Tour of Britain heads North

Following the prologue at Crystal Palace won by Mark Cavendish, earning him the yellow jersey before heading into the race proper, the Tour of Britain took some interesting twists and turns as it raced across the UK.

Stage 1 saw the T-Mobile team defending the yellow jersey, only for it to be lost on stage 2, a super fast stage that included the mighty Porlock Hill. With Tinkoff’s Nikolai Roberts now in yellow, stage 3 featured yet more tough climbs as it headed for Wolverhampton, with the peloton mostly staying together, spearheaded by the Tinkoff riders.

Highlight of the stage for British fans was Roger Hammond’s impressive third place. The stage spent much of it’s time in the Midlands, where Hammond is part-based. Hammond picked up enough points along the way to earn the green jersey.

“It was great to finish in the top three for in my home region and a real boost following such a tough day for the T-Mobile team yesterday," said Hammond. “There were lots of spectators out cheering along the route today and it was fantastic to part of a break-away full of so many Brits."

By stage 4, the yellow jersey had again changed shoulders, with Adrian Palmorares from the Fuerteventura-Canarias team was part of a decisive break forcing the previous yellow jersey Nikolai Roberts out of contention.

The highest placed brit rider as we right this is Daniel Lloyd (DFL-Cycling News-Litespeed) in 15th. T-Mobile’s Roger Hammond resides in 33rd while Mark Cavendish languishes in 42nd. Here’s hoping he Cavendish can turn his fortunes around on the remaining stages.

Stay tuned to for the latest news on the progress of the race.

New signing for Lampre

Lampre-Fondital have signed 29-year-old Christian Murro, winner of the Tre Valli Varesine earlier this year. The Italian rider has been a pro since 2004 and has three victories to his name. “Murro is a rider with persistence and good qualities. We're happy he will be with us in the next years," added Lampre general manager Giuseppe Saronni.

Barloworld and Astana racing in Belgium this weekend

British registered Barloworld will be heading to Belgium this weekend to take part in two races, the Paris-Brussels and GP Fourmies events. The races could be a great chance for Belarus’ Kastantsin Siutsou who has been well placed in lots of races and deserves a major result. He will be backed by Russia’s Alex Efimkin, Portugal’s Hugo Sabido, Italy’s Fabrizio Guidi (in case of a sprint finish), Gianpaolo Cheula, Paolo Longo, Borghini, James Perry and Colombian stagiaire Ramiro Rincon.

The Astana Cycling Team will also be in contention in the 219km Paris-Brussels event, with Maxim Gourov, Sergey Ivanov, Benoit Joachim , Aaron Kemps , Gennady Mikhaylov, Dimitriy Muravyev, Michael Schär and Yevgeny Sladkov flying the Astana flag.

97 French World Champion breaks collarbone

Laurent Brochard, the last French World Champion and pro for 15 years, crashed heavily in the Tour of Poland this week, resulting in a broken collarbone. The 39-year-old has notched up 41 wins since becoming a pro, and the French rider seems reluctant to throw the towel in just yet, he’ll continue to compete in 2008.