Tour of Britain: Stage 1 – Peebles to Dumfries

Stage 1 through the Scottish Borders region was won by Mark Cavendish in a bunch sprint after almost five hours in the wind and rain.

| Next Stage >>>>

Mark Cavendish wins opening Tour of Britain stage and dons race leader’s IG Markets Gold Jersey after day one

Tour de France sprint star Mark Cavendish took victory on his return to The Tour of Britain after four years away, sprinting to victory at Whitesands in Dumfries.

Cavendish led home teammate Mark Renshaw for a HTC Highroad one-two, with Rabobank’s Theo Bos coming third on the opening stage of The Tour of Britain, the UK’s biggest professional cycle race.

Thanks to his victory, Cavendish takes an early four second lead in the Overall General Classification through time bonuses, ahead of Renshaw and Goss, pulling on the new-for-2011 IG Markets Gold Jersey and also collecting The Prostate Cancer Charity Points Jersey.

After their exploits in a day long break, Russell Hampton and Pieter Ghyllebert take the Skoda King of the Mountains and Yodel Sprints Jerseys respectively, with Vacansoleil’s Barry Markus the early leader in the UNISON Young Rider Classification.

Hampton and Ghyllebert escaped early on in the stage, as The Tour departed from a packed Peebles along the Tweed Valley to the Yodel Sprint at Innerleithen.

The two steadily built their lead, collecting the points and bonuses at the various primes, including the opening Skoda King of the Mountains climb of 2011 at Megget Hill, but all the time their advantage was marshaled by a peloton led throughout the day by HTC and Sky.

Motorpoint’s Peter Williams briefly attempted to bridge the gap between them, but to no avail and was swallowed back up before the race reached the first climb.

In wet and blustery conditions it was a heroic effort by both riders to stay away for so long, and they were cheered on their way by large and enthusiastic crowds en route, despite the conditions.

In the end though their advantage was finally extinguished on the run back through the Dumfries & Galloway countryside to the finish in Dumfries making a sprint finish inevitable.

Heading through the final turn, Renshaw and Cavendish emerged explosively from behind the Rabobank leader, with the British rider surging across the line, comfortably ahead of Renshaw and Bos.

“It’s incredible to win the first stage and get the leaders jersey,” said stage winner Mark Cavendish. “If the weather had been better we would have been a bit quicker but I think it would still have been the same result.

“Hopefully it will be a sprint again tomorrow,” continued the first ever wearer of the IG Markets Gold Jersey.  “I am going to try and defend the jersey and try and get another stage win.

“We had wicked support today. The amount of cheers and banners along the stage was brilliant. Super encouraging. You wouldn’t expect this is Britain and it’s very different to when I last raced here in 2007. It’s very nice. This event is certainly growing.”

It was a super ride by Russell Hampton and he is rewarded with a jersey (KoM) for stage 2 and a Skoda Yeti!

Alan Peiper: “We had wicked support today. The amount of cheers and banners along the stage was brilliant. Super encouraging. You wouldn’t expect this is Britain and it’s very different to when I last raced here in 2007. It’s very nice. This event is certainly growing.”

“The whole team is very motivated for this race,” said sport director, Allan Peiper, “Mark [Cavendish] in particular riding in Britain. It was a really wet stage. Rain going through the hills past Peebles punished us all the way to the finish, just inside the Scottish border.”

“Two riders took off at the beginning and kept a gap with a maximum of four and a half minutes for almost the whole stage. Our boys controlled the front and worked with Team Sky to reel in the break, which they did at about fifteen kilometers to go. On the last corner, Renshaw let two RaboBank riders go ahead – they were going into it really fast and the wind was really strong, so he played it safe thinking they’d crash.” Peiper continued,

“When they made it out ok, Renshaw pulled them in and sent Cavendish across the line ahead of him. [Lars] Bak, [Bernhard] Eisel and all the guys did a great job keeping Renshaw and Cav up front for the whole stage, it was a very impressive ride.”

The weather coming in for stage two on Monday is predicted to be far worse. The profile itself is “…not too hard,” said Peiper, “But assuming it’s safe enough to ride at all, there will most likely be a strong side wind on the coast toward the end.”

“On a good day we can control the peloton, but never the weather.”

Local team were Endura Racing but it wasn’t their day as they weren’t able to get in the break and the race was then shut down by HTC and Sky

Barry Markus, Vacansoleil – DCM “It was good but very cold!  I hope I sprint well for the rest of the week. The Scottish crowd was very nice today.”

Russell Hampton, Sigma Sport-Specialized, Leader of the Skoda King of the Mountains Classification and Stage One Most Combative Rider – “That was really hard today. Most of the day was a headwind and a very big one at that so with only two men it was a hard day out. It was worth it in the end, really big for our team and the icing on the cake was to come away with a jersey.”

“It’s really good [to get the most combative rider], show that all that hard work pays off and I just hope that I can carry on for the rest of the week now.”

Jack Bauer of Endura racing signs an autograph for a young fan….

Ben Swift says on his team’s website, “It was a tricky stage and at times hard to deal with the winds and the cross winds. The rain was pretty heavy at times which was hard on the legs. It also made the roads very slippy in places, particularly on the descents. There were a couple crashes along the way, including one that involved Steve. Thankfully he was ok.”

“All in all a stage that we are glad to get done and dusted. We knew it was likely that we would have to put in a lot of work at the front and we did a good job. It was a shame we could’t finish it off with the win. But we are happy with the performance and have myself and Geraint in the top 10 which was good news for the coming days.”

“Tomorrow looks like another sprint finish on the Blackpool sea front and one we’ll be looking forward to.”

Live Pictures
(If the slideshow is not visible in your browser, click here to view them on Flickr)

1    Mark Cavendish    HTC Highroad        4h 41′ 6”
2    Mark Renshaw    HTC Highroad        st
3    Theo Bos    Rabobank        st
4    Barry Markus**    Vacansoleil – DCM        st
5    Geraint Thomas    Sky ProCycling        st
6    Robert Forster    UnitedHealthcare        st
7    Ben Swift    Sky ProCycling        st
8    Lars Boom    Rabobank        st
9    Roger Hammond    Team Garmin – Cervelo        st
10    Ian Wilkinson    Endura Racing        st
11    Mathew Hayman    Sky ProCycling        st
12    Alex Dowsett    Sky ProCycling        st
13    Ian Bibby    Motorpoint        st
14    Jonathan McEvoy**    Motorpoint        st
15    Stijn Neirynck    Topsport Vlaanderen        st
16    Boy Van Poppel    UnitedHealthcare        st
17    Andy Tennant    Rapha Condor – Sharp        st
18    Zak Dempster    Rapha Condor – Sharp        st
19    Linus Gerdemann    Leopard Trek        st
20    Chris Jones    UnitedHealthcare        st
21    Mark McNally**    An Post – Sean Kelly        st
22    Stijn Joseph    Topsport Vlaanderen        st
23    Mathieu Claude    Team Europcar        st
24    Daniel Schorn    Team NetApp        st
25    Michael Matthews**    Rabobank        st
26    Jan-Bert Lindeman**    Vacansoleil – DCM        st
27    Martijn Maaskant    Team Garmin – Cervelo        st
28    Daniel Lloyd    Team Garmin – Cervelo        st
29    Bartosz Huzarski    Team NetApp        st
30    Andreas Dietziker    Team NetApp        st
31    Michael Rogers    Sky ProCycling        st
32    Alex Rasmussen    HTC Highroad        st
33    Franck Bouyer    Team Europcar        st
34    Rory Sutherland    UnitedHealthcare        st
35    Stephen Cummings    Sky ProCycling        st
36    Jan Barta    Team NetApp        st
37    Julian Dean    Team Garmin – Cervelo        st
38    Gabriel Rasch    Team Garmin – Cervelo        st
39    Simon Richardson    Sigma Sport-Specialised        st
40    Bram Tankink    Rabobank        st
41    Gediminas Bagdonas    An Post – Sean Kelly        st
42    Richard Handley**    Team Raleigh        st
43    Jack Bauer    Endura Racing        st
44    Damien Gaudin    Team Europcar        st
45    Jelle Wallays**    Topsport Vlaanderen        st
46    Coen Vermeltfoort    Rabobank        st
47    Lieuwe Westra    Vacansoleil – DCM        st
48    Kristian House    Rapha Condor – Sharp        st
49    Alex Wetterall    Endura Racing        st
50    Paul Voss    Endura Racing        st
51    Bernhard Eisel    HTC Highroad        st
52    Liam Holohan    Team Raleigh        st
53    Andrew Fenn**    An Post – Sean Kelly        st
54    Tobyn Horton    Motorpoint        st
55    Cesare Benedetti    Team NetApp        st
56    Ronan McLaughlin    An Post – Sean Kelly        st
57    Graham Briggs    Rapha Condor – Sharp        st
58    Wouter Sybrandy    Sigma Sport-Specialised        st
59    Leopold Koenig    Team NetApp        st
60    Joost Posthuma    Leopard Trek        st
61    Alexandre Pichot    Team Europcar        st
62    Rene Mandri    Endura Racing        st
63    Peter Williams    Motorpoint        st
64    Dominic Klemme    Leopard Trek        st
65    Thor Hushovd    Team Garmin – Cervelo        st
66    Dan Craven    Rapha Condor – Sharp        st
67    Dan Fleeman    Team Raleigh        st
68    Thomas De Gendt    Vacansoleil – DCM        st
69    Jonathan Tiernan Locke    Rapha Condor – Sharp        st
70    Iker Camano    Endura Racing    at    0′ 18”
71    Will Clarke    Leopard Trek        st
72    Matt Brammeier    HTC Highroad    at    0′ 21”
73    Mark Cassidy    An Post – Sean Kelly        st
74    Lars Bak    HTC Highroad        st
75    Willem Wauters**    Vacansoleil – DCM    at    0′ 25”
76    Jamie Sparling    Team Raleigh        st
77    Rik Flens    Rabobank        st
78    Pieter Ghyllebert    An Post – Sean Kelly        st
79    Yohann Gene    Team Europcar        st
80    Russell Hampton    Sigma Sport-Specialised        st
81    Marcin Bialoblocki    Motorpoint        st
82    Steve Lampier    Sigma Sport-Specialised    at    0′ 33”
83    Gael Le Bellec    Team Raleigh        st
84    Tom Last    Sigma Sport-Specialised        st
85    Karl Menzies    UnitedHealthcare        st
86    James Sampson    Motorpoint        st
87    Jeroen Janssen    Team Raleigh        st
88    Giacomo Nizzolo**    Leopard Trek    at    1′ 2”
89    Kenny De Ketele    Topsport Vlaanderen    at    1′ 4”
90    Jonathan Clarke    UnitedHealthcare        st
91    Dominique Cornu    Topsport Vlaanderen        st
92    Tom Murray    Sigma Sport-Specialised        st
93    Preben Van Hecke    Topsport Vlaanderen        st
94    ANthony Charteau    Team Europcar    at    1′ 42”

The Prostate Cancer Charity Points Classification, after Stage One
1. Mark Cavendish (GB, HTC – Highroad) 15pts
2. Mark Renshaw (Aus, HTC – Highroad) 14pts
3. Theo Bos (Ned, Rabobank) 13pts

Skoda King of the Mountains Classification, after Stage One
1. Russell Hampton (GB, Sigma Sport – Specialized) 12pts
2. Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel, AN Post) 9pts
3. Alex Ramussen (Den, HTC – Highroad) 2pts

Yodel Sprints Classification, after Stage One
1. Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel, AN Post) 15pts
2. Russell Hampton (GB, Sigma Sport – Specialized) 9pts
3. Lars Boom (Ned, Rabobank) 3pts

UNISON Best Young Rider, after Stage One
1. Barry Markus (Ned, Vacansoleil DCM)

Live Updates
(If the text updates are not visible in your browser, go to

2011 Tour of Britain – Stage by Stage
1. Peebles to Dumfries, 170km (Sunday September 11)
2. Kendal to Blackpool, 138km (Monday September 12)
3. Stoke-on-Trent to Trentham Gardens, 140km (Tuesday September 13)
4. Welshpool to Caerphilly, 180km (Wednesday September 14)
5. Exeter to Exmouth, 180km (Thursday September 15)
6. Taunton to Wells, 146km (Friday September 16)
7. Bury St Edmunds to Sandringham, 200km (Saturday September 17)
8a. London 9km individual time trial (Sunday September 18)
8b. London 90km criterium (Sunday September 18)

Tags: ,