Tour of Britain 2016: Andre Greipel wins stage one as Mark Cavendish crashes
Lotto-Soudal sprint pulls on the yellow jersey after victory in Castle Douglas
Andre Greipel won stage one of the 2016 Tour of Britain to claim the first leader’s jersey of this year’s race after Mark Cavendish crashed on the final corner.
Greipel sprinted to victory at Castle Douglas as the 13th edition of the race got underway in Scotland, to ensure he will ride in yellow through the Lake District on stage two.
But Cavendish – in his first race back after winning omnium silver at the Rio 2016 Olympics – was denied a shot at victory as he crashed on the final corner, with the incident also bringing down Team Sky’s omnium gold medalist Elia Viviani.
A sprint finish was always expected with plenty of big-name sprinters on the start line in Glasgow, but not before five riders booked themselves a day in the break.
Pete Williams (ONE Pro Cycling), who has made it a habit to spend plenty of time up the road at the Tour of Britain in recent years, was unsurprisingly one of the quintet.
Tom Moses (JLT-Condor), Johnny McEvoy (NFTO) and An Post-Chain Reaction duo Jasper Bovenhuis and Emiel Watsyn also got up the road.
The five were able to contest the intermediate sprints and climbs, but their advantage was never allowed to grow to much more than three minutes.
Ian Stannard took on the martialling job for Team Sky, despite an earlier crash, with assistance from Orica-BikeExchange and LottoNL-Jumbo.
Up the road, Williams ensured he will wear the mountains jersey on bag two, while Bovenhuis took the maximum nine points on offer at the intermediate sprints.
Team-mate Watsyn was the only rider left by the time the sprint trains started to form, however, with Lotto-Soudal assuming control of the bunch.
Their slick lead-out not only helped them set the pace, but also avoid the carnage further back as Viviani, Cavendish and others came to grief on the tight final bend.
That left Greipel to finish off the work of lead-out men Marcel Sieberg and Jens Debusschere, with Caleb Ewan (Orica-BikeExchange) left with too much to do to outsprint the German and settling for second.
Such was Lotto-Soudal’s performance in the finale, Debusschere was actually the tenth man across the line, one place behind Great Britain’s Dan McLay; fellow Brit Chris Latham (Team Wiggins) finished eighth.
It is Greipel who will wear yellow on stage two, however, with bonus seconds meaning he leads Bovenhuis by a solitary second overall.
Tour of Britain 2016: stage one – result
1) Andre Greipel (GER) – Lotto-Soudal – 3.52.40hrs
2) Caleb Ewan (AUS) – Orica-BikeExchange – ST
3) Ramon Sinkeldam (NED) – Giant-Alpecin
4) Maximiliano Richeze (ARG) – Etixx-QuickStep
5) Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA) – Trek-Segafredo
6) Nicola Ruffoni (ITA) – Bardiani-CSF
7) Steele von Hoff (AUS) – ONE Pro Cycling
8) Chris Latham (GBR) – Team Wiggins
9) Dan McLay (GBR) – Great Britain
10) Jens Debusschere (BEL) – Lotto-Soudal
1) Andre Greipel (GER) – Lotto-Soudal – 3.52.30hrs
2) Jasper Bovenhuis (NED) – An Post-Chain Reaction +1”
3) Caleb Ewan (AUS) – Orica-BikeExchange +4”
4) Peter Williams (GBR) – ONE Pro Cycling – ST
5) Ramon Sinkeldam (NED) – Giant-Alpecin +6”
6) Johnny McEvoy (GBR) – NFTO +8”
7) Tom Moses (GBR) – JLT-Condor +9”
8) Maximiliano Richeze (ARG) – Etixx-QuickStep +10”
9) Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA) – Trek-Segafredo – ST
10) Nicola Ruffoni (ITA) – Bardiani-CSF
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