followed by Stage 8B, a circuit race in the afternoon, both taking place on a prestigious route along the banks of the Thames between Wstminster and the City of London.
Stage 8A: TfL London Stage Individual Time Trial
Alex Dowsett of Sky held off a very powerful ride by Lars Boom to win the ITT by a full five seconds. Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil) matched Boom's time while Steve Cummings, Boom's cloest rival on GC, lost four more seconds to arrive in fourth.
1 Alex Dowsett (GB, Sky Procycling) 10:14:73
2 Lars Boom (Ned, Rabobank) @ 0:05
3 Lieuwe Westra (Ned, Vacansoleil DCM) same time
4 Steve Cummings (GB, Sky Procycling) @ 0:09
5 Geraint Thomas (GB, Sky Procycling) @ 0:16
6 Alex Wetterall (Swe, Endura Racing) @ 0:19
7 Michael Rogers (Aus, Sky Procycling) same time
8 Thor Hushovd (Nor, Garmin Cervelo) @ 0:23
9 Damien Guadin (Fra, Europcar) @ 0:25
10 Joost Posthuma (Ned, Leopard Trek) @ 0:26
Stage 8B: Circuit 88km (10 laps), Whitehall, London
Mark Cavendish and Mark Renshaw teamed up for what could be one of their last shows to give Cavendish the chance to bring down the curtain on the 2011 Tour of Britain. The crowds along the route weren't to be subjected to parade to the line though. A nine-lap break by Ronan McLoughlan and Kristian House forced the big teams to fight hard to ensure that it didn't go horribly wrong for them.
McLoughlan was the first to go early in the first lap, with House taking no time to decide this was the break of the day. House may not have a stage win to his credit, but he has marked himself out as one of the the most aggressive riders in the Tour. Together the two men built up a 30 second lead.
Two men wasn't enough in the end though to hold of the power of Sky, HTC and Rabobank, even with the gods finally deciding to let loose the heavens after what had been a fine day. House and Mcloughlan abandoned their cooperation in the third lap which may well have cost one of them the stage win. Mcloughlan succumbed first, while House battled on alone. At the bell his lead was an optimistic 17 seconds but Rabobank snuffed it out with bewildering speed. Their motivation was to lock out any threat to Boom, which left Cavendish and Renshaw to claim the stage.
Lars Boom finished comfortably in the main pack to secure the IG Markets Gold Jersey. Geraint Thomas took the points competition, with Jonathan Tiernan Locke winning the mountains jersey with a sixth place overall.
Speaking afterwards Boom said, “It was awesome. London is a very nice city. It’s a lovely country, I didn’t expect that. The public was awesome, a lot of cheering so it was a great week for us. My most memorable moment was the first stage, the circuit, the small roads, the rain – it was awesome. I wanted to win this morning, I felt confident on the halfway so I lost a little bit. Our team was very good this week, I was confident with them behind me so there was no problem. It’s different riding with six guys in the team. You see that HTC – Highroad are a bit less strong than normally maybe. We had a really good team with the guys who were here and I was feeling confident everyday.”
Jonathan Tierman Locke, Rapha Condor Sharp, Winner of the Skoda King of the Mountains Jersey, “I moved up two spots today (in general classification) so I am pretty happy with that. A bit disappointed I didn’t pick off another guy to get fifth place but if you’d said at the start of the week I’d sign for sixth place and Skoda King of the Mountains then I would definitely be happy with that. All the team have been scoring and helped keep me up there and out of trouble. Today when I punctured they brought me back from there so I owe a lot of it to them. My most memorable moment was my home stage for sure. Riding up Haytor Rocks with all the crowds was brilliant. People cheering my name, I’ve never had anything like that before.”
Mark Cavendish next race is Wolrd Cahmpionship Road race, “I didn’t want to take too many risks today with the Worlds coming up. It was a wet finish and I saw (Ben) Swift lose his wheel on the second last corner so I backed off on the last corner and ended up 20 metres behind coming out of it. I thought it was too far back to get it but I went for it anyway and I came through on the line.It’s been really good to come away with three stage wins this week, can’t get much better. Not only that we go three first and second placings which is superb. It’s been perfect preparation for me for next week. The Vuelta looked too hard with too many crashes. I was able to control my training and I won two stages which was good.”
Stage 8b Result
1 Mark Cavendish HTC Highroad 1h 59' 13''
2 Mark Renshaw HTC Highroad st
3 Robert Förster UnitedHealthcare st
4 Geraint Thomas Sky ProCycling st
5 Ben Swift Sky ProCycling st
6 Giacomo Nizzolo** Leopard Trek st
7 Tobyn Horton Motorpoint st
8 Andrew Fenn** An Post - Sean Kelly st
9 Dan Craven Rapha Condor - Sharp st
10 Stijn Neirynck Topsport Vlaanderen st
11 Cesare Benedetti Team NetApp st
12 Michael Matthews** Rabobank st
13 Jonathan McEvoy** Motorpoint st
14 Iker Camano Endura Racing st
15 Linus Gerdemann Leopard Trek at 0' 5''
16 Roger Hammond Team Garmin - Cervelo st
17 Boy Van Poppel UnitedHealthcare st
18 Marcin Bialoblocki Motorpoint st
19 Daniel Lloyd Team Garmin - Cervelo st
20 Jelle Wallays** Topsport Vlaanderen st
Final General Classification
1 Lars Boom Rabobank 2h 57' 35''
2 Stephen Cummings Sky ProCycling at 0' 36''
3 Jan Barta Team NetApp at 0' 55''
4 Linus Gerdemann Leopard Trek at 0' 57''
5 Jonathan Tiernan Locke Rapha Condor - Sharp at 1' 3''
6 Iker Camano Endura Racing at 1' 7''
7 Jelle Wallays** Topsport Vlaanderen at 1' 12''
8 Joost Posthuma Leopard Trek at 1' 13''
9 Leopold Koenig Team NetApp at 1' 19''
10 Daniel Lloyd Team Garmin - Cervelo at 1' 25''
11 Michael Rogers Sky ProCycling at 1' 30''
12 Geraint Thomas Sky ProCycling at 1' 55''
13 Mark Cavendish HTC Highroad at 2' 23''
14 Boy Van Poppel UnitedHealthcare at 2' 52''
15 Andrew Fenn** An Post - Sean Kelly at 2' 53''
16 Dominic Klemme Leopard Trek at 3' 2''
17 Jan-Bert Lindeman** Vacansoleil - DCM at 3' 10''
18 Dan Craven Rapha Condor - Sharp at 3' 18''
19 Bram Tankink Rabobank at 3' 39''
20 Rory Sutherland UnitedHealthcare at 3' 52''
1 Geraint Thomas Sky ProCycling 70
2 Mark Cavendish HTC Highroad 67
3 Lars Boom Rabobank 66
4 Mark Renshaw HTC Highroad 43
5 Robert Förster UnitedHealthcare 39
6 Stijn Neirynck Topsport Vlaanderen 36
7 Stephen Cummings Sky ProCycling 35
8 Andrew Fenn** An Post - Sean Kelly 33
9 Leopold Koenig Team NetApp 25
10 Jan Barta Team NetApp 24
1 Pieter Ghyllebert An Post - Sean Kelly 36
2 Gediminas Bagdonas An Post - Sean Kelly 20
3 Ronan McLaughlin An Post - Sean Kelly 15
4 Kristian House Rapha Condor - Sharp 15
5 Russell Hampton Sigma Sport-Specialized 13
6 Mark McNally** An Post - Sean Kelly 11
7 Lars Boom Rabobank 11
8 Andrew Fenn** An Post - Sean Kelly 10
9 Jack Bauer Endura Racing 9
10 Boy Van Poppel UnitedHealthcare 8
King of the Mountains Competition
1 Jonathan Tiernan Locke Rapha Condor - Sharp 71
2 Russell Hampton Sigma Sport-Specialized 48
3 Stephen Cummings Sky ProCycling 30
4 Linus Gerdemann Leopard Trek 28
5 Jack Bauer Endura Racing 20
6 Pieter Ghyllebert An Post - Sean Kelly 19
7 Leopold Koenig Team NetApp 17
8 Bartosz Huzarski Team NetApp 16
9 Michael Rogers Sky ProCycling 13
10 Lars Bak HTC Highroad 12
Teams' General Classification
1 Sky ProCycling 8h 56' 12''
2 Leopard Trek at 1' 33''
3 Rabobank at 4' 12''
4 Team NetApp at 7' 41''
5 Rapha Condor - Sharp at 8' 10''
Link: Tour of Britain 2011
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