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Tour of Britain 2016: Stage 1

 Welcome to stage 1 of the 2016 Tour of Britain - a 161km leg from Glasgow to Castle Douglas. 

 There's a great line-up at this year's Tour of Britain and it's particularly strong on sprinters preparing for the Worlds road race in Qatar: Mark Cavendish (Dimension-Data, Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) and Caleb Ewan (Orica-Bike Exchange).  

And if you're hankering after a sighting of some Olympic medallists there's seven at the start: Elia Viviani, Tom Dumoulin, Alex Edmondson, Michael Hepburn, Mark Cavendish, Owain Doull and the man of the hour, Bradley Wiggins.  

 

In fact, check out the full start list here.  

 

Sunny skies over Glasgow for the start in a couple of minutes, but the weather looks changeable. 

 

 

On the menu for the riders today: three intermediate sprints at 4.7km, 42.7km and 102.3km.  

 

And we're off. the riders start with a lap of Glasgow centre. 

The peloton heads up Montrose Street, which was one of the key difficulties in the Commonwealth Games road race back in '14. 

 

Crowds out on the streets of Glasgow are strong. A good send-off for the race.  

 

There are also three KOM points on the road today: Skares at 77km, Kerse and 91.4km, and the stage's high point, Dalmellington, at 108.6km. It's all downhill to Castle Douglas after that. 

 

And the breaks have started: two An Post riders, Jonathan McEvoy and Peter Williams 

 

Peloton chasing hard. 

 

We've got a group of 5 with a 35 second gap. 

 

 

Just waiting on confirmation of names...

 

155km remaining from 168km

first sprint is in Jasper Bovenhuis takes it ahead of Pete Williams and Thomas Moses

 

The lead's grown to almost 1.50. 

 

The gap has stretched right out now to 2.45. 

 

Just to confirm the break Jasper Bovenhuis and Emiel Wastyn of An Post, Thomas Moses (JLT-Condor). Peter Williams (One Pro Cycling) and Jonathan McEvoy (NFTO).   

 

We're hearing that it's raining on the course. Welcome to Scotland, everybody. 

 

 

147km remaining from 168km

No surprise to see Peter Williams among this lot. He won the Sprint and KoM jerseys last year. 

 

The gap has gone out to four minutes now. 

 

The gap has stabilised nicely at a manageable four minutes. The big sprint teams aiming for a sprint finish have contributed a man each to the chase. 

 

Dimension Data are taking charge of the peloton and keeping the gap manageable. 

 

In about 15 minutes or so, the five-man group will contest the second intermediate sprint in Kilmarnock.  

 

123km remaining from 168km

The first hour's up and we've covered 38.4km.

 

 

We're on the second intermediate sprint...

 

We're hearing Bovenhuis took first place and extended his lead.

 

 

That's still TBC, of course. 

 

Meanwhile back in the peloton, LottoNL-Jumbo are in charge, working for Dylan Groenewegen.

 

Back to the intermediate sprint. Bovenhuis took it, followed by Williams and McEvoy.  

 

The gap between the peloton and break has fallen to 3:10. 

 

 

Let’s have a look at our breakaway men, quickly...

AN-Post Emiel Wastyn is 24 and hails from Menen in the heart of Flanders. He spent a couple of years with the Verandas Willems cycling team before joining the Irish squad.

 

Peter Williams, 29, is a veteran of the British domestic scene and always goes well at this race. He won the sprint and KoM Jersey last year. It was the second time he’s won the sprints competition. He’s having a great year as well and just missed out on victory at Tro Bro Leon – that went to his One Pro Cycling team-mate, Martin Mortensen.

 

Jonny McEvoy over at NFTO is another North Westerner. The 27-year-old has been around the British block as well, having ridden for Motorpoint, Endura, NetApp-Endura before he joined NFTO.

 

24-year-old Thomas Moses is a former Tour of Normandie stage winner and was sixth in the Junior Paris-Roubaix in 2010. He’s been riding the JLT-Condor outfit for three years now.

 

And the second AN-Post man in the break is the Dutch rider, Jasper Bovenhuis. He’s currently He’s 25 and was a stagiaire with Cannondale last year.

 

Dimension Data, LottoNl-Jumbo and Lotto-Soudal continue to tap out a steady tempo at the front of the peloton.   

 

The gap's down at around 2:30. 

 

Bradley Wiggins is at the back of the peloton for now. I wonder what thoughts are going through his mind? This must surely feel like a victory lap of the UK for him.  

 

 

One of the intriguing subplots in this year's Tour of Britain will be how Caleb Ewan goes against Greipel and Cavendish. He's only 22 and took the Cyclassic Hamburg a couple of weeks ago so confidence should be running high. Read the latest here.  

 

We're on the first categorised climb of the day, to Skares

 

Looks like Stannard took a tumble at some point - he's got a bloodied knee.

 

 

the members of our break are watching each other closely as they approach the summit.

 

Moses has gone early 

 

Moses gets it. Williams second. 

 

84km remaining from 168km

the final results of that KoM sprint: Moses, Williams, Wastyn, McEvoy.  

 

 

The Peloton are just passing through the feed zone. No drama as the riders see what's for lunch.  

 

73km remaining from 168km

The front group are working nicely together as the rider approach the second KoM.  

 

The peloton are on lovely dry roads at the moment, led by Sky's Ian Stannard.  

 

up in the break, Wastyn attackes the break

 

 

this is a tough sprint for the second KOM...  

 

Williams did well to take maximum points at the KoM there. just waiting on the final results. 

Wastyn, who drifted across Williams in that KoM sprint, takes on bottles. 

 

here's the KoM confirmation Moses, Williams, Wastyn and McEvoy

 

 

 

here's the KoM confirmation Moses, Williams, Wastyn and McEvoy

 

 

 

Here is the KoM confirmation from the second prime: Moses, Williams, Wastyn and McEvoy

 

 

 

Here is the KoM confirmation from the second prime: Moses, Williams, Wastyn and McEvoy

 

 

 

 

Here is the KoM confirmation from the second prime: Moses, Williams, Wastyn and McEvoy

 

 

 

 

 Here is the KoM confirmation from the second prime: Moses, Williams, Wastyn and McEvoy.

 McEvoy punctured from a break a moment ago

We're on the third sprint here. 

 

Bovenhuis powers takes three out of three

 

111km remaining from 168km

The peloton's just upped the pace slightly and brought the gap down to around 2:40.

 

Next up, the Cat 3 Dalmellington. It could be Cat 2 - it's both in the road book. 

 

Right now, the race is going through some spectacular scenery. And the rain is holding off.  

At the top of Dalmellington, the race will enter Dumfries and Galloway. 

 

Moses goes early on the climb

 

he's followed by Williams.

 

Williams makes the catch

 

Williams sits on Moses's wheel. 

 

 

Williams is looking comfortable, but Moses goes again. 

 

Williams takes it followed by Moses 

 

That'll be a trip to the podium for Williams tonight for the KoM jersey. 

 

 

It'll be a rapid descent now. Looking forward to the sprint on King Street in Castle Douglas: it’s a pretty straight forward final 3km but at about 400m to go, there's a 90-degree left turn and then a drag up towards the line.

 

Our break is back together, but for how long?

 

These are long and winding roads and the peloton is strung right out.

 

43km remaining from 168km

The gap is falling now - it's just over two minutes. 

 

Gap inside two minutes now

 

There's not much incentive for the break to really drill it: too much firepower behind and Bovenhuis and Williams already have today's jerseys in the bag.  

 

And indeed Bovenhuis and Williams are loitering at the back of the break. 

 

134km remaining from 168km

All the cars are being pulled out of the gap. We could be in for an entertaining final 30km. Wastyn has decided to push on however. 

 

The peloton immediately knocks the pace on the head. Too soon to make the catch.   

 

Wastyn grits his teeth on grippy roads. 

 

We're getting some images from Castle Douglas. Big crowds. Sun. Perfect. 

 

141km remaining from 168km

Just to recap the situation.  With 27km to go, AN Post's Wastyn is out in front. 20 seconds back we've got a foursome of Moses, Williams, Bovenhuis and McEvoy. And at about a minute the slumbering peloton. It'll wake soon, bet you. 

 

Wastyn's now back in the group and the gap to the peloton is a bare 30 seconds

 

Team Sky's Ian Stannard comes to the front, hoping that Elia Viviani still has the residual good form that brought the Italian gold in the omnium in Rio.

 

Our fivesome is working smoothly again. Meanwhile, back in the peloton it's looking chilled. Riders are taking on fluids and food for the final 20km.  

 

Instructions obviously coming down the wire to Sky riders as they press a finger to their ear to hear.  

 

It must be nice to be an Etixx-Quick Step rider today as they hang on the back of the peloton. Usually, they'd be up to the front riding for Marcel Kittel or another sprinter, but they're working for Dan Martin this race. Their work comes later. 

 

And Wastyns attacks again at 19km to go. 

 

Wastyn, sorry. There's only one of him. 

 

The group get him back pretty easily. 

 

 

Rain drops are falling again. Nothing serious though. 

 

Wastyn has another go with 12.5km to go. His third go.

 

Meanwhile the peloton is within 15 seconds

 

Wastyn calls it a day when he's caught again. 11km to go. 

 

Dimension Data lead the peloton. 

 

Our four remaining leaders are within sight and are just cooling down.  

 

Giacomo Nizzolo's Trek squad are occupying one flank of the peloton, Andre Greipel's Lotto-Soudal the other. 

 

Dimension Data, Orica and Sky are watching intently form the middle. 

 

This is a stately pace. 

 

163km remaining from 168km

Cavendish is moving up on Renshaw's wheel. 

they've got a big left hander coming up at 500m and the race is about to start, surely. 

 

Now the race for that corner begins

 

Orica-Bike Exchange come to the front for Ewan 

 

under the flamme rouge

 

Greipel's in third spot at the left hander

 

Ewan struggles for the german's wheel

 

Greipal takes it, Ewan second

Lotto-Soudal took that perfectly. Debusshere and Sieberg led Greipel around that corner perfectly. 

 

Cavendish and Groenewegen came down in a crash on the final corner. 

 

Cav's up and riding to the finish; looks fine. 

 

Here's the top five

Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), Ewan (Orica-Bike Exchange), Ramon Sinkeldam (Giant-Alpecin), Max Richeze (Etixx-Quick Step), Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo).  

 

Viviani was brought down in that crash as well. The forced snapped his bike in half. 

 

That's Greipel's fifth ToB stage victory. 

 

The stage top 10:

1 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal 4:52:40
2 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
3 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
4 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Etixx - Quick-Step
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 Daniel Mclay (GBr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
10 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal

 

The podium ceremony's just coming to an end with Greipel getting the yellow jersey.  

 

Before we leave you a summary of who's got what:

Greipel picked up the race leader's yellow jersey and the blue points jersey. Caleb Ewan will care-take the latter for him for tomorrow's stage between Carlisle and Kendal. One Pro Cycling's Peter Williams holds the KoM jersey and AN Post-Chain Reaction's Jasper Bovenhuis the Sprint's jersey. JLT-Condor's Tom Moses was named the day's most aggressive rider.    

 

We hope you tune in tomorrow for the 188km Lake District stage that goes up Whinlatter Pass, Chestnut Hill and The Struggle.   

 

Before we leave you, a summary of who's got what:

Greipel picked up the race leader's yellow jersey and the blue points jersey. Caleb Ewan will care-take the latter for him for tomorrow's stage between Carlisle and Kendal. One Pro Cycling's Peter Williams holds the KoM jersey and AN Post-Chain Reaction's Jasper Bovenhuis the Sprint's jersey. JLT-Condor's Tom Moses was named the day's most aggressive rider.    

 

Before we leave you, a summary of who's got what:

Greipel picked up the race leader's yellow jersey and the blue points jersey. Caleb Ewan will care-take the latter for him for tomorrow's stage between Carlisle and Kendal. One Pro Cycling's Peter Williams holds the KoM jersey and AN Post-Chain Reaction's Jasper Bovenhuis the Sprint's jersey. JLT-Condor's Tom Moses was named the day's most aggressive rider.    

 

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