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Tour of Britain 2009

Date range:
September 12-19, 2009

September 19, Stage 8: London - London 92.5km

Merlo takes first pro win on Britain's final stage

By:
Cycling News
Published:
September 19, 2009, 16:04 BST,
Updated:
September 19, 2009, 19:18 BST

Boasson Hagen closes Tour of Britain with overall win

Michele Merlo (Barloworld) in the mountain's jersey

Michele Merlo (Barloworld) in the mountain's jersey

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Michele Merlo (Barloworld) claimed his first professional victory, at the end of his first season in the pro ranks, to take the showpiece final stage of the Tour of Britain in London on Saturday.

After two second-places earlier in the week it was just reward for the 25-year old Italian, who, with Barloworld folding at the end of the year, is without a team for 2010.

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia-HTC) crossed the line in 39th, opting not to contest the sprint after his four stage wins in succession, on stages three, four, five and six. The 22-year old Norwegian had no need to go for win number five, having rubber-stamped his superiority, and cemented the overall win, mid-way through the final stage, by winning the third bonus sprint ahead of Chris Sutton (Garmin-Slipstream). Sutton also had a good final day, leapfrogging Martin Reimer and Kai Reus to claim second overall.

Geraint Thomas (Barloworld) was an early attacker, continuing a trend of the previous two stages, which had also seen him on the offensive, though he wasn’t allowed too much leeway. Starting the day at sixth overall, forty seconds down, he still presented an outside threat – as did his breakaway companion Tom Southam (Rapha-Condor), a minute down in 35th.

One of the stars of the race, the Belgian Thomas De Gendt (Toppsport-Vlaanderen), was predictably enough another attacker, having featured in breaks on all but one previous stage. The King of the Mountains and sprints winner admitted afterwards that he had a bizarre motivation for his final escape. "We worked out I had been on the attack for 594km," he said. "I needed 6km to make it 600. Once I had done 6km, I dropped back."

So bunched together were the first fifty riders on general classification – all of them starting the final day within a minute of Boasson Hagen – that Columbia-HTC opted to take no chances. Over the ten laps of a 9km circuit around Whitehall they kept a tight grip on proceedings.

One group that did get clear numbered five riders, with Simon Clarke (ISD-Neri), Darren Lapthorne (Rapha-Condor), Davide Appollonio (Cervelo Test Team), Tom Stamsnijder (Rabobank) and Geoffroy Lequatre (Agritubel) putting 22 seconds between themselves and the bunch.

Of the quintet, it was the presence of Lequatre that worried Columbia-HTC. Last year’s Tour of Britain winner, who has figured in several moves throughout the race, started the day placed seventh, 43 seconds behind Boasson Hagen. They were allowed a couple of laps of freedom before being brought back.

Several teams tried to set up the final sprint, with Halfords-Bikehut appearing at the front for Rob Hayles, and Euskaltel-Euskadi also prominent, for their man Koldo Fernandez. Thomas, meanwhile, took Merlo up to the front at 2km to go, dropping him off on the fourth wheel and then watching as the punchy Italian claimed the win from Fernandez, with Sutton third and Pierpaolo De Negri (ISD-Neri) fourth.

The British riders Hayles and Russell Downing (Candi-TV-Marshalls Pasta) placed fifth and sixth, with Tour of Ireland winner Downing ending the race as best British rider overall, in fifth.

"It’s my first year as a pro and my first win, so it’s very emotional," said Merlo. "It’s also my first time in London, and it was a great stage with big crowds. Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome did a great job for me, and I really trust them. Geraint at the end took me to fourth, and then I began sprinting with 200m, hit the front then, and held on. I’m trying to find another team and this win should help."

Boasson Hagen said, "It’s really good to win, and my team has worked all week. It’s been amazing, with all the crowds." The Eneco Tour winner put his latest stage race success just below that one, pointing out: "It’s a ProTour race, so it’s a bit bigger. But I don’t normally compare results. I’m really satisfied."

His fourth stage win, into Bideford, had been the most surprising, he confessed. "I didn’t expect the fourth one. But I had a really strong team and they helped me all week."

Due to ride for Team Sky in 2010, Boasson Hagen was asked if – after three stage wins last year, and four this year – he feels a special affinity to Great Britain. "I am still a Norwegian rider," he said. "But it’s nice to win in this country."

At the world championships in Mendrisio he will ride the time trial and road race. He even managed an hour on his time trial bike after Thursday’s stage, but he played down his chances in the road race. "There are a lot of good guys, it’s a hard race, and a lot longer than this," he said. "I don’t expect to win, but I hope to do a good race."

Full Results
1 Michele Merlo (Ita) Barloworld 1:56:55  
2 Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
3 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Garmin - Slipstream    
4 Pierpaolo De Negri (Ita) ISD-Neri    
5 Robert Hayles (GBr) Team Halfords    
6 Russell Downing (GBr) Candi TV- Pinarello RT    
7 Reinier Honig (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
8 Peter Williams (GBr) Candi TV- Pinarello RT    
9 Malcolm Elliott (GBr) Candi TV- Pinarello RT    
10 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Team Katusha    
11 Renaud Dion (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
12 Dan Craven (Nam) Rapha Condor    
13 Tim Mertens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
14 Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo Test Team    
15 Alan Marangoni (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare    
16 Davide Appollonio (Ita) Cervelo Test Team    
17 Simon Holt (GBr) Candi TV- Pinarello RT    
18 Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
19 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank    
20 Brice Feillu (Fra) Agritubel    
21 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Joker Bianchi    
22 Oscar Pujol (Spa) Cervelo Test Team    
23 Mauro Finetto (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare    
24 Javier Aramendia (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
25 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale    
26 Ian Stannard (GBr) ISD-Neri    
27 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel    
28 Stian Remme (Nor) Joker Bianchi    
29 Kristian House (GBr) Rapha Condor    
30 Bart Vanheule (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
31 Enrico Zen (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare    
32 Tanel Kangert (Est) AG2R La Mondiale    
33 Christophe Laurent (Fra) Agritubel    
34 Federico Canuti (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare    
35 Sondre Gjerdevik Sörtveit (Nor) Joker Bianchi    
36 Rob Ruygh (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
37 Kai Reus (Ned) Rabobank    
38 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank    
39 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Columbia - HTC    
40 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team Columbia - HTC    
41 Arnoud Van Groen (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
42 Mauricio Soler (Col) Barloworld    
43 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Katusha    
44 Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Cervelo Test Team    
45 Andrew Tennant (GBr) Team Halfords    
46 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare    
47 Blaise Sonnery (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
48 Tom Southam (GBr) Rapha Condor    
49 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Barloworld    
50 Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
51 Thomas Berkhout (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
52 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
53 Thomas Peterson (USA) Garmin - Slipstream    
54 Carlo Scognamiglio (Ita) Barloworld    
55 Simon Richardson (GBr) Rapha Condor    
56 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank    
57 Chris Newton (GBr) Rapha Condor    
58 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Joker Bianchi    
59 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Rabobank    
60 Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
61 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Cervelo Test Team    
62 Emilien Benoit Berges (Fra) Agritubel    
63 Gert Dockx (Bel) Team Columbia - HTC    
64 Graham Briggs (GBr) Candi TV- Pinarello RT    
65 Edward Clancy (GBr) Team Halfords    
66 Simon Clarke (Aus) ISD-Neri    
67 Martin Mortensen (Den) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
68 Tom Criel (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
69 Alessandro Colo (Ita) ISD-Neri    
70 Aitor Galdos (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
71 Bartozs Huzarsky (Pol) ISD-Neri    
72 Filippo Savini (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare    
73 James Sampson (GBr) Candi TV- Pinarello RT    
74 Ivan Velasco (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
75 Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Team Katusha    
76 Huub Duyn (Ned) Garmin - Slipstream    
77 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Team Katusha    
78 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team Columbia - HTC    
79 Andres Sergio De Lis (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
80 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha    
81 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team Columbia - HTC    
82 Trent Lowe (Aus) Garmin - Slipstream    
83 Steven Cummings (GBr) Barloworld    
84 Mark McNally (GBr) Team Halfords    
85 Daniel Fleeman (GBr) Cervelo Test Team    
86 Darren Lapthorne (Aus) Rapha Condor    
87 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Agritubel    
88 Ian Bibby (GBr) Team Halfords    
89 Frederik Wilman (Nor) Joker Bianchi    
90 Christopher Froome (GBr) Barloworld    
91 Josu Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:01:23  
DNS Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia - HTC    
Sprint 1
1 Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo Test Team 5 pts
2 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Garmin - Slipstream 3  
3 Russell Downing (GBr) Candi TV- Pinarello RT 2  
4 Reinier Honig (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 1  
Sprint 2
1 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel 5 pts
2 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Rabobank 2  
3 Davide Appollonio (Ita) Cervelo Test Team 1  
4 Darren Lapthorne (Aus) Rapha Condor 1  
Sprint 3
1 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Columbia - HTC 5 pts
2 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Garmin - Slipstream 3  
3 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank 2  
4 Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo Test Team 1  
Most aggressive rider
1 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
Teams
1 Candi TV- Pinarello RT 5:50:45  
2 Cervelo TestTeam    
3 Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
4 AG2R La Mondiale    
5 CSF Group - Navigare    
6 Agritubel    
7 Vacansoleil    
8 Joker Bianchi    
9 Rapha Condor    
10 Barloworld    
11 Rabobank    
12 Euskaltel-Euskadi    
13 ISD-Neri    
14 Team Halfords    
15 Team Katusha    
16 Garmin - Slipstream    
17 Team Columbia-HTC    
Final general classification
1 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Columbia - HTC 28:06:24  
2 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Garmin - Slipstream 0:00:23  
3 Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo Test Team 0:00:25  
4 Kai Reus (Ned) Rabobank 0:00:26  
5 Russell Downing (GBr) Candi TV- Pinarello RT 0:00:39  
6 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Barloworld 0:00:43  
7 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel    
8 Simon Clarke (Aus) ISD-Neri 0:00:47  
9 Reinier Honig (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 0:00:49  
10 Kristian House (GBr) Rapha Condor    
11 Rob Ruygh (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
12 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Cervelo Test Team    
13 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Rabobank 0:00:50  
14 Federico Canuti (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare 0:00:51  
15 Pierpaolo De Negri (Ita) ISD-Neri 0:00:52  
16 Malcolm Elliott (GBr) Candi TV- Pinarello RT    
17 Daniel Lloyd (GBr) Cervelo Test Team    
18 Renaud Dion (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
19 Javier Aramendia (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
20 Arnoud Van Groen (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
21 Thomas Peterson (USA) Garmin - Slipstream    
22 Ian Stannard (GBr) ISD-Neri    
23 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team Columbia - HTC    
24 Martin Mortensen (Den) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 0:00:57  
25 Aitor Galdos (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:00:58  
26 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Team Katusha 0:01:00  
27 Stian Remme (Nor) Joker Bianchi 0:01:01  
28 Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator 0:01:03  
29 Mauro Finetto (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare    
30 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank    
31 Christophe Laurent (Fra) Agritubel    
32 Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
33 Carlo Scognamiglio (Ita) Barloworld    
34 Tom Southam (GBr) Rapha Condor    
35 Thomas Berkhout (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
36 Brice Feillu (Fra) Agritubel    
37 Ivan Velasco (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
38 Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Joker Bianchi    
39 Andrew Tennant (GBr) Team Halfords    
40 Huub Duyn (Ned) Garmin - Slipstream    
41 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare    
42 Blaise Sonnery (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
43 Steven Cummings (GBr) Barloworld    
44 Chris Newton (GBr) Rapha Condor    
45 Bartozs Huzarsky (Pol) ISD-Neri    
46 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank    
47 Mauricio Soler (Col) Barloworld    
48 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha    
49 Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
50 Christopher Froome (GBr) Barloworld    
51 Davide Appollonio (Ita) Cervelo Test Team 0:01:08  
52 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:20  
53 Filippo Savini (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare 0:01:27  
54 Tanel Kangert (Est) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:45  
55 Graham Briggs (GBr) Candi TV- Pinarello RT 0:01:49  
56 Alan Marangoni (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare 0:01:50  
57 Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:01:58  
58 Alessandro Colo (Ita) ISD-Neri 0:03:13  
59 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team Columbia - HTC 0:04:07  
60 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team Columbia - HTC 0:04:11  
61 Tom Criel (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator 0:05:13  
62 Gert Dockx (Bel) Team Columbia - HTC 0:06:11  
63 Nicolas Vogondy (Fra) Agritubel 0:06:24  
64 Oscar Pujol (Spa) Cervelo Test Team 0:13:21  
65 Ian Bibby (GBr) Team Halfords 0:16:04  
66 Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Team Katusha 0:16:26  
67 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Katusha 0:16:39  
68 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Joker Bianchi 0:17:35  
69 Frederik Wilman (Nor) Joker Bianchi 0:17:53  
70 Simon Richardson (GBr) Rapha Condor 0:18:08  
71 Mark McNally (GBr) Team Halfords 0:18:15  
72 Enrico Zen (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare 0:19:03  
73 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator 0:21:05  
74 Daniel Fleeman (GBr) Cervelo Test Team 0:21:43  
75 Dan Craven (Nam) Rapha Condor 0:28:28  
76 Sondre Gjerdevik Sörtveit (Nor) Joker Bianchi 0:32:38  
77 James Sampson (GBr) Candi TV- Pinarello RT 0:34:28  
78 Peter Williams (GBr) Candi TV- Pinarello RT 0:35:41  
79 Michele Merlo (Ita) Barloworld 0:37:03  
80 Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank 0:37:14  
81 Bart Vanheule (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator 0:37:26  
82 Emilien Benoit Berges (Fra) Agritubel    
83 Josu Agirre (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:42:12  
84 Trent Lowe (Aus) Garmin - Slipstream 0:42:56  
85 Tim Mertens (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator 0:47:08  
86 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Team Katusha 0:48:00  
87 Andres Sergio De Lis (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:52:59  
88 Darren Lapthorne (Aus) Rapha Condor 0:56:07  
89 Simon Holt (GBr) Candi TV- Pinarello RT 1:03:23  
90 Edward Clancy (GBr) Team Halfords 1:03:34  
91 Robert Hayles (GBr) Team Halfords 1:18:45  
Points classification
1 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Columbia - HTC 86 pts
2 Christopher Sutton (Aus) Garmin - Slipstream 86  
3 Russell Downing (GBr) Candi TV- Pinarello RT 74  
4 Michele Merlo (Ita) Barloworld 63  
5 Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo Test Team 54  
Mountains classification
1 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator 60 pts
2 Martin Mortensen (Den) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 28  
3 Federico Canuti (Ita) CSF Group - Navigare 22  
4 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Barloworld 21  
5 Daniel Fleeman (GBr) Cervelo Test Team 19  
Sprint classification
1 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator 48 pts
2 Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo Test Team 30  
3 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Barloworld 16  
4 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel 15  
5 Kai Reus (Ned) Rabobank 11  
Teams classification
1 Rabobank 84:21:39  
2 Cervelo TestTeam 0:00:09  
3 Vacansoleil    
4 ISD-Neri    
5 CSF Group - Navigare 0:00:20  
6 Barloworld    
7 Garmin - Slipstream    
8 AG2R La Mondiale    
9 Euskaltel-Euskadi    
10 Agritubel 0:00:31  
11 Rapha Condor    
12 Candi TV- Pinarello RT 0:00:36  
13 Team Columbia-HTC 0:01:12  
14 Team Halfords 0:01:28  
15 Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator 0:03:48  
16 Team Katusha 0:15:43  
17 Joker Bianchi 0:17:21