Boonen triumphs in London finale while Pedersen wins overall
If the queen was watching from her balcony at Buckingham Palace on Sunday afternoon she would had seen Tom Boonen win the prestigious last stage in the Tour of Britain and Martin Pedersen (CSC) crowned the overall victor and rightful owner of the yellow jersey. The weather was an almost perfect at 23° Celsius and sunny but the blustery winds were causing havoc with the Italian style aluminium chairs that lined many of the cafes by the river Thames.
"I've recovered well from the crash suffered during the third stage," said the World Champion after the race. "I’m happy for my victory. The program I planned out for the World's is going well." Boonen powered down the finishing straight and took the victory sprint from Roger Hammond (GB) and Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile), who ensured he won the points competition with that effort.
Martin Pedersen (CSC) celebrated the biggest personal triumph of his career, as the young Dane won the overall classification.
"It was absolutely brilliant to be standing on the podium in London as the overall winner," said Pedersen. "I've won my two first victories as a professional in this race, and it's been a very special experience for me. It's been a great week and most of all I would like to thank the team, because they've really worked hard for me the whole time. The third stage was definitely the toughest, but both Andy Schleck and I were up front, so we had things under control. This victory gives me a major confidence boost, and I'll be taking advantage of that for sure."
Team CSC also won the team's competition and Andy Schleck made the podium in London as well, as he took the mountain jersey. Johan Van Summeren (Davitamon-Lotto) was king of the sprints.
A fantastic day for the Tour of Britain saw more spectators line London's streets than ever before. However, an incident early into the twenty-lap circuit took some of the shine off an otherwise superb spectacle.
Hugh Roberts, Chief Executive of the Tour of Britain commented, "A collision between a police motorcyclist and a marshal motorcyclist occurred on the route ahead of the competitors. The race marshal motorcyclist collided with the barriers. It's believed that four spectators and the marshal motorcyclist were injured. Two have been discharged already and the other injuries aren't believed to be serious.
"London Ambulance service and St Johns Ambulance were on the scene immediately and the Metropolitan Central traffic garage are dealing with the investigation."
Click here for the full results, report & photos of the last stage of the Tour of Britain.