Tour of Britain: Ewan wins opener in Kelso

Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott) won stage 1 of the Tour of Britain, edging out Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) in a photo finish after a masterful leadout from Luka Mezgec. Elia Viviani (Sky) finished third, barely half a wheel's length further back.

A flat run-in saw the sprinters' teams battle it out, but despite Sky and Katusha-Alpecin being more visible it was Orica-Scott who got the timing right. The Australian outfit took control in the finale, with Mezgec and Ewan hitting the front just before a technical final kilometre, which included sharp turns, a narrow bridge and a cobbled finishing straight.

Boasson Hagen initially had the jump on Ewan, but the time spent in Mezgec's wheel benefitted the Australian, leaving him enough power to eke out the win.

"When I crossed the line, I was pretty confident that I had got it," Ewan said in the post-race press conference. "It was pretty close but then after the line I saw all the cameras around Eddy and then I started doubting. When it's that close you never really know."

"It was a pretty tricky final because of the tight corner with about 500 metres to go, and then obviously with the cobblestones in the finish, so we definitely wanted to be on the front into the corner, and then have Luka take me to the 200 metre mark.

"I can't complain about the leadout; I just had to sit there and get taken through the really tricky parts."

Taking bonus seconds into account, Ewan now leads the race with a three-second advantage over Boasson Hagen, with breakaway rider and sprint classification leader Karol Domagalski (One Pro Cycling) sitting in third overall a further second back.

How it unfolded

The 14th edition of the modern Tour of Britain opened with a 190km stage from Edinburgh, Scotland's capital, to the border town of Kelso. With three intermediate sprints and three classified climbs on the route, it was no surprise that the 8 riders of the breakaway were keen to get going early.

Within 20 kilometres of the start, the day's break was established, featuring Karol Domagalski (One Pro Cycling), Jacob Scott (AnPost-ChainReaction), Robert Partridge (Bike Channel-Canyon), Connor Swift (Madison-Genesis), Graham Briggs (JLT-Condor), Mark McNally (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Łukasz Owsian (CCC Sprandi-Polkowice), and Gorka Izagirre (Movistar).

Almost immediately their advantage ballooned to three minutes, before stabilising at two minutes as the peloton got organised.

Swift won the first climb of the day, also the highest point of the race, but there was more drama on the descent as Domagalski was knocked down by the Madison-Genesis team car. A cut elbow aside, the Pole didn't seem to sustain any major damage, and rejoined the group within ten kilometres.

Meanwhile, back in the peloton Orica-Scott, Sky and Quick Step led the way, with their sprinters Caleb Ewan, Elia Viviani and Fernando Gaviria in mind for the probable sprint finish in Kelso.

After passing through the finish for the first time, the exposed roads of the 79km finishing loop delivered the anticipated crosswinds. Katusha and BMC drove the peloton, briefly splitting the peloton and mopping up six riders from the break of the day.

The last men standing were the two Poles, Domagalski and Owsian, and both were rewarded for their perseverance. Domagalski's red sprints jersey will be a nice pick-me-up after his earlier crash, while Owsian leads the mountains classification.

On the lower slopes of the day's final climb, the two were finally caught by the Quick Step Floors-led peloton. Mark Cavendish was a notable casualty of the fast pace, while up front Fernando Gaviria was chasing down attacks.

With a flat run-in to the finish, a bunch sprint was inevitable as first Katusha and Sky, then Orica-Scott shared the pacemaking at the front of the peloton. Not every team could stay there in the technical final kilometre, however, and it was Orica-Scott who reaped the rewards for doing so.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott4:34:17
2Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension DataRow 1 - Cell 2
3Elia Viviani (Ita) Team SkyRow 2 - Cell 2
4Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-AlpecinRow 3 - Cell 2
5Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step FloorsRow 4 - Cell 2
6Christopher Lawless (GBr) Great BritainRow 5 - Cell 2
7Brenton Jones (Aus) JLT CondorRow 6 - Cell 2
8Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 7 - Cell 2
9Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step FloorsRow 8 - Cell 2
10Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC Racing TeamRow 9 - Cell 2
11Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-DrapacRow 10 - Cell 2
12Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 11 - Cell 2
13Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-AlpecinRow 12 - Cell 2
14Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 13 - Cell 2
15Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-ScottRow 14 - Cell 2
16Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 15 - Cell 2
17Oliver Wood (GBr) Great BritainRow 16 - Cell 2
18Mark Stewart (GBr) An Post Chain ReactionRow 17 - Cell 2
19Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 18 - Cell 2
20Hayden Mccormick (NZl) One Pro CyclingRow 19 - Cell 2
21James Shaw (GBr) Lotto SoudalRow 20 - Cell 2
22Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 21 - Cell 2
23Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 22 - Cell 2
24Russell Downing (GBr) JLT CondorRow 23 - Cell 2
25Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 24 - Cell 2
26Matthew Teggart (Irl) An Post Chain ReactionRow 25 - Cell 2
27Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-DrapacRow 26 - Cell 2
28Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 27 - Cell 2
29Scott Thwaites (GBr) Dimension DataRow 28 - Cell 2
30Ryan Mullen (Irl) Cannondale-DrapacRow 29 - Cell 2
31Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 30 - Cell 2
32Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar TeamRow 31 - Cell 2
33Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 32 - Cell 2
34Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 33 - Cell 2
35Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar TeamRow 34 - Cell 2
36Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 35 - Cell 2
37Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 36 - Cell 2
38Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-AlpecinRow 37 - Cell 2
39Silvan Dillier (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 38 - Cell 2
40Jos Van Emden (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 39 - Cell 2
41Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 40 - Cell 2
42Ariel Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step FloorsRow 41 - Cell 2
43Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 42 - Cell 2
44Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 43 - Cell 2
45Lars Boom (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 44 - Cell 2
46Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 45 - Cell 2
47Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 46 - Cell 2
48Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 47 - Cell 2
49Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team SkyRow 48 - Cell 2
50Owain Doull (GBr) Team SkyRow 49 - Cell 2
51Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team SkyRow 50 - Cell 2
52Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 51 - Cell 2
53Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Dexter Gardias (GBr) Bike Channel CanyonRow 53 - Cell 2
55Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 54 - Cell 2
56Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 55 - Cell 2
57Hugh Carthy (GBr) Cannondale-DrapacRow 56 - Cell 2
58Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 57 - Cell 2
59Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-DrapacRow 58 - Cell 2
60Rory Sutherland (Aus) Movistar TeamRow 59 - Cell 2
61James Oram (NZl) One Pro CyclingRow 60 - Cell 2
62Karol Domagalski (Pol) One Pro CyclingRow 61 - Cell 2
63Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step FloorsRow 62 - Cell 2
64Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 63 - Cell 2
65Kamil Gradek (Pol) One Pro CyclingRow 64 - Cell 2
66James Knox (GBr) Great BritainRow 65 - Cell 2
67Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team SkyRow 66 - Cell 2
68Richard Handley (GBr) Madison GenesisRow 67 - Cell 2
69Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:00:16
70Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data0:00:29
71Roger Kluge (Ger) Orica-Scott0:00:41
72James Gullen (GBr) JLT Condor0:01:50
73Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 72 - Cell 2
74Rory Townsend (GBr) Bike Channel CanyonRow 73 - Cell 2
75Jay Thompson (RSA) Dimension DataRow 74 - Cell 2
76Steele Von Hoff (Aus) One Pro CyclingRow 75 - Cell 2
77Regan Gough (NZl) An Post Chain ReactionRow 76 - Cell 2
78Eric Marcotte (USA) Cylance CyclingRow 77 - Cell 2
79Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 78 - Cell 2
80Jan Tratnik (Slo) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 79 - Cell 2
81Matthew Holmes (GBr) Madison GenesisRow 80 - Cell 2
82Alistair Slater (GBr) JLT CondorRow 81 - Cell 2
83Bryan Lewis (USA) Cylance Cycling0:03:57
84James Lowsley-Williams (GBr) Bike Channel Canyon0:06:26
85Alexandre Blain (Fra) Madison GenesisRow 84 - Cell 2
86Enzo Wouters (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 85 - Cell 2
87Harry Tanfield (GBr) Bike Channel CanyonRow 86 - Cell 2
88Connor Swift (GBr) Madison GenesisRow 87 - Cell 2
89Senne Leysen (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 88 - Cell 2
90Thomas Gibbons (USA) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 89 - Cell 2
91Paolo Simion (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 90 - Cell 2
92Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 91 - Cell 2
93Mark Mcnally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 92 - Cell 2
94Damien Shaw (Irl) An Post Chain ReactionRow 93 - Cell 2
95Peter Williams (GBr) One Pro CyclingRow 94 - Cell 2
96Taylor Gunman (NZl) Madison GenesisRow 95 - Cell 2
97Jonathan Mcevoy (GBr) Madison GenesisRow 96 - Cell 2
98Sean Mckenna (Irl) An Post Chain ReactionRow 97 - Cell 2
99Ian Bibby (GBr) JLT CondorRow 98 - Cell 2
100Andres Diaz (Ven) Cylance CyclingRow 99 - Cell 2
101Ethan Hayter (GBr) Great BritainRow 100 - Cell 2
102Jacob Hennessy (GBr) Great BritainRow 101 - Cell 2
103Kyle Murphy (USA) Cylance CyclingRow 102 - Cell 2
104Taylor Phinney (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 103 - Cell 2
105Rob Power (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 104 - Cell 2
106Jacob Scott (GBr) An Post Chain ReactionRow 105 - Cell 2
107Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 106 - Cell 2
108Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension Data0:07:30
109Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension DataRow 108 - Cell 2
110Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team SkyRow 109 - Cell 2
111Alan Banaszek (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 110 - Cell 2
112Simone Andreetta (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 111 - Cell 2
113Orlando Garibay (Mex) Cylance Cycling0:11:05
114Marcin Bialoblocki (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 113 - Cell 2
115Graham Briggs (GBr) JLT Condor0:12:43
116Robert Partridge (GBr) Bike Channel CanyonRow 115 - Cell 2
117Wesley Kreder (Ned) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 116 - Cell 2
118Chris Opie (GBr) Bike Channel CanyonRow 117 - Cell 2
119Adam Hartley (GBr) Great BritainRow 118 - Cell 2
DNFSamuel Hunter Grove (USA) Cylance CyclingRow 119 - Cell 2
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Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott15pts
2Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data14Row 1 - Cell 3
3Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky13Row 2 - Cell 3
4Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin12Row 3 - Cell 3
5Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step Floors11Row 4 - Cell 3
6Christopher Lawless (GBr) Great Britain10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Brenton Jones (Aus) JLT Condor9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto Soudal8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC Racing Team6Row 9 - Cell 3
11Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac5Row 10 - Cell 3
12Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert4Row 11 - Cell 3
13Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-Alpecin3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal2Row 13 - Cell 3
15Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-Scott1Row 14 - Cell 3
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Sprint 1 - Gifford, km 43.7
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Mark Mcnally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert3pts
2Karol Domagalski (Pol) One Pro Cycling2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Robert Partridge (GBr) Bike Channel Canyon1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 2 - Coldstream, km 95
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Graham Briggs (GBr) JLT Condor3pts
2Mark Mcnally (GBr) Wanty - Groupe Gobert2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Karol Domagalski (Pol) One Pro Cycling1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 3 - Melrose, km 164.2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Karol Domagalski (Pol) One Pro Cycling3pts
2Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Mountain 1 - Redstone Rigg, km 52.4
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Connor Swift (GBr) Madison Genesis6pts
2Jacob Scott (GBr) An Post Chain Reaction5Row 1 - Cell 3
3Robert Partridge (GBr) Bike Channel Canyon4Row 2 - Cell 3
4Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice3Row 3 - Cell 3
5Graham Briggs (GBr) JLT Condor2Row 4 - Cell 3
6Karol Domagalski (Pol) One Pro Cycling1Row 5 - Cell 3
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Mountain 2 - Scott's View, km 154.3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice6pts
2Karol Domagalski (Pol) One Pro Cycling5Row 1 - Cell 3
3Jay Thompson (RSA) Dimension Data4Row 2 - Cell 3
4Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data3Row 3 - Cell 3
5Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors2Row 4 - Cell 3
6Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension Data1Row 5 - Cell 3
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Mountain 3 - Dingleton, km 166.1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors6pts
2Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team5Row 1 - Cell 3
3Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data4Row 2 - Cell 3
4Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin3Row 3 - Cell 3
5Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky2Row 4 - Cell 3
6Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors1Row 5 - Cell 3
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Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Katusha-Alpecin13:42:51
2Lotto SoudalRow 1 - Cell 2
3Quick-Step FloorsRow 2 - Cell 2
4Orica-ScottRow 3 - Cell 2
5Cannondale-DrapacRow 4 - Cell 2
6BMC Racing TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 6 - Cell 2
8Great BritainRow 7 - Cell 2
9Team SkyRow 8 - Cell 2
10Movistar TeamRow 9 - Cell 2
11Team LottoNL-JumboRow 10 - Cell 2
12Bardiani CSFRow 11 - Cell 2
13One Pro CyclingRow 12 - Cell 2
14Dimension Data0:00:29
15JLT Condor0:01:50
16CCC Sprandi-PolkowiceRow 15 - Cell 2
17An Post - Chain ReactionRow 16 - Cell 2
18Bike Channel - Canyon0:08:16
19Madison - GenesisRow 18 - Cell 2
20Cylance Pro Cycling0:12:13
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General classification after stage 15
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica-Scott4:34:07
2Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data0:00:03
3Karol Domagalski (Pol) One Pro Cycling0:00:04
4Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky0:00:06
5Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin0:00:10
6Fernando Gaviria (Col) Quick-Step FloorsRow 5 - Cell 2
7Christopher Lawless (GBr) Great BritainRow 6 - Cell 2
8Brenton Jones (Aus) JLT CondorRow 7 - Cell 2
9Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 8 - Cell 2
10Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step FloorsRow 9 - Cell 2
11Floris Gerts (Ned) BMC Racing TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-DrapacRow 11 - Cell 2
13Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 12 - Cell 2
14Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Katusha-AlpecinRow 13 - Cell 2
15Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 14 - Cell 2
16Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-ScottRow 15 - Cell 2
17Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi PolkowiceRow 16 - Cell 2
18Oliver Wood (GBr) Great BritainRow 17 - Cell 2
19Mark Stewart (GBr) An Post Chain ReactionRow 18 - Cell 2