Greipel sprints to win

German also becomes first race leader after opening stage

The opening stage of the seventh Tour of Britain was won by Andre Greipel (HTC-Columbia) in a full bunch sprint alongside Blackpool's pleasure beach after 82 miles of racing on a stage that saw all four seasons in one day and seven cattle grids to negotiate.

Before the action started, 102 starters lined up in the shadow of Rochadale town hall as the clouds were gathering overhead. Before the start proper at the 'Bus Stop' on the A680, the heavens had opened. The foul weather, however, didn't put off an early trio of breakaway leaders led by Jack Bauer (Endura Racing), who was joined by Richie Porte (Saxo Bank) and Wout Poels (Vacansoleil). The threesome were already a minute clear at the first of three climbs the day, a third category King of the Mountain at Deerplay Moor after 15 miles.

After just over an hour of racing, the lead of the attacking trio had reached five and a half minutes, prompting Team Sky to move to the head of the bunch to begin to organise the chase. As the race headed through the beautiful and rugged Trough of Bowland Team HTC-Columbia added weight to the Sky chase and were also helped by Skil-Shimano.

The pressure at the front began to tell, and Bauer dropped off the pace to leave his breakaway companions to go it alone which they managed until 12 miles to go when they were swallowed up by the now racing bunch. However, by this time Porte had done enough to put himself into the sprints jersey at the end of the day and Poels had mopped up all the points in the King of the Mountains competition to ensure he was presented with the climbers jersey in Blackpool.

While the picture was starting to unfold at the front of the race, the hopes of Jonny Bellis came to end, for this Tour of Britain, when he packed after 54 miles. Despite the huge cheers of encouragement from the large crowds who had turned out to watch Bellis the pace proved too much for the 24-year-old Manxman who was in a critical condition in Italy less than a year ago following a scooter accident.

With just over 30 miles to go, Greipel suffered his first of two punctures although his team brought him easily back to the group. With a 31-mile run-in to the finish, it was only the wind (and rain) that made it hard work for the riders but bad luck again hit Greipel with five miles to go when he punctured for a second time.

The entire HTC Columbia team dropped back to help Greipel, who is the winningest rider in the peloton this year with a 17 professional victories to his credit and amazingly, they not only got him back to the bunch with 2.5 miles to go, but he was also led out by Mark Renshaw and Tony Martin after their big effort to get him back. Manuel Belletti (Colnago-CSF Inox) wasn't going to let the 28-year-old German have an easy run to the line and only a tyre's width separated them, leaving Greipel no time to celebrate his win. Despite the rainy weather and seven cattle grids, the race averaged 25mph.

After his 18th win of the season, Greipel said of his first win in his first Tour of Britain, "It's always something to win the first stage because you get the leader's jersey. It was our aim to win the stage here." The questions quickly turned to the weather, and once again Greipel was matter of fact about it. "The weather was not the best today; one minute it was warm and then it was cold again and then it was raining again."

Asked if he could keep the jersey he said, "There are a couple of good teams here so for sure they will try to drop me on the climbs."

This was also Porte's first Tour of Britain and the 25-year-old said afterwards, "I thoroughly enjoyed it today. I had to attack because if I want to ride for classification the only way I can do it is go up the road and take some climbs."

Tomorrow's 100-mile stage from Stoke to Stoke is hillier than today's with three climbs, two of which are first category, but another bunch sprint is in the cards.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1André Greipel (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia3:16:48 
2Manuel Belletti (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox  
3Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
4Alex Rasmussen (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
5Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo Test Team  
6Robert Wagner (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
7Gianlucia Brambilla (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox  
8Edward Clancy (GBr) Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta  
9Russell Downing (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
10Michael Van Stayen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen  
11Zak Dempster (Aus) Rapha Condor - Sharp  
12Andrew Tennant (GBr) Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta  
13Pierpaolo De Negri (Ita) ISD - Neri Giambenini  
14Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
15Michael Albasini (Swi) Team HTC - Columbia0:00:03 
16Mark Renshaw (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia  
17Alexandre Blain (Fra) Endura Racing  
18James Moss (GBr) Endura Racing  
19Mark Mcnally (GBr) An Post - Sean Kelly  
20Travis Meyer (Aus) Garmin - Transitions  
21Pim Lighart (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
22Philip Lavery (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly  
23Elia Favilli (Ita) ISD - Neri Giambenini  
24Peter Williams (GBr) Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta  
25Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
26Robbie Hunter (RSA) Garmin - Transitions  
27Christian Meier (Can) Garmin - Transitions  
28Dan Craven (Nam) Rapha Condor - Sharp  
29Martyn Irvine (Irl) Irish National Team  
30Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
31Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
32Federico Canuti (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox  
33Ricardo Van Der Velde (Ned) Garmin - Transitions  
34Simon Richardson (GBr) Sigma Sport - Specialized  
35Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank  
36Darren Lapthorne (Aus) Rapha Condor - Sharp  
37Marco Pinotti (Ita) Team HTC - Columbia  
38Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervelo Test Team  
39Kit Gilham (GBr) Sigma Sport - Specialized  
40Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
41Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Cervelo Test Team  
42Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly  
43Jonathan McEvoy (GBr) Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta  
44Baden Cooke (Aus) Team Saxo Bank  
45Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Cervelo Test Team  
46Jaroslav Marycz (Pol) Team Saxo Bank  
47Bert Grabsch (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia  
48Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
49Ian Bibby (GBr) Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta  
50Sean Downey (Irl) Irish National Team  
51Thierry Hupond (Fra) Skil - Shimano  
52Matt Stephens (GBr) Sigma Sport - Specialized  
53Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervelo Test Team  
54Mitchell Docker (Aus) Skil - Shimano  
55Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
56Adam Armstrong (Irl) Irish National Team  
57Carlo Scognamiglio (Ita) ISD - Neri Giambenini  
58Michael Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
59Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
60Ronan Mclaughlin (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly  
61Davide Riccibitti (Ita) ISD - Neri Giambenini  
62Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GBr) Rapha Condor - Sharp  
63Gianluca Mirenda (Ita) ISD - Neri Giambenini  
64Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
65Tom Murray (GBr) Sigma Sport - Specialized  
66Kristian House (GBr) Rapha Condor - Sharp  
67Jack Bauer (NZl) Endura Racing  
68Dale Appleby (GBr) Team Raleigh  
69Tom Barras (GBr) Team Raleigh  
70Iker Camano (Spa) Endura Racing  
71Stephen Barrett (Irl) Irish National Team  
72Thomas Martin (Irl) Irish National Team  
73Dan Fleeman (GBr) Team Raleigh  
74Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
75Conor Murphy (Irl) Irish National Team  
76Evan Oliphant (GBr) Endura Racing  
77Wouter Sybrandy (Ned) Sigma Sport - Specialized  
78Cameron Meyer (Aus) Garmin - Transitions  
79Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
80Lucas Sebastien Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank  
81Stephen Gallagher (Irl) Sigma Sport-Specialized  
82Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
83James Sampson (GBr) Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta  
84Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
85Mark Cassidy (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly  
86Liam Holohan (GBr) Team Raleigh  
87Robert Partridge (GBr) Endura Racing  
88Ben Greenwood (GBr) Rapha Condor - Sharp  
89Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin - Transitions  
90Tony Martin (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia  
91Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox  
92Patrick Sinkewitz (Ger) ISD - Neri Giambenini  
93Stephen Cummings (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
94Richard Handley (GBr) Team Raleigh  
95Marco Frapporti (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox  
96Matt Brammeier (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly  
97Geert Steurs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:00:18 
98Ronan Van Zandbeek (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof0:00:30 
99Alan Marangoni (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox0:00:42 
100Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Cervelo Test Team0:01:01 
101Peter Smith (Aus) Team Raleigh0:10:25 
DNFJonathan Bellis (GBr) Team Saxo Bank  
Sprint 1 - Norden
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Russell Downing (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team5 pts
2André Greipel (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia3 
3Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo Test Team2 
4Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano1 
Sprint 2 - Cockerham
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank5 pts
2Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team3 
3Jack Bauer (NZl) Endura Racing2 
4Bert Grabsch (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia1 
Sprint 3 - Stalmine
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank5 pts
2Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team3 
3Russell Downing (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team2 
4Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano1 
Mountain 1 - Deerplay Moor (Cat. 3)
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team4 pts
2Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank3 
3Jack Bauer (NZl) Endura Racing2 
4Kit Gilham (GBr) Sigma Sport - Specialized1 
Mountain 2 - Trough of Bowland (Cat. 2)
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team6 pts
2Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank5 
3Jack Bauer (NZl) Endura Racing4 
4Stephen Cummings (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team3 
5Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team2 
6Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team1 
Mountain 3 - Westfield Towers (Cat. 2)
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team6 pts
2Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank5 
3Jack Bauer (NZl) Endura Racing4 
4Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team3 
5Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team2 
6Pim Lighart (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team1 
Most combative
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Colnago-CSF Inox9:50:27 
2Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta  
3Sky Pro Cycling Team  
4Team HTC-Columbia0:00:03 
5Topsport Vlaanderen  
6Rapha-Condor-Sharp  
7Team Saxo Bank  
8Cervelo Test Team  
9Skil-Shimano  
10ISD-Neri Giambenini  
11Vacansoleil Pro Cycling  
12Garmin-Transitions0:00:06 
13AN Post Sean Kelly  
14Endura Racing  
15Sigma Sport-Specialized  
16Ireland National Team  
17Team Raleigh  
General classification after stage 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1André Greipel (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia3:16:36 
2Manuel Belletti (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox0:00:06 
3Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Professional Cycling Team0:00:08 
4Russell Downing (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
5Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank0:00:09 
6Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo Test Team0:00:11 
7Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
8Alex Rasmussen (Den) Team Saxo Bank0:00:12 
9Robert Wagner (Ger) Skil - Shimano  
10Gianlucia Brambilla (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox  
11Edward Clancy (GBr) Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta  
12Michael Van Stayen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen  
13Zak Dempster (Aus) Rapha Condor - Sharp  
14Andrew Tennant (GBr) Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta  
15Pierpaolo De Negri (Ita) ISD - Neri Giambenini  
16Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
17Jack Bauer (NZl) Endura Racing0:00:14 
18Michael Albasini (Swi) Team HTC - Columbia0:00:15 
19Mark Renshaw (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia  
20Alexandre Blain (Fra) Endura Racing  
21James Moss (GBr) Endura Racing  
22Mark Mcnally (GBr) An Post - Sean Kelly  
23Travis Meyer (Aus) Garmin - Transitions  
24Pim Lighart (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
25Philip Lavery (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly  
26Elia Favilli (Ita) ISD - Neri Giambenini  
27Peter Williams (GBr) Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta  
28Stijn Neirynck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
29Robbie Hunter (RSA) Garmin - Transitions  
30Christian Meier (Can) Garmin - Transitions  
31Dan Craven (Nam) Rapha Condor - Sharp  
32Martyn Irvine (Irl) Irish National Team  
33Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
34Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
35Federico Canuti (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox  
36Ricardo Van Der Velde (Ned) Garmin - Transitions  
37Simon Richardson (GBr) Sigma Sport - Specialized  
38Darren Lapthorne (Aus) Rapha Condor - Sharp  
39Marco Pinotti (Ita) Team HTC - Columbia  
40Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Cervelo Test Team  
41Kit Gilham (GBr) Sigma Sport - Specialized  
42Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
43Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Cervelo Test Team  
44Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) An Post - Sean Kelly  
45Jonathan McEvoy (GBr) Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta  
46Baden Cooke (Aus) Team Saxo Bank  
47Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Cervelo Test Team  
48Jaroslav Marycz (Pol) Team Saxo Bank  
49Bert Grabsch (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia  
50Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
51Ian Bibby (GBr) Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta  
52Sean Downey (Irl) Irish National Team  
53Thierry Hupond (Fra) Skil - Shimano  
54Matt Stephens (GBr) Sigma Sport - Specialized  
55Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervelo Test Team  
56Mitchell Docker (Aus) Skil - Shimano  
57Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
58Adam Armstrong (Irl) Irish National Team  
59Carlo Scognamiglio (Ita) ISD - Neri Giambenini  
60Michael Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
61Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
62Ronan Mclaughlin (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly  
63Davide Riccibitti (Ita) ISD - Neri Giambenini  
64Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GBr) Rapha Condor - Sharp  
65Gianluca Mirenda (Ita) ISD - Neri Giambenini  
66Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator  
67Tom Murray (GBr) Sigma Sport - Specialized  
68Kristian House (GBr) Rapha Condor - Sharp  
69Dale Appleby (GBr) Team Raleigh  
70Tom Barras (GBr) Team Raleigh  
71Iker Camano (Spa) Endura Racing  
72Stephen Barrett (Irl) Irish National Team  
73Thomas Martin (Irl) Irish National Team  
74Dan Fleeman (GBr) Team Raleigh  
75Albert Timmer (Ned) Skil - Shimano  
76Conor Murphy (Irl) Irish National Team  
77Evan Oliphant (GBr) Endura Racing  
78Wouter Sybrandy (Ned) Sigma Sport - Specialized  
79Cameron Meyer (Aus) Garmin - Transitions  
80Lucas Sebastien Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank  
81Stephen Gallagher (Irl) Sigma Sport-Specialized  
82Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
83James Sampson (GBr) Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta  
84Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
85Mark Cassidy (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly  
86Liam Holohan (GBr) Team Raleigh  
87Robert Partridge (GBr) Endura Racing  
88Ben Greenwood (GBr) Rapha Condor - Sharp  
89Dan Martin (Irl) Garmin - Transitions  
90Tony Martin (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia  
91Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox  
92Patrick Sinkewitz (Ger) ISD - Neri Giambenini  
93Stephen Cummings (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
94Richard Handley (GBr) Team Raleigh  
95Marco Frapporti (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox  
96Matt Brammeier (Irl) An Post - Sean Kelly  
97Geert Steurs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator0:00:30 
98Ronan Van Zandbeek (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof0:00:42 
99Alan Marangoni (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox0:00:54 
100Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Cervelo Test Team0:01:13 
101Peter Smith (Aus) Team Raleigh0:10:37 
Sprint classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank10 pts
2Russell Downing (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team7 
3Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team6 
4André Greipel (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia3 
5Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo Test Team2 
6Jack Bauer (NZl) Endura Racing2 
7Koen De Kort (Ned) Skil - Shimano2 
8Bert Grabsch (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia1 
Mountains classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team16 pts
2Richie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank13 
3Jack Bauer (NZl) Endura Racing10 
4Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Professional Cycling Team5 
5Stephen Cummings (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team3 
6Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team2 
7Pim Lighart (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team1 
8Kit Gilham (GBr) Sigma Sport - Specialized1 
9Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team1 
Points classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1André Greipel (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia15 pts
2Manuel Belletti (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox14 
3Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky Professional Cycling Team13 
4Alex Rasmussen (Den) Team Saxo Bank12 
5Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo Test Team11 
6Robert Wagner (Ger) Skil - Shimano10 
7Gianlucia Brambilla (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox9 
8Edward Clancy (GBr) Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta8 
9Russell Downing (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team7 
10Michael Van Stayen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen6 
11Zak Dempster (Aus) Rapha Condor - Sharp5 
12Andrew Tennant (GBr) Motorpoint - Marshalls Pasta4 
13Pierpaolo De Negri (Ita) ISD - Neri Giambenini3 
14Borut Bozic (Slo) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team2 
15Michael Albasini (Swi) Team HTC - Columbia1 
Teams classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Colnago-CSF Inox9:50:27 
2Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta  
3Sky Pro Cycling Team  
4Team HTC-Columbia0:00:03 
5Topsport Vlaanderen  
6Rapha-Condor-Sharp  
7Team Saxo Bank  
8Cervelo Test Team  
9Skil-Shimano  
10ISD-Neri Giambenini  
11Vacansoleil Pro Cycling  
12Garmin-Transitions0:00:06 
13AN Post Sean Kelly  
14Endura Racing  
15Sigma Sport-Specialized  
16Ireland National Team  
17Team Raleigh  

Related Articles

Back to top