Feature Report: Tour of Britain Stage 1


Elia Viviani edges out Mark Cavendish to win the opening stage of the Aviva Tour of Britain

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Feature Report: Tour of Britain Stage 1

Stage 1 Beaumaris to Wrexham | Sunday 6 September

Elia Viviani edges out Mark Cavendish to win the opening stage of the Aviva Tour of Britain

Issued on behalf of SweetSpot Group

Team Sky’s versatile Italian sprinter Elia Viviani timed his late challenge perfectly to inch past big guns Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel to win a nail biting opening stage of the Aviva Tour of Britain in Wrexham.


Victory in Stage One puts Viviani into the race leader’s Aviva Yellow Jersey, with a four second lead, thanks to time bonuses, over Cavendish.

The win is Viviani’s second Aviva Tour of Britain stage win, and also the second occasion that he has won the opening stage of the race, having claimed victory at Drumlanrig Castle in 2013.

On a twisting, technical finish in Wrexham town centre the Etixx Quick-Step team caught the day’s breakaway inside the final two kilometres, setting things up perfectly for Cavendish who started his sprint with some conviction at about 200-metres out.

The big danger at that stage seemed to be old rival Greipel who had tracked Cavendish and opened up his own attack to the right of the road as they swept around the final bend at pace about 100-metres from the finish.


Cavendish had quickly glanced over his right shoulder, saw Greipel’s familiar red shirt and anticipated the German’s attack but at that precise moment Viviani roared through on the blindside to win by scarcely and inch. The Italian rider wasn’t sure if he had won or not but Cavendish, a veteran of scores of close finishes, knew instantly that he had lost, thumping his handlebar in frustration.

Viviani’s performance was Team Sky’s just reward for an outstanding team performance aimed specifically at giving the Italian a sporting shot against two of the great modern day speed merchants.

After a strong four man break went early in the day it was Sky who took control of the chase with Andy Fenn burying himself for the cause along with timely contributions from his teammates and Etixx Quick-Step and Lotto Soudal.

“It was difficult to control the break but we worked all day for that finish,” said Viviani who is already a stage winner at the Giro and Eneco Tour this season. “Andy Fenn did some fantastic work he was so strong today, I think he is in very good condition. Ben Swift also took some perfect decisions, deciding when we work, when to close the gap.


“With 100-metres to go I was thinking it was too late but Greipel came in between the middle of me and Cav. Then Cav went in the middle of the road I saw a little space on the left and I sprinted hard. It was very close. I didn’t know if I had won but when Cav shouted “oh no” that’s when I understood. The sprint is about seconds, you wait a second and you lose.”

Second placed Cavendish, the Premier Inn Best British Rider, was gracious in defeat: “I was I was super nervous actually because the guys who were staying round this way re-conned it yesterday and said it was sketchy. The last sharp left-hander it was a bit technical, the wind was blowing down through the buildings there, in the last straight, and I knew I had to lay off Mark Renshaw. It was going to be uphill, it was going to be a slog, and actually when I kicked off Mark I kicked really well.


“The line was just not coming quick enough. I looked over, could sense Greipel there and I think I sensed too much of Greipel. If I’d kept the left hand shut maybe I would have got it, but I was too concerned with the right and Elia came through on the line. Actually I’m pretty happy. I’m super happy with the team but obviously it’s disappointing not to win.

“This is the best race to prepare for the Worlds; it’s hard, it’s heavy roads, long stages. People come here to prepare for the worlds now. And I just hope Mick and the organisers keep it like this, and don’t make it crazy, stupid hard. I like to race in front of the home fans. And I do like to win but unfortunately that didn’t happen today.”

The sprint drama at the end of the day came after one of the most determined of breaks featuring some familiar names from Britain’s top domestic teams who between them drove it all the way into Wrexham where they were only caught by the charging peloton with just over one kilometre to go.

Kristian House of JLT Condor presented by Mavic, Tom Stewart of Madison Genesis and Peter Williams of ONE Pro Cycling usually manage to leave their imprint on the Aviva Tour of Britain and on this occasion were joined by Conor Dunne of An Post Chain Reaction.


Together they comprised the almost perfect break riding strongly as a quartet for the best part of 170-kilometres from Anglesey, over the Menai Bridge and through Snowdonia and the six counties of North Wales, at one stage running up a nine-minute lead.

The experienced House jumped to jump away on the final climb to take the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey while Dunne mopped up enough sprint points to earn the YodelDirect Sprint jerseys

“We worked well and although I couldn’t recall all of the climbs from our recce but I did remember the final one which is why I hit out when I did and took a long one,” says House who won the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey overall in 2012 is riding his tenth Aviva Tour of Britain.

“When the break went back up from a minute to 1-minute 24 with 10km to go for a minute we thought this might actually work – funnily enough we were going through a town called Hope at the time! In my head though it was always going to come back.


“This race has always been important to the domestic teams. Going back to my first start in 2005, it was more important to us than the bigger teams. That’s levelled out now – people look at it is preparation for the worlds. This is our worlds, this and the national championships; we can show on home turf what we’re capable of.”

ONE Pro Cycling’s Peter Williams earned himself the Rouleur Combativity Award for Stage One, while the opening day victory helped Viviani also take the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey.


Pete Williams with his big cheese


Ryan Mullen in the worldtour colours of his new team


Rob Partridge of NFTO talks about Wrexham, where he grew up and the venue for the stage finish today

Stage 1
1 VIVIANI Elia SKY 04:26:29
2 CAVENDISH Mark EQS @ same time
3 GREIPEL André LTS @ same time
4 DOULL Owain WGN @ same time
5 LOBATO DEL VALLE Juan Jose MOV @ same time
6 LIGTHART Pim LTS @ same time
7 RENSHAW Mark EQS @ same time
8 FARRAR Tyler MTN @ same time
9 BETTIOL Alberto TCG @ same time
10 BRIGGS Graham JLT @ same time
11 GERTS Floris BMC @ same time
12 POELS Wouter SKY @ same time
13 JANSE VAN RENSBURG Reinardt MTN @ same time
14 KENNAUGH Peter SKY @ same time
15 VAN DER LIJKE Nick TLJ @ same time
16 SWIFT Ben SKY @ same time
17 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald MTN @ same time
18 OPIE Chris ONE @ same time
19 PERON Andrea TNN @ same time
20 VANGENECHTEN Jonas IAM @ same time
21 TANKINK Bram TLJ @ same time
22 SVENDGAARD Michael Carbel CLT @ same time
23 CUMING Michael JLT @ same time
24 MCEVOY Jonathan NPC @ same time
25 BARKER Yanto ONE @ same time
26 MORKOV Michael TCS @ same time
27 VAN BAARLE Dylan TCG @ same time
28 VAKOC Petr EQS @ same time
29 GULDHAMMER Rasmus CLT @ same time
30 MCNALLY Mark MGT @ same time
32 KISERLOVSKI Robert TCS @ same time
33 WYSS Danilo BMC @ same time
34 WOOD Oliver GBR @ same time
35 TEUNS Dylan BMC @ same time
36 LANGEVELD Sebastian TCG @ same time
37 FERNANDEZ Ruben MOV @ same time
38 DE BIE Sean LTS @ same time
39 TRENTIN Matteo EQS @ same time
40 GAVIRIA RENDON Fernando EQS @ same time
41 WEGMANN Fabian CLT @ same time
42 STYBAR Zdenek EQS @ same time
43 TRUSOV Nikolay TCS @ same time
44 STANNARD Ian SKY @ same time
45 PETERS Alex GBR @ same time
46 BOUWMAN Koen TLJ @ same time
47 ZEPUNTKE Ruben TCG @ same time
48 DAVIES Scott GBR @ same time
49 CULLAIGH Gabriel GBR @ same time
50 OLIPHANT Evan RAL @ same time
51 SIEBERG Marcel LTS @ same time
52 DOWNING Russell CLT @ same time
53 SÖRENSEN Chris Anker TCS @ same time
54 HART Tao Geoghegan GBR @ same time
55 TOLHOEK Antwan TCS @ same time
56 DOMAGALSKI Karol RAL @ same time
57 WILLIAMS Peter ONE @ same time
58 MULLEN Ryan TCG @ same time
59 APPLEBY Dale NPC @ same time
60 SAGAN Juraj TCS @ same time
61 QUAADE Rasmus Christian CLT @ same time
62 LOZANO RIBA David TNN @ same time
63 KRUIJSWIJK Steven TLJ @ same time
64 SCULLY Thomas MGT @ same time
65 PHINNEY Taylor BMC @ same time
66 IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI Gorka MOV @ same time
67 PAUWELS Serge MTN @ same time
68 MEGIAS LEAL Javier TNN @ same time
69 INTXAUSTI ELORRIAGA Benat MOV @ same time
70 DENIFL Stefan IAM @ same time
71 HOUSE Kristian JLT @ same time
72 KUENG Stefan BMC @ same time
73 TENNANT Andrew WGN @ same time
74 STEWART Thomas MGT @ same time
75 MEURISSE Xandro SKT @ same time
76 MOSES Thomas JLT @ same time
77 CIOLEK Gerald MTN @ same time
78 ENGER Sondre Holst IAM @ same time
79 MORTENSEN Martin CLT @ same time
80 DEBUSSCHERE Jens LTS @ same time
81 SLATER Alistair SKT @ same time
82 ANTON HERNANDEZ Igor MOV @ same time
83 LAWLESS Christopher WGN @ same time
84 HANDLEY Richard JLT @ same time
85 CLEMENT Stef IAM @ same time
86 LOWSLEY WILLIAMS James NPC @ same time
87 TEKLEHAIMANOT Daniel MTN @ same time
88 BIBBY Ian NPC @ same time
89 PLANET Charles TNN @ same time
90 HARPER George ONE @ same time
91 BIALOBLOCKI Marcin ONE @ same time
92 SISKEVICIUS Paulius SKT @ same time
93 MARANGONI Alan TCG @ same time
94 LAMPIER Steven RAL @ same time
95 HUNT Joshua ONE @ same time
96 CRONSHAW Mathew MGT @ same time
97 HOLMES Matthew MGT @ same time
98 HAWDON Andrew RAL 20
99 PYM George RAL 22
100 CARTHY Hugh GBR 23
101 KNEISKY Morgan RAL @ same time
102 DUNNE Conor SKT @ same time
103 THOMPSON Michael WGN 27
104 KRUOPIS Aidis SKT @ same time
105 WIGGINS Bradley WGN 29
106 DUNBAR Eddie NPC 32
107 DIBBEN Jonathan WGN @ same time
108 PARTRIDGE Robert NPC 39
109 CHEVRIER Clement IAM 8
110 FRISON Frederik LTS 01:22
111 HENTTALA Joonas TNN 01:39
112 KLUGE Roger IAM 01:40
113 WILSON Jack SKT 01:52
114 BULGAC Brian TLJ 01:59
115 HOFLAND Moreno TLJ 02:38
116 FENN Andrew SKY @ same time
117 CLANCY Edward JLT @ same time
118 DE MESMAEKER Kevin TNN @ same time



Stage 1 | Sunday 6 September Beaumaris, Anglesey to Wrexham, 177.7km
Stage 2 | Monday 7 September Clitheroe to Colne, 159.3km
Stage 3 | Tuesday 8 September Cockermouth to Floors Castle, Kelso, 216km
Stage 4 | Wednesday 9 September Edinburgh to Blyth, 217.4km
Stage 5 | Thursday 10 September Prudhoe to Hartside, 166.2km
Stage 6 | Friday 11 September Stoke-on-Trent to Nottingham, 192.8km
Stage 7 | Saturday 12 September Fakenham to Ipswich, 227.4km
Stage 8 | Sunday 13 September London stage presented by TfL, 86.8km


UCI WorldTeams
BMC Racing (USA)
Etixx Quick-Step (Belgium)
IAM Cycling (Switzerland)
Lotto Soudal (Belgium)
Movistar Team (Spain)
Team Cannondale – Garmin (USA)
Team Lotto NL Jumbo (Netherlands)
Team Sky (Great Britain)
Tinkoff – Saxo (Russia)

UCI Pro Continental teams
Cult Energy Pro Cycling (Denmark)
MTN Qhubeka (South Africa)
Team Novo Nordisk (USA)

UCI Continental teams
An Post Chain Reaction (Ireland)
JLT Condor presented by Mavic (Great Britain)
Madison Genesis (Great Britain)
NFTO (Great Britain)
ONE Pro Cycling (Great Britain)
Team Raleigh GAC (Great Britain)
Team WIGGINS (Great Britain)

National Teams
Great Britain Cycling Team

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