Tour of Britain: Stage 7 Bury St Edmunds to Sandringham

Gediminas Bagdonas denies Ian Wilkinson of Endura Racing the victory on stage 7 into Sandringham as the race partied in the East of England

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The seventh stage of the Tour Britain in the East of England finally saw a breakaway resist the chase of the big sprinter teams with the stage victory going to Lithuanian Gediminas Bagdonas who rides on Sean Kelly’s An Post team and ride Dolan Bikes.

It only took three or so miles for the six riders to escape and in the break were three from British teams, Wouter Sybrandy (Sigma Sport Specialized), Ian Wilkinson (Endura Racing) and Richard Handley (Raleigh). They worked hard and with no threats on GC, the big teams let them go and the lead for the break rose to six minutes or more.

While villages on the race route and came out and partied enmass, the break kept up the pressure on the peloton in the tough conditions and into the close 25k, the lead was still over three minutes. An icon in the sport, Sean Kelly came alongside the break in the AN Post team car and gave the riders a lift with his pep talk and they sped on to Sandringham.

Wouter Sybrandy had a scare with a puncture but the Dutchman showed how determined he is to get back on despite the break being full flight. With only a kilometre separating the break to the chasers, it was a touch and go whether the wind and distance would get the upper hand on the riders in the break but they battled on and in the sprint for the line, the An Post rider Gediminas Bagdonas  just managed to beat Ian Wilkinson to the line.

Stage Seven Brief Quotes

Gediminas Bagdonas, AN Post – Sean Kelly  Cycling Team, Winner of Stage Seven:
“I am very happy today. I win a big race and my team did really well today. It is very important for me to win today and for the people at home in Lithuania. The support today was very good and I am very happy. Tomorrow I will be going for the time trial.  Today I had good legs so I will go it tomorrow.”

Ian Wilkinson, Endura Racing, Winner of Stage Seven Combativity Award: “It certainly wasn’t flat out there today, up and down all the time like a Belgian stage. Raleigh went early from the corner and that set me up perfectly. I saw the gantry but misjudged it and went too soon. I eased up into the head wind and then fought back. I came back at them but it was too late. It’s great to win the combativity prize though.”

“I was happy in the break, I stiffened up a bit, as most of us do at some point, around the 140km mark but I got fired up again for the finish. With a bit more practice I’ll come back and win a stage next year. It’s a big criterium tomorrow so we’ll give it a good shot. There were awesome crowds today, in a few of the villages all I could smell was barbeques! Plenty of folks through the towns, which was fabulous.”

Stage 7 Slideshow


Lars Boom, IG Markets Gold Jersey and The Prostate Cancer Points Jersey:
“Another long day tomorrow but I am confident for the time trial and criterium tomorrow. This is a lovely place, it’s my first time in the UK and I think it’s great. The conditions were perfect for me and the team. Similar to what we ride in Holland and Belgium.”

“I am trying my best to win The Tour of Britain and will do my best tomorrow.”

Pieter Ghyllebert, AN Post – Sean Kelly Cycling Team, Winner of the Yodel Sprints Jersey:
“We did a good job today as a team. I have taken a big lead in the Yodel Sprints jersey and my team mates defended well so it’s good. Tomorrow, I am going to go easy on the time trial I think and then going to give everything I have for the last stage. It is a big Tour and I have the jersey since Stage One and I think for me to hold it for seven days it is very nice.”

Jonathan Tiernan Locke, Rapha Condor Sharp, Winner of the Skoda King of the Mountains Jersey:
“There were a lot of twists and turns out there and a lot of wind so it was actually quite tough. The whip-lash effect out of the corners and it rained so it certainly wasn’t an easy day.”

“Winning the Skoda King of the Mountains jersey wasn’t an objective at the start of the race but I saw an opportunity and thought why not.  I know my climbing is good so just went for it. It means a lot to the team to have this jersey. I don’t think a British team has won it in a long time and it gets us on the podium so it’s cool.”

“I am lying around eighth on general classification but only four seconds off second place so it’s all to play for on the Time Trial. I want to do a good time trial and then take the criterium as it comes.”

Race Report in Photos

In warm sunny conditions, the peloton rolled out from Bury St Edmunds with a stage of 120 miles (200kms) ahead of them.

With Kilometre 0 (zero) in the background, the Gold jersey wearer Lars Boom askes the question ‘why aren’t we racing’. Within half a mile or so, they were …

An An Post rider is again the first attacker …

Raleigh’s Dan Fleeman was another who had a go at getting away.

This group with Paul Voss (Endura Racing)  was one that looked a good candidate to go away but the teams were not letting it escape …

Richard Handley leads Gediminas Bagdonas with Wouter Sybrandy leading the chase to join Handley and thus the race winning break was born…

The break race through one of the many picturesque villages in party mode to celebrate the arrival of the Tour of Britain.

This was a typical scene as the crowds lined the street, even in the rain, to see the race pass through the their town or village.

The Raleigh team lead the chase at first …

… and then Bernie Eisel leads the HTC on the front with Cavendish on the left of the peloton.

Endura Racing’s Ian Wilkinson gives his award, the Combativity Award, the thumbs up.

Pieter Ghyllebert of An Post (Dolan Bikes) has won the Yodel Sprints competition. for the 2011 race.

The start of the race in Bury St Edmunds was packed for the departe.

The Rapha Condor Sharp Race Report
After two days of hard and unpredictable racing in the South West, the 7th stage of the Tour of Britain yet again delivered something of a surprise when a six-man move held off the chase, and Lithuanian Gediminas Bagdonas took a fantastic win for his Irish An Post team in the grounds of Sandringham estate.

The breakaway that comprised of six riders had dominated the day’s proceedings, going away only a few kilometres into the race and making the most of a strong tailwind to pull out a maximum advantage of nearly 8 minutes.

With Lars Boom in a commanding position in the general classification there was no need for Rabobank to chase the move, and it was left to HTC to try to bring back the escape. However, in a display of tenacity the six riders committed to working hard together while an untimely puncture for HTC’s Mark Renshaw spelt the end of the chances of a bunch sprint.

The six leaders rode well together until the sprint when it was Bagdonas, already a double stage winner in the Irish Ras this year, who proved the strongest, narrowly edging out British hope, Ian Wilkinson. K.O.M winner and one of the key animators of the race so far Rapha Condor Sharp’s Jonathon Tiernan-Locke didn’t need to score points on any of the three third category climbs in the stage and instead made the most of the opportunity to hide in the wheels and settled in for a long day in the saddle.

“Obviously I didn’t have to get points today, and with the G.C. looking like it’ll come down to the T.T. in London it was a good opportunity to save my legs a bit. It was a long stage though and sitting around in the bunch riding at a steady pace, gets a bit monotonous. You can’t switch off, but there is nothing to really focus on. As soon as the break went it looked like it would stay away, there was a good mix in the move so it was a matter of settling in. It did get hard when the chase started, the gap dropped by two minutes and we were caught in a really heavy rain shower ”.

The race will conclude tomorrow and with Tiernan-Locke on equal time with several other riders in the top ten of the race the individual time trial will certainly make the difference in the final order of the top ten. Looking forward to the stage he said, “I don’t normally excel in time trials like this one, (a pan flat 10km circuit- Ed) but my form is good and the crowds look set to be amazing. A high overall finish means a great deal for the team and myself so I’ll be going flat out for it”.

Large crowds are expected for the race tomorrow, the action kicks off at 11 am with the individual time trial, the circuit race will begin at 15.45.

Stage Seven, Bury St Edmunds to Sandringham, 199.7km
Stage Result
1 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu, AN Post – Sean Kelly) 04:33:17
2 Ian Wilkinson  (GB, Endura Racing)  st
3 Mathieu Claude  (Fra, Team Europcar)  st
4 Stijn Neirynck  (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen) st
5 Richard Handley  (GB, Team Raleigh)  @ 0:04
6 Wouter Sybrandy  (Ned, Sigma Sport-Specialized) @ 0:11
7 Mark Cavendish  (GB, HTC Highroad)  @ 1:23
8 Andrew Fenn  (GB, AN Post – Sean Kelly) st
9 Giacomo Nizzolo  (Ita, Leopard Trek)  st
10 Geraint Thomas  (GB, Sky ProCycling)  st

Overall General Classification, after Stage Seven
1 Lars Boom  (Ned, Rabobank)   24:47:58
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 Seven
1 Lars Boom  (Ned, Rabobank)   52pts
2 Mark Cavendish  (GB, HTC Highroad)  49pts
3 Geraint Thomas  (GB, Sky ProCycling)  47pts
4 Stijn Neirynck  (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen) 30pts
5 Mark Renshaw  (Aus, HTC Highroad)  29pts

Skoda King of the Mountains Classification, after Stage Seven
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 Seven
1 Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel, AN Post – Sean Kelly 36pts
2 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu, AN Post – Sean Kelly) 15pts
3 Russell Hampton  (GB, Sigma Sport – Specialized) 13pts
4 Lars Boom  (Ned, Rabobank)   11pts
5 Mark McNally  (GB, AN Post – Sean Kelly) 10pts
6 Andrew Fenn  (GB, AN Post – Sean Kelly) 10pts

UNISON Best Young Rider, after Stage Seven
1 Jelle Wallays   (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen) 24:48:30
2 Jan-Bert Lindeman (Ned, Vacansoleil – DCM) @ 1:22
3 Andrew Fenn  (GB, AN Post – Sean Kelly) @ 1:39

Stage Seven Combativity Award: Ian Wilkinson (GB, Endura Racing)

Sunday 18th September Timetable

11:00   Stage  8a Individual Time Trial
13:00   IG Markets Hot Lap
14:00   The Prostate Cancer Charity Tour Ride London
15:45   Stage 8b Circuit Race
18:00   Podium Presentations

Live Updates
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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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