Feature: Winning the Tour of Britain


A stage by stage look at how the 2015 Tour of Britain was won by Edvald Boasson Hagen to see how a stage race like our National Tour unfolds

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Feature: Winning the Tour of Britain

Last year, Edvald Boasson Hagen became the first rider to win his second Tour of Britain and the basis for that win came as early as stage 2.


The Tour of Britain opened on stage 1 with lots of fresh legs in the race and it was a sprinters stage where Viviani beat Cavendish and Griepel to the line with a near 100 up bunch sprint. It was on stage two however that a lot of potential GC riders lost their chance to do a ride for the overall and Boasson-Hagen laid the basis for his overall victory.

Stage 2, a lumpy stage, split into pieces with Petr Vakoc winng solo by seven seconds to Juan Jose Lobato and eventual Tour of Britain winner Boasson-Hagen at nine seconds. The win by Vakoc saw him go into the lead and of the 114 riders who finished, 30 or so of them were within nine seconds before a gap to Taylor Phinney and then after that, lots of gaps all the way down to Evan Oliphant (65th) who led in the gruppetto at 22 minutes with some star names (including former winner, Bradley Wiggins) in it.


A look at the 30 or so selection saw the WorldTour/ProConti teams dominate the numbers but nevertheless, British based riders Graham Briggs, Ian Bibby, Richard Handley and Tom Moses were among the selection to finish only nine seconds off the winner along with Boasson-Hagen.

Stage 3 saw the sprinters again take centre stage with another big bunch kick into Kelso won by Viviani and a new leader, Juan Jose Lobato after yellow jersey Vakoc lost almost 10 minutes. There was another big sprint on stage 4 won by Gavaria who beat Griepel and visible in the mix as he was in others was Owain Doull, staying up there on his way to a third on GC finish in London.

A summit finish on Hartside saw eventual runner up Poels make his move, finishing two seconds ahead of Boasson-Hagen who was in yellow but as expected, the result sheet shows lots of gaps with the best British based rider being Graham Briggs in 14th just 31 seconds down on Poels.


So whilst the summit finish saw time gaps between the top riders, they were only small with the eventual top three in London in the top five places, the first 11 covered by 38 seconds and only a minute covering the first 17 riders. More changes were about to happen on stage six however.

If there was damage done on stage 5, the sixth one saw more as a large group powered away and finished 47 minutes ahead of the back group. The stage was won by Trentin but in the group were the GC contenders Poels, Doull, Gulderhammer etc.

In all, the group was 30 strong and Trentin said it was one of his hardest races ever. Second to Trentin was Boasson-Hagen who’d gapped his GC rivals so whilst Poels finished 10th on the stage only four seconds behind Boasson Hagen (2nd on stage), bonuses earned saw the Norwegian’s lead open to 13 seconds on Poels.

Third placed Guldhammer also lost time to Boasson-Hagen and one of those in the top 10 was gone forever after missing the move. It also saw the end of the domestic rider challenge with Briggs missing it, and not one of the domestic riders making the move ending their hopes of a high GC finish.


Stage 8 in London and Greipel is relegated

Stage 7 saw a bunch sprint and Greipel got his win ahead of Viviani whilst the GC battle largely remained the same and with such small time differences, like a second between Doull and Guldhammer for third, stage 8 was going to see some action for the sprints going for bonuses.

And so they were and whilst the stage was won in a sprint (Viviani), the two seconds gained by Doull mid race saw him make the podium at the expense of Guldhammer which shows the importance of not just being at the font of the race stage by stage but also having the speed to gain seconds when necessary.

The battle between Boasson Hagen and Poels never got started and the Norwegian won by the same 13 seconds he had since stage 6. Doull was at 42 seconds and Guldhammer at 43. A minute (and two seconds) covered the first 10, four minutes the first 20. So lesson number one for GC hopefuls is not to lose time and stay as close to the leaders as possible before making their challenge as Boasson Hagen did on stages five and six. With a time trial however over almost 10 miles, the battle to win this years race is even harder.


A rider to watch, Tom Stewart of Madison Genesis
… continued after advert


The 2016 Edition promises to be a great race to watch and VeloUK will be doing just that as well as bringing you the stuff you won’t see on tele pre and post race plus interviews with the riders who don’t generally get on the TV either as their name isn’t Wiggins or Cavendish!

And something to remember as you watch the riders roll across the line each day… the gaps between riders as they cross the line is not the only thing to be considered for their overall position. As well as a summit finish on Haytor which will see some time gaps, and a time trial which will probably be even more crucial, there will also be bonuses:

From the manual: Time bonuses, applicable only to Individual General Classification by Time will be awarded on each stage as follows:
• Stage finishes 1 to 6, and Stage 8: 10, 6, & 4 seconds awarded to the first three finishers.
• Stage 7b finish, 6, 4 and 2 seconds awarded to the first three finishers
• Intermediate Yodel Sprints: (3 per stage Stages 1 to 6, Stage 8, 1 per Stage 7b) 3, 2 & 1 second to first 3 riders respectively

On top of that, there are plenty of tough stages (2 and 3 for example) which will see the race split up. Winning the 2016 Tour will take a special rider who can handle the big hills and do a good time trial. Early on, the riders who won’t win it will lose time and then stage by stage, the contenders will show themselves more and more as more and more drop away. There is a tough race in store for the riders for sure!

See you there…



Send your results as well as club, team & event news here


Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK