Report & Results – Stage 1: Tour of Britain

Luke Rowe sprints to Tour of Britain lead in Norfolk - Mark Cavendish crash sets up teammate for first win in Sky colours

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 STAGE 1: Ipswich to Norfolk (199km/120 miles)


There was victory for Team Sky in the first stage of The Tour of Britain, but it was Welshman Luke Rowe who sprinted to victory at a packed Norfolk Showground, taking his first professional win for Team Sky.

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Rowe headed home UnitedHealthcare’s Boy Van Poppel, with the two edging clear from Endura’s Russell Downing in the sprint from the final corner. Rowe’s teammate Mark Cavendish crashed with just over a kilometre to go, going down along with several other riders on the fringes of the Norfolk Showground to provide a shock winner for the massed crowds.

The big story was the crash of Cavendish brought down when some riders slid on some gravel and in the melee, the world champ came crashing down too. This from Team Sky – Servais Knaven, Team Sky Sports Director: “There’s a bit of mixed emotions but we are glad that Cav is okay. He has a few cuts and bruises but he will be okay. He has shown that he is going well and he was in a good position when the crash happened. We’ve got the jersey now and we’re already looking forward tomorrow. The crowds here and the support the team has had has been amazing.”

“It was pretty incredible to win today to be honest”, said Luke Rowe afterwards. “It was quite unexpected but this is my biggest win to date so I am rather happy. Coming towards the end of the race, we had Brad [Bradley Wiggins] on the front and I was behind him and Cav [Mark Cavendish] was sitting third because we were lining the stage up for him but I looked round when he went down and shouted to Brad, ‘It’s for me’, so we went full gas. The team did a lot of work today and i know I can do a good lead out and my responsibility is to get Cav to the finish.”

Kristian House flew the flag for the local riders getting in the break and sprinting hard to win the KoM points.

Sky had worked well to pull back the advantage of a four man break that had formed not long after the departure from the huge crowds on Ipswich Waterfront that had waved The Tour off through Suffolk and Norfolk.

With larger than ever crowds lining the route through East Anglia, Kristian House, Jonny Clarke, Rony Martias and Niels Wytinck built a seven-minute lead, which was steadily whittled down over the latter 100-kilometres of Stage One.

A mid-stage crash split the bunch down to a select group of just under 40 riders, but with Cavendish, Tyler Farrar and Russ Downing all at the front the scene looked set for a bunch sprint on the Royal Norfolk Showground, but it was not to be.

20k to go and Garmin are on the front for Farrar while Sky have their riders at the front too as do Endura Racing on the right.

Thanks to his sprint, Rowe now leads the race overall by three seconds from the Yodel Sprints Jersey or Rony Martias, for whom time bonuses earned out on the road elevated him above his finishing position of sixth, with second placed finisher Van Poppel a further second in arrears.

“The support on the road today was just incredible,” commented Rowe. “I’ve been racing for the last 10 years and the last five years all over the world but today I’ve never genuinely seen crowds like there was today and the faces were all so passionate about the racing and not just standing there.”

He was once the rider doing the sprinting at the end but today, Jeremy Hunt was putting in the hard yards at the front of the chase for the break with Bernie Eisel behind and then Luke Rowe.

The Welsh rider is also looking ahead to the latter stages of the 2012 Tour of Britain, and the chance to race on familiar roads.

“It’s a race I’ve always wanted to do so winning today was pretty special. I really wanted to do Stage Six into Caerphilly because it’s almost in my back garden, actually Caerphilly Mountains is about a mile from my house and I think my friends and family are coming over to watch.

Huge crowds lined the route from start to finish throughout East Anglia, as for the third year in succession The Tour of Britain visited Suffolk and Norfolk. Over 900 amateur cyclists also took on the challenge of the Stage One route the day before the race, taking part in The Tour Ride East Anglia sportive, previewing the route ridden by some of the world’s top riders across the two counties.

Cavendish and Wiggins share a joke during the stage today.

This was the bunch after the break had gone and no team had yet taken the role at the front to do the chase. 

The break toiling away in the 30 degree heat

Luke Rowe does the business on stage 1 of the Tour of Britain

Yellow jersey goes to Luke Rowe for Stage 2 on Monday.

Results in Brief

Stage One, Ipswich to Norfolk Showground, 203km

1 Luke Rowe Sky Procycling 4h 51′ 5”
2 Boy Van Poppel UnitedHealthcare st
3 Russell Downing Endura Racing st
4 Jérémie Galland Saur Sojasun st
5 Peter Hawkins IG – Sigma Sport st
6 Rony Martias Saur Sojasun st
7 Barry Markus Vacansoleil – DCM st
8 Paolo Longo Borghini Liquigas – Cannondale st
9 Jonathan Tiernan-Locke Endura Racing st
10 Ben Grenda Rapha Condor st
11 Christian Knees Sky Procycling st
12 Daniel Schorn Team NetApp st
13 Chris Opie UK Youth Cycling st
14 Jerome Coppel Saur Sojasun st
15 Daniel Lloyd IG – Sigma Sport st
16 Yanto Barker UK Youth Cycling st
17 Niklas Gustavsson UK Youth Cycling st
18 Sam Bennett An Post Sean Kelly st
19 Ivan Basso Liquigas – Cannondale st
20 Richard Lang Rapha Condor st
21 Leigh Howard Orica – GreenEDGE st
22 Fabio Sabatini Liquigas – Cannondale st
23 Magnus Backstedt UK Youth Cycling st
24 Bradley Wiggins Sky Procycling st
25 Zak Dempster Endura Racing at 1′ 25”
26 Christopher Jones UnitedHealthcare st
27 Paul Voss Endura Racing at 0′ 0”
28 Robert Förster UnitedHealthcare at 1′ 29”
29 Leopold Koenig Team NetApp st
30 Ronan Mclaughlin An Post Sean Kelly st
31 David Clarke Node 4 – Giordana at 1′ 30”
32 David Le Lay Saur Sojasun st
33 Jacek Morajko Vacansoleil – DCM at 1′ 32”
34 Bartosz Huzarski Team NetApp st
35 Fabrice Jeandesboz Saur Sojasun st
36 Matteo Carrara Vacansoleil – DCM st
37 Jan Barta Team NetApp st
38 Richard Handley Rapha Condor st
39 Graham Briggs Raleigh – GAC st
40 Bernard Sulzberger Raleigh – GAC st
41 Christofer Stevenson UK Youth Cycling st
42 Kai Reus UnitedHealthcare at 1′ 34”
43 Adrian Saez de Arregui Euskaltel Euskadi st
44 Yannick Talabardon Saur Sojasun st
45 Dan Craven IG – Sigma Sport st
46 Wouter Sybrandy IG – Sigma Sport st
47 Evan Oliphant Raleigh – GAC st
48 Josh Edmondson Great Britain st
49 Samuel Sanchez Euskaltel Euskadi st
50 Bernhard Eisel Sky Procycling at 0′ 0”
51 Marcin Bialoblocki Node 4 – Giordana at 1′ 36”
52 Pierre Cazaux Euskaltel Euskadi st
53 Brett Lancaster Orica – GreenEDGE at 0′ 0”
54 Matthias Krizek Liquigas – Cannondale at 1′ 36”
55 Cesare Benedetti Team NetApp st
56 Simon Yates Great Britain st
57 Michael Cuming Rapha Condor st
58 Gediminas Bagdonas An Post Sean Kelly at 0′ 0”
59 Damiano Caruso Liquigas – Cannondale st
60 Tom Last IG – Sigma Sport at 3′ 41”
61 Marco Benffato Liquigas – Cannondale at 0′ 0”
62 Steele Von Hoff Garmin – Sharp st
63 Mark Cavendish Sky Procycling st
64 Tyler Farrar Garmin – Sharp st
65 Kristian House Rapha Condor at 4′ 7”
66 Marc De Maar UnitedHealthcare at 4′ 10”
67 Sep Vanmarcke Garmin – Sharp at 0′ 0”
68 Jeremy Hunt Sky Procycling at 4′ 21”
69 Jonathan McEvoy Endura Racing st
70 Ian Bibby Endura Racing at 4′ 22”
71 Jamie Sparling Raleigh – GAC st
72 Nathan Haas Garmin – Sharp at 0′ 0”
73 Blaz Jarc Team NetApp st
74 Victor Cabedo Euskaltel Euskadi at 6′ 18”
75 Mathew Cronshaw Node 4 – Giordana at 7′ 22”
76 Peter Williams Node 4 – Giordana st
77 Aidis Kruopis Orica – GreenEDGE st
78 Wesley Kreder Vacansoleil – DCM st
79 Mark McNally An Post Sean Kelly st
80 Rico Rogers Node 4 – Giordana st
81 Jack Bobridge Orica – GreenEDGE st
82 Christopher Jennings Rapha Condor st
83 Niels Wytinck An Post Sean Kelly st
84 Pieter Ghyllebert An Post Sean Kelly st
85 George Atkins Great Britain st
86 Owain Doull Great Britain st
87 Pablo Urtasun Euskaltel Euskadi st
88 Michael Northey Node 4 – Giordana st
89 Russell Hampton Raleigh – GAC st
90 Liam Holohan Raleigh – GAC st
91 Tom Moses Great Britain st
92 Alistair Slater Great Britain st
93 Simon Richardson IG – Sigma Sport st
94 Jonny Clarke UnitedHealthcare st
95 Michael Hepburn Orica – GreenEDGE st
96 Lachlan Morton Garmin – Sharp st
97 Jacob Rathe Garmin – Sharp st
98 David McGowan UK Youth Cycling st
99 Ricardo Garcia Euskaltel Euskadi at 8′ 45”

Rouleur Combativity Award: Niels Wytnick, AN Post Sean Kelly
IG Gold Jersey, General Classification
1) Luke Rowe, GBR, Team Sky, 4:50::55
2) Rony Martias, FRA, Saur Sojasun, + 0.03
3) Boy Van Poppel, NED, UnitedHealthcare, + 0.04
4) Russell Downing, GBR, Endura Racing, + 0.06
5) Jeremie Galland, FRA, Saur Sojasun, + 0.10
6) Peter Hawkins, IRL, Team IG – Sigma Sport, same time
7) Barry Markus, NED, Vacansoleil – DCM, same time
8) Paolo Longo Borghini, ITA, Liquigas Cannondale, same time
9) Jonathan Tiernan Locke, GBR, Endura Racing, same time
10) Ben Grenda, AUS, Rapha Condor, same time

Chain Reaction Cycles Points Classification
1) Luke Rowe, GBR, Team Sky, 15pts
2) Boy Van Poppel, NED, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling, 14pts
3) Russell Downing, GBR, Endura Racing, 13pts
4) Jeremie Galland, FRA, Saur Sojasun, 12pts
5) Peter Hawkins, IRL, Team IG – Sigma Sport, 11pts
6) Rony Martias, FRA, Saur Sojasun, 10pts
7) Barry Markus, NED, Vacansoleil – DCM, 9pts
8) Paolo Longo Borghini, ITA, Liquigas – Cannondale, 8pts
9) Jonathan Tiernan Locke, GBR, Endura Racing, 7pts
10) Ben Grenda, AUS, Rapha Condor, 6pts

SKODA King of the Mountains Classification
1) Kristian House, GBR, Rapha Condor, 12pts
2) Niels Wytinck, BEL, AN Post Sean Kelly, 9pts
3) Rony Martias, FRA, Saur Sojasun, 4pts

Yodel Sprints Classification
1) Rony Martias, FRA, Saur Sojasun, 12pts
2) Kristian House, GBR, Rapha Condor, 9pts
3) Jonny Clarke, AUS, UnitedHealthcare, 7pts


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Related Links Home Page for the Tour of Britain (Links to reports & features)
The Tour of Britain Website

Stage 1: Ipswich to Norfolk Showground – 199km (Sunday 9th)
Stage 2: Nottingham to Knowsley – 178 km (Monday 10th)
Stage 3: Jedburgh to Dumfries – 161 km(Tuesday 11th)
Stage 4: Carlisle to Blackpool – 156 km (Wednesday 12th)
Stage 5: The Stoke-on-Trent Stage 146 km (Thursday 13th)
Stage 6: Welshpool to Caerphilly – 190 km(Friday 14th)
Stage 7: Barnstaple to Dartmouth 170 km (Saturday 15th)
Stage 8: Reigate to Guildford 147 km(Sunday 16th)

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