By Peter Hodges
HTC – Columbia celebrate double success in London, as national Tour finishes on a high
Team HTC – Columbia celebrated winning The Tour of Britain in style as Andre Greipel took his third stage win of The Tour while Michael Albasini confirmed his overall victory to seal the Yellow Jersey presented by Bikeability.
Greipel took victory in the finishing sprint of The Tour, heading home Lucas Sebastien Haedo and Britain’s Roger Hammond in Newham to ensure that his HTC – Columbia team take four stage wins plus the overall prize from The Tour of Britain.
In the General Classification standings, Greg Henderson used the time bonuses available at the intermediate Sprints to leapfrog Richie Porte and move into third spot overall, though at the top there was no change with Swiss rider Albasini holding onto his one minute and five second advantage over Borut Bozic of the Vacansoleil team.
Henderson also sealed victory in The Prostate Cancer Charity Points Jersey thanks to his fourth place in the bunch sprint, while Michal Golas kept hold of the Sprints Jersey, which the Vacansoleil team added to the King of the Mountains Jersey won by Johnny Hoogerland, who immediately after the finish donated his race jersey and numbers to The Prostate Cancer Charity.
Taking the honours of top British rider was Rob Partridge of Endura Racing in eighth place, two minutes thirty two second back, while Motorpoint – Marshalls Pasta came sixth in the standings to take the honours as best of the five British domestic UCI Continental teams in The Tour, head of ProTour opposition like Garmin – Transitions.
Kicking off proceedings before the grand finale of The Tour of Britain was The Prostate Cancer Charity Tour Ride, which saw cyclists and celebrities ‘UniteByCycling’ to enjoy the Newham circuit in sunny conditions to take on the challenge of Stage Eight while helping to combat prostate cancer.
Speaking at the final stage of The Tour of Britain, John Neate, Chief Executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity, explains: “It was fantastic to see almost 1,000 amateur cyclists warming up the tarmac for the pros in the final stage of The Tour of Britain. Almost 4,000 people across the UK have united behind the cause on two wheels to measure themselves against the cycling elite. We are incredibly pleased to be partnered with The Tour of Britain and we hope to build the success of these unique sportive events further next year.”
Cyclists get a further chance to ride a Tour of Britain stage on Sunday 26th September, when The Prostate Cancer Charity Tour Ride takes place at Stoke-on-Trent over the tough of Stage Two of The Tour. To find out more visit www.tourride.co.uk
Racing in sunny conditions and in front of large crowds on the 12 kilometre circuit was fast from the drop of the flag, by Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales, with AN Post Sean Kelly Cycling Team’s Matt Brammeier being particularly active.
The Irish National Champion was soon on the attack by himself, spending the first couple of laps out front alone before he was caught by a strung out peloton. For that move, plus his part in a later breakaway, Brammeier earned himself the day’s Honda Combativity Award for the stages’ most aggressive rider.
Brammeier was reeled in by the Sky led peloton in time for Henderson to snatch victory at the opening hot spot Sprint, moving him level on time with Porte. Two laps later and Henderson once again headed the field as they sprinted for the line, elevating himself onto the podium at the expense of the Australian.
A more sizeable break then got away, instigated by Cervelo’s Jeremy Hunt, who circulated alone at first before being joined by Brammeier, Tom Barras, Peter Williams and Wouter Sybrandy. The quintet worked well together to build up a 30 second lead, but with HTC – Columbia and Sky on the front of the main field working for Greipel and Henderson the advantage was never going to be maintained.
Once reeled in the peloton could set itself up for the finishing sprint, taking in one final high speed tour of Newham, London’s Olympic and Paralympic Borough before turning onto the long, straight finishing line.
Bursting through to take his third win of The Tour was Greipel, who adds victory in London to wins in Blackpool and Great Yarmouth. Behind Haedo enjoyed another good day in the sprints, with Hammond taking third to end his home Tour on a high note.
Stage Eight Results
1) Andre Greipel Team HTC – Columbia 1h 57m 07s
2) Lucas Sebastien Haedo Team Saxo Bank @ same time
3) Roger Hammond Cervelo Test Team @ same time
Honda Combativity Award Winner: Matt Brammeier AN Post Sean Kelly Cycling Team
Final General Classification standings (after eight stages)
1) Michael Albasini Team HTC – Columbia 29h 23m 47s
2) Borut Bozic Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team @ 1m 05s
3) Greg Henderson Sky Professional Cycling Team @ 1m 10s
Final Prostate Cancer Charity Points Jersey standings (after eight stages)
1) Greg Henderson Sky Professional Cycling Team 74pts
2) Borut Bozic Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 68pts
3) Koen de Kort Skil – Shimano 50pts
Final King of the Mountains Jersey standings (after eight stages)
1) Johnny Hoogerland Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 56pts
2) Richie Porte Team Saxo Bank 45pts
3) Wout Poels Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 31pts
Final Sprints Jersey standings (after eight stages)
1) Michal Golas Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 34pts
2) Richie Porte Team Saxo Bank 22pts
3) Greg Henderson Sky Professional Cycling Team 21pts
Final Team General Classification (after eight stages)
1) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 88h 08m 02s
2) Sky Professional Cycling Team @ 6m 15s
3) Team Saxo Bank @ 24m 42s
The Tour of Britain is proud to be partnered with The Prostate Cancer Charity. Don’t forget this September your chance to follow in the wheel tracks of the professionals and ride three stages from The Tour of Britain. Go to www.tourride.co.uk to find out more!