Tour of Britain: Stage 6 – Taunton to Wells

Rabobank’s Lars Boom won his second stage of the 2011 Tour of Britain in Wells and in doing so, increased his lead in the event with three stages to go on Saturday and Sunday.

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Rapha Condor Sharp Report (Tom Southam)

Stage six of the Tour of Britain made significant changes in the general classification, when Lars Boom further distanced his rivals, by easily winning the sprint from a twenty man group that fought out the win into Wells.

Stage six of the Tour of Britain made significant changes in the general classification, when Lars Boom further distanced his rivals, by easily winning the sprint from a twenty man group that fought out the win into Wells.

The stage took on an interesting shape when both Rabobank and team Sky refused to let any breaks gain an advantage across the Somerset levels. The racing started aggressively as soon as the riders finished the 8km neutral section, but the action was soon neutralised again by Gold Jersey wearer Lars Boom, after a big crash ruined the hopes of Ian Bibby of Motorpoint, who left the race with a broken collarbone.

Stage 6 Photo Album

Once the race restarted Rapha Condor Sharp, looking to protect Tiernan-Locke’s lead in the K.O.M, were very active in groups that split off the front of the race. Both Kristian House and Dan Craven were involved in breaks that dangled within a minute of the bunch as the race sped toward Cheddar.

Team manager John Herety was pleased with the presence of his riders in the front, “We had a plan today, we knew we had to have people in all the moves for two reasons. Obviously we wanted to be sure that they could soak up the points for JT over the climbs, but we also have an eye on a high overall finish. Having someone up there to help JT near the finish if the race broke up would have been a good card to have”.

“As it was the race continued to confound the form book and no-one wanted anything to go away and stay away. This suited us too, as Jon had an easy ride in the bunch and was ready to go as soon as we hit the last climbs”.

In the end four riders, MacNally, Bak, Mandri and Swift did manage to stretch out a small advantage before the climb at Cheddar Gorge, but after just surviving over the climb, they looked to be doomed before the real test of the day came on Old Bristol Hill.

On the climb that he has used for training in the past Jon Tiernan-Locke finally managed to wrap up the K.O.M jersey, by winning maximum points yet again and putting himself in an unassailable lead in the competition. Moments after the finish Tiernan-Locke said, “I had a good position as we hit the climb, and I was ready to go at the bottom. Boom was telling me to slow down as I don’t think that he wanted it to split. I still had to win it to be sure so I went hard. Over the top it did split, but the group suited everyone and we rode hard to the finish. On the last corner a HTC guy came down and split the group a bit, I was slowed there and had to give it everything not to get time gapped. The K.O.M is in the bag now and that’s great, but I still have an eye to the G.C”.

A good days racing will go someway to making the long transfer up to Brentwood in Essex a little more pleasant for the Rapha Condor Sharp riders, who headed off directly after the finish toward their next hotel.

The race continues tomorrow with a flat stage between Bury St Edmunds and Sandringham.

The Race Report in Photos

The day starts as ever with the presentation of jerseys  for the various classifications.

The riders cruise along at 20mph or so in the neutralised section with those wanting to be in the first move, massing at the front.

Sigma’s Steve Lampier makes the first move as they pass the Kilometre O (zero) banner

Ben Swift is next to go …

Alex Dowsett and Ian Wilkinson were also in the mix of the early attacks

Our rider of the stage, Lars Bak, who was on the attack from start to finish. This is one of his early moves.

After a heavy fall at the first Yodel Sprint which took Ian Bibby, the highest placed British rider at the time, out of the race, the heads of the peloton came to the front to neutralise the action for a short while.

When the race action resumed, Kristian House, Rene Mandri and Liam Holohan were part of a break that lead the race but their lead was never that much and it came back.

Another break then escaped with Dan Craven, Ben Swift, Mark McNally and Paul Voss …

And two chasers bridged to the leaders including that man Lars Bak.

Whilst Craven went back to the peloton, the rest continued to keep the pressure on but again Rabobank never leat the lead go up much beyond 40 seconds.

Dan Craven on the attack again from the peloton through Cheddar Gorge.

While Craven and his felloe escapees were swept up by the peloton, three riders managed to stay clear for the first time through Wells, Mark McNally, Paul Voss and Las Bak.

With the peloton snapping at their wheels, Lars Bak went off  alone but was unable to stop the chasers catching him.

The race was then in peices with a lead group of a few dozen riders where the attacks were coming thick and fast. Here Steve Cummings has attacked and is being chased by Jack Bauer of Endura racing.

The riders from NetApp making their presence felt in the lead group.

Lars Boom in  a class of his own in the sprint finish wins his second stage.

Live Photos

Quotes – Lars Boom, Stage Six winner & IG Markets Gold Jersey
“It was a difficult stage; there were four guys, one was at 48 seconds, so we kept close to them.  My guys worked really hard, they are so strong, I am really thankful.  They worked so hard for me today, and for the rest of the last climb there were attacks from other riders and there was a small group going.

“In the last 20 kilometres there were attacks for the points at the King of the Mountains, and some attacks from (Steve) Cummings and (Michael) Rogers.  They went pretty hard I think, but I could keep the wheel and it was okay.  After that there were a lot of guys for Garmin, and a lot of other guys that were pulling for the GC guys.  I made an advantage of that and I’m really happy with the win.”

On whether the first passage of the line, the Yodel Sprint, helped his finish…
“Yeah we did it of course, we passed the finish one time so I saw the last corner and that it was the last 200m to go afterwards.  Gabriel Rasch and Julian Dean went too hard in the last corner, and I took the corner perfectly I think, and from there nobody else was going to win.”

On the Somerset support…
“It’s quite big support in UK I think, and that’s really nice of course to have such big support for the whole stage.”

On his prospects of retaining the IG Markets Gold Jersey…
“My team mates are very strong and are going to work tomorrow, maybe with some of the sprinters teams.  I am confident for the time trial – that is one of my favourite disciplines, so I am confident.  But anything can happen, so I will try my best tomorrow.  We will be alright I think.”


Stage Six, Taunton to Wells, 146km, Result
1 Lars Boom  (Ned, Rabobank)   03:19:02
2 Alexandre Pichot (Fra, Team Europcar)  st
3 Leopold Koenig  (Ger, Team NetApp)  st
4 Jan Barta  (Cze, Team NetApp)  st
5 Steve Cummings  (GB, Sky ProCycling  st
6 Linus Gerdemann  (Ger, Leopard Trek)  st
7 Jack Bauer  (NZ, Endura Racing)  st
8 Julian Dean  (NZ, Garmin – Cervelo)  st
9 Bartosz Huzarski (Pol, Team NetApp)  st
10 Iker Camano  (Spa, Endura Racing)  st

Overall General Classification, after Stage Six
1 Lars Boom  (Ned, Rabobank)   20:13:18
2 Leopold Koenig  (Ger, Team NetApp)  @ 0:28
3 Daniel Lloyd  (GB, Garmin – Cervelo)  @ 0:29
4 Linus Gerdemann  (Ger, Leopard Trek)  @ 0:31
5 Steve Cummings  (GB, Sky ProCycling)  @ 0:32
6 Jelle Wallays  (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen) st
7 Jan Barta  Team NetApp   st
8 Jonathan Tiernan Locke Rapha Condor Sharp  st
9 Iker Camano  Endura Racing   @ 0:50
10 Joost Posthuma  Leopard Trek   @ 0:52

The Prostate Cancer Charity Points Classification, after Stage Six
1 Lars Boom  (Ned, Rabobank)   52pts
2 Geraint Thomas  (GB, Sky ProCycling)  41pts
3 Mark Cavendish  (GB, HTC Highroad)  40pts
4 Mark Renshaw  (Aus, HTC Highroad)  29pts

Skoda King of the Mountains Classification, after Stage Six
1 Jonathan Tiernan Locke (GB, Rapha Condor Sharp) 71pts
2 Russell Hampton  (GB, Sigma Sport Specialized) 48pts
3 Steve Cummings  (GB, Sky ProCycling)  30pts
4 Linus Gerdemann  (Ger, Leopard Trek)  28pts
5 Thomas De Gendt  (Bel, Vacansoleil – DCM) 25pts

Yodel Sprints Classification, after Stage Six
1 Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel, AN Post – Sean Kelly 36pts
2 Russell Hampton  (GB, Sigma Sport – Specialized) 13pts
3 Lars Boom  (Ned, Rabobank)   11pts
4 Mark McNally  (GB, AN Post – Sean Kelly) 10pts
5 Andrew Fenn  (GB, AN Post – Sean Kelly) 10pts

UNISON Best Young Rider
1 Jelle Wallays   (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen) 20:13:50

Stage Six Combativity Award: Jamie Sparling  (Can, Team Raleigh)

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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)

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