The final weekend: a look back

The peloton on Regent Street, London (SweetSpot)
The peloton race up Regent Street, London (SweetSpot)

André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and Elia Viviani (Team Sky) shared the spoils on the final weekend of the 2015 Tour of Britain. Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) successfully defended his yellow jersey to take his second overall win at the race – the first man to win two editions of the modern race.

Fakenham – Ipswich

The East Anglia stage saw Greipel take his sixteenth win of the season, his first at the Tour of Britain, in a photo finish. The German started his sprint early, holding off a resurgent Elia Viviani to just shade it on the line.

Earlier in the day the Brit trio of Alex Dowsett (Movistar), Gabriel Cullaigh (Great Britain) and Graham Briggs (JLT-Condor) were in the break, though with such a flat stage on the menu they were never going to make it to finish.

Greipel shades it in Fakenham (SweetSpot)
Greipel shades it in Fakenham (SweetSpot)

The trio were duly caught thanks mainly to the work of Lotto-Soudal, while a late bid for glory from Zdeněk Štybar also proved fruitless as the Belgian squad were determined to deliver the Gorilla to the win.

stage result
1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto – Soudal 5:14:42
2 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky
3 Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling
4 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx – Quick Step
5 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN – Qhubeka
6 Owain Doull (GBr) Team WIGGINS
7 Rasmus Guldhammer Pedersen (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling
8 Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) IAM Cycling
9 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Cannondale – Garmin
10 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto – Soudal

London

Elia Viviani triumphed on the final stage of the race, though he had to wait for race judges to confirm his win after Greipel, the first man over the line, was relegated due to irregular sprinting.

The big German moved across Viviani’s path as he stormed past, a move which saw the Sky rider protest and meant that Greipel would end up in 39th on the day.

“I had good speed in the legs after this really hard week,” said Viviani. “The guys have done amazing work for Wout [Poels] and myself this week. I’m disappointed because it would’ve been better to win without this, but we won in London and that’s the main thing.”

Greipel leads the peloton home in London (SweetSpot)
Greipel leads the peloton home in London (SweetSpot)

For the most part, the circuit race around Central London was a victory parade for Boasson Hagen, though the day did see Owain Doull move up onto the final podium thanks to bonus seconds claimed at the intermediate sprint.

It capped a strong race for the 22-year-old Welshman, who also took home the points jersey. One Pro Cycling, who are looking to move up to the ProContinental level for 2016, took the mountains and sprints jerseys thanks to a strong performance from Peter Williams.

The big plaudits, however, go to Boasson Hagen, who outperformed everybody’s expectations to take the overall win. His surprise performance on the summit finish of Hartside Fell will be seen as the defining moment of his second Tour of Britain victory.

The final podium (SweetSpot)
The final podium (SweetSpot)
stage result
1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky 1:50:16
2 Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Esp) Movistar Team
3 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx – Quick Step
4 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN – Qhubeka
5 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto – Soudal
6 Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling
7 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx – Quick Step
8 Graham Briggs (GBr) JLT Condor
9 Ruben Zepuntke (Ger) Team Cannondale – Garmin
10 Owain Doull (GBr) Team WIGGINS
general classification
1 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN – Qhubeka 34:52:52  
2 Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky 0:00:13  
3 Owain Doull (GBr) Team WIGGINS 0:00:42  
4 Rasmus Guldhammer Pedersen (Den) Cult Energy Pro Cycling 0:00:43  
5 Zdenek _tybar (Cze) Etixx – Quick Step 0:00:51  
6 Rubén Fernandez Andujar (Esp) Movistar Team    
7 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo    
8 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Cannondale – Garmin 0:00:53  
9 Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Tinkoff – Saxo 0:00:59  
10 Xandro Meurisse (Bel) An Post – Chainreaction 0:01:02
mountains classification
1 Peter Williams (GBr) One Pro Cycling 36  pts
2 Thomas Stewart (GBr) Madison Genesis 34  
3 Mark McNally (GBr) Madison Genesis 29  
points classification
1 Owain Doull (GBr) Team Wiggins 78  pts
2 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) MTN – Qhubeka 77  
3 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto – Soudal 59  

 

sprints classification
1 Peter Williams (GBr) One Pro Cycling 18  pts
2 Conor Dunne (Irl) An Post – Chainreaction 11  
3 Danilo Wyss (Sui) BMC Racing Team 10  

Beaumaris – Wrexham: a look back

tob15 s1 sweetspot (2)

Team Sky’s Elia Viviani took the opening stage of the 2015 Tour of Britain, sprinting to victory in one of the closest finishes the race has ever seen. Home favourite Mark Cavendish of Etixx-QuickStep was the runner-up, losing out in the photo finish.

“With 100m to go I thought it was too late,” said Viviani. “I thought Cav would start earlier but then he went to the middle of the road and I saw a small space and I thought ‘ok, I’ll go that way and we will see’.”

“It took a few metres after the line to realise I had won. I only understood that I had when I saw Cav say ‘Oh no’. We were close, eh?”

tob15 s1 sweetspot (3) viviani

The win comes as a much-needed boost for the Italian, who admitted that he had been disappointed by his results in the Vattenfall Cyclassics and the GP Plouay late last month.

“I didn’t get the result I wanted there, but I’m really happy with this. It’s a good test for my condition, and good for the Worlds too because that’s a big focus for the end of my season.”

Viviani benefitted from a day’s worth of work from his team, with Brit Andy Fenn notably putting in big stints at the front of the peloton.

“He did great work and has really good condition,” said Viviani. “The six-man teams are strange for us, and with Wout Poels and Pete Kennaugh looking to GC, we needed to use Ben Swift and Andy for the sprint today.”

Earlier in the day a four-man break was established almost as soon as the peloton left the town of Beaumaris, with Peter Williams (One Pro Cycling), Conor Dunne (An Post-Chainreaction), Tom Stewart (Madison-Genesis) and Kristian House (JLT-Condor) out front for most of the day’s 178km.

tob15 s1 sweetspot (6)

House’s efforts saw him take the first Skoda King of the Mountains jersey of the race with a late attack over the final climb of the day at Bwlch. Dunne leads the Yodel Sprint classification.

With the might of Etixx-QuickStep and Sky riding at the front of the peloton for much of the day, there was no chance that the escapees would be allowed to contest the finish among themselves.

That didn’t stop House trying though, and his repeated attacks saw him secure a lump of local cheese and the Rouleur Combativity Award. Nevertheless, he and his breakmates were brought back with 1.5km to go.

The technical final kilometres saw Cavendish’s Etixx-QuickStep train then came to the fore, with Colombian Fernando Gaviria and Mark Renshaw leading out the Manxman, but in the end it was to no avail. Lotto-Soudal’s Andre Greipel rounded out the podium, while Team Wiggins’ Owain Doull put in a strong showing to finish fourth.

tob15 s1 sweetspot (5)

All photos provided by SweetSpot.


stage result
1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky 4:26:29
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx – Quick-Step
3 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
4 Owain Doull (GBr) Team Wiggins
5 Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Movistar Team
6 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal
7 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Etixx – Quick-Step
8 Tyler Farrar (USA) MTN – Qhubeka
9 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
10 Graham Briggs (GBr) JLT Condor
general classification
1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky 4:26:19
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx Quick Step 0:00:04
3 Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 0:00:06
4 Owain Doull (GBr) Team Wiggins 0:00:10
5 Juan José Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team
KING OF THE MOUNTAINS
1 Kristian House (GBr) JLT-Condor 20
2 Thomas Stewart (GBr) Madison-Genesis 19
3 Peter Williams (GBr) One Pro Cycling 17
sprint classification
1 Conor Dunne (Irl) An Post-ChainReaction 7
2 Peter Williams (GBr) One Pro Cycling 6
3 Kristian House (GBr) JLT-Condor 3
points classification
1 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky 15
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Etixx Quick Step 14
3 Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 13