London: a look back

Stage 8a: London ITT (8.8km)

Dylan Van Baarle set off in the morning time trial (inthedrops)
Dylan Van Baarle set off in the morning time trial (inthedrops)

Brad Wiggins blew everyone away in the morning’s short time trial to take a hometown win by 8 seconds from IAM’s Sylvain Chavanel.

The early pace was set by Irishman Ryan Mullen of An Post – ChainReaction with a time of 10:10, but BMC’s strongman Steve Cummings flew around to set a time 11 seconds faster. It was a good ride, but it would be tough to hold onto the lead once the GC men got out on course.

Sylvain Chavanel was the first man to beat Cummings’ time, by just over a second. It didn’t take long before that time was smashed, as Wiggins took the top spot with ease – perhaps surprisingly so considering the explosive nature of the course.

Lasse Norman Hansen heads for the bus (inthedrops)
Lasse Norman Hansen heads for the bus (inthedrops)

The battle for the overall was still on though. Edoardo Zardini put in a respectable time but dropped off the podium thanks to Wiggins. Michal Kwiatkowski’s ride of 10:06 wasn’t enough to overhaul Garmin’s Dylan Van Baarle for the top spot – the neo-pro did a great ride to limit his losses to only nine seconds.

The ten second gap between the two was on the mind of Garmin-Sharp DS Charles Wegelius before Stage 8b. He said that the team’s only goal was to keep the lead rather than work for sprinter Tyler Farrar, “We need to focus on trying to win the race now. We’ll encourage a break to go.”

Brad Wiggins en route to victory (SweetSpot)
Brad Wiggins en route to victory (SweetSpot)
Stage 8a result
1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky 0:09:51
2 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling 0:00:08
3 Stephen Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing Team 0:00:09
4 Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura 0:00:14
5 Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling 0:00:15
6 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:00:16
7 Ryan Mullen (Irl) An Post-Chainreaction 0:00:20
8 Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team
9 Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:24
10 Martin Kohler (Sui) BMC Racing Team 0:00:25

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Stage 8b: London (88.8km)

A bunch sprint was expected, and it duly materialised as Marcel Kittel won the final stage of the Tour of Britain in London by inches ahead of home favourite Mark Cavendish, while Nicola Ruffoni of Bardiani-CSF was third.

Multiple breakaway attempts littered the opening kilometres of the stage but a breakaway didn’t stick until lap 4. Garmin-Sharp enforced a rolling roadblock at the head of the peloton as King of the Mountains Mark McNally (An Post), Steve Cummings (BMC), Jan Barta (NetApp), Chris Latham (Great Britain) and Liam Holohan (Madison) got away.

Marcel Kittel wins the final stage (SweetSpot)
Marcel Kittel wins the final stage (SweetSpot)

The group quickly got a gap to the peloton but McNally was unfortunate to touch wheels and crash on lap 5. The remainder of the break soldiered on to take the only sprint of the day, confirming Sebastian Lander as the winner of the sprint classification.

The gap never got larger than 40 seconds as Giant-Shimano, Garmin-Sharp and IAM led the peloton. Andreas Stauff (MTN) made it across the gap with 25km to go, but the break was quickly blown apart as Holohan and Latham attacked immediately. Stauff joined them but before long the trio were a duo as Holohan dropped back. Stauff and Latham were brought back on the last lap.

The jersey winners (SweetSpot)
The jersey winners (SweetSpot)

Garmin-Sharp led the way around the final lap, as they looked to protect Van Baarle’s lead. OPQS joined them in the final kilometres while Giant-Shimano came to the fore with 2km remaining. Their timing was perfect as they delivered Kittel to the front, though Cavendish ran him mightily close on the line.

Stage 8b result
1 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 1:50:33
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
3 Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani CSF
4 Enrique Sanz Unzue (Esp) Movistar Team
5 Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team
6 Ian Wilkinson (GBr) Team Raleigh
7 Daniel McLay (GBr) Great Britain
8 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo
9 Adam Blythe (GBr) NFTO
10 Shane Archbold (NZl) An Post-Chainreaction
The final podium (SweetSpot)
The final podium (SweetSpot)
General classification
   
1 Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Garmin-Sharp 32:22:50  
2 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:00:10  
3 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:22  
4 Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:00:37  
5 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:42  
6 Jon Izagirre Insausti (Esp) Movistar Team 0:00:46  
7 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling 0:00:50  
8 Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team 0:00:54  
9 Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura 0:01:09  
10 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:01:10
Mountains classification
   
1 Mark McNally (GBr) An Post-Chainreaction 51  pts
2 Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling 30  
3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 25
Points classification
   
1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 70  pts
2 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky 55  
3 Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team 49
Sprint classification
   
1 Sebastian Lander (Den) BMC Racing Team 16  pts
IAM won the team prize (SweetSpot)
IAM won the team prize (SweetSpot)
Teams classification
1 IAM Cycling 97:09:47
Most combative rider
     
1 Alex Dowsett (Gbr) Movistar Team

For full results and standings look here.

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Rider Reaction

Dylan Van Baarle, race winner (Garmin-Sharp)

I didn’t win it today, I won it yesterday. Saturday was our last chance and we took it. It was pretty hard to defend my jersey in the TT against Kwiatowski and Wiggins but yeah i did it. I was inspired by Dowsett’s escape a little bit, yeah.

No I didn’t believe I could win at the start – I saw the startlist and when you see Wiggins and Kwiatkowski on the list then you know its gonna be hard. I was expecting the top ten and now we are here eh?

Michal Kwiatkowski, runner-up (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)

First place was close but we can’t be disappointed. I won a stage and my team won three. We took the points jersey too and that’s amazing.

Every day it was tough racing and I think every single stage was like the classics – up and down and racing full gas until the end. I’m happy it was such beautiful weather and I think the long stages were the best preparation for the Worlds.

Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani-CSF)

As a first year pro it was a good experience – I got a good result in Liverpool and I raced against top pro riders like Cav and Kittel.

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