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PHOTO ALBUM BY LARRY HICKMOTT

Rapid Petacchi Brings Star Quality To London Stage

 

Stage 1; Sept 7 (Sunday) London

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Petacchi wins the first stage in London with Britain's champion Rob Hayles and Circuit Race champion Dean Downing in the mix in the bunch gallop.

 

Photo Album -- click the gallery button at the top of the page...

 

Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi gave the 2008 Tour of Britain a star-name winner for its prestigious first stage in the heart of London as he took a massed bunch sprint from National Champion Rob Hayles, riding for Great Britain.

The stage was contested over ten blisteringly quick laps of a new circuit on the Victoria Embankment in central London, which, with its long out and back layout reminded many observers of the Champs Elysees finale to the Tour de France.

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The flag is dropped  and the race is under way, stage 1 of the Tour of Britain

 

And just like in that final stage in Paris, the riders in London found establishing and maintaining a break was extremely hard to do. The race was dominated by an eight-man break that spent over half the race away.  With Brits Tom Southam and Krisitian House joined by a duo of Australians in Simon Clarke and Chris Sutton, plus Daryl Impey, Anders Lund, Vicente Reynes and Danilo Di Luca, the break had both the strong riders and requisite mixture of teams present to survive.

This break began to look quite dangerous and dominated the way the stage unfolded: eventually, the CSC and Agritubel teams went to the front and organised a determined and ultimately successful chase which brought things back together with about 2 laps of the ten to go to the finish. As the peloton closed them however down on the fast, straight roads, Di Luca jumped away for a last gasp solo attack on the eighth ascent of Tower Hill.

 

The Italian managed to hold off the field for just over a lap, but as Agritubel’s Geoffroy Lequatre tried to cross the gap, a CSC – Saxo Bank led field, pulled them back with a little over a lap to go. CSC and Garmin – Chipotle battled to control the field on that final lap to set up their respective sprint finishers and as the field entered the final kilometre it was Garmin’s Julian Dean on the front looking to lead out his man Magnus Backstedt. However, there was to be no victory for the Swede, as Petacchi and British Champion Rob Hayles swept past in the final metres.

The weather, which has been so topical of late and throughout the summer, for once smiled on a big event and there were only a few spots of rain during the almost two hours of racing, which took place in otherwise warm and pleasant conditions. Crowds around the course were absolutely huge in places, especially around the Westminster area and the start/finish, proving once again what a big draw top class road racing is when it comes to the capital.

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Jersey winners Alessandro Petacchi, Anders Lund and Kristian House along with the podium girls and race mascot.

 

For the Italian it was an emotional victory, coming on his return to the sport following an anti-doping suspension. Speaking after the stage, Petacchi said: “I’m very very happy with the win.  Today I stayed good and my team raced very well.  Now I think I start a new life of cycling, with a new team. My team did very good work in the last 2km, and on the last lap I stayed in the wheels of Backstedt, but I did a good sprint, which is a big relief.”

 

Thanks to the win, Petacchi leads the race overnight going into Monday’s stage from Milton Keynes to Newbury, while he also takes the Green Jersey, which will be worn by second place finisher Rob Hayles.

After victory in the second and third E.ON King of the Mountains climbs, Rapha – Condor – Recycling.co.uk rider Kristian House takes the E.ON King of the Mountains jersey. House understandably was pleased to pick up the jersey.

 

“We wanted to attack the race from the gun, particularly being in London where Rapha and Condor are based. There was a bit of a lull, and Tom Southam and me jumped across to the break.  It was a good break to be in, everyone was committed and worked, and I think that showed in how quickly the gap grew and how we maintained it.”

 

Rounding out the jersey wearers is CSC’s Anders Lund, who secured the Sprints Jersey by holding off Sutton and Impey at the second and third Hot Spot Sprints.

 

First Brit home was Rob Hayles whose teammate Tom Southam led the race for a long time in the break.  "I'm really happy with the race. I felt like I rode really well and I felt really good," said British Champion Rob Hayles who despite a fall recently, showed he really was the best of the British on the day.

 

"It was a tough race and there was a hugely talented group of riders out there. I feel very disappointed, I would have loved to get a victory for the home crowd but at the same time you've got to hold your hands up to riders like Petacchi.  I don't mind getting beaten by riders like him because he's a fantastic rider. I'm really happy because it's the first sprint finish I've had like that this year so to come through it and get a second place finish was fantastic."

Monday sees the opening road stage of the race, as The Tour of Britain crosses the South East, from Milton Keynes to Newbury.  With 145.4 kilometres in the way of the riders before they reach the Berkshire market town of Newbury.

 

London Grand Prix

In a nail biting finish of the London Grand Prix, Billy Jo Whenman managed to just grab the victory under the nose of Liam Holohan who had broken away with a lap to go and just ran out of legs.

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Brief Result
1. Billy Jo Whenman, Sport Beans
2. Liam Holohan, Pearl Izumi
3. Douglas Dewey, Team Tor 2000
4. Simon Holt
5. Stephen Adams
6. Marcin Bialoblocki
7. Jon Mozely
8. Andrew Tinsley
9. Martin Forde
10. Grant Bayton
11. Lee Smith
12. Graham Briggs
13. Jeroen Jansen
14. Mmatt Jones
15. Digby Symons
16. Simon Earnest
17. George Atkins
18. Adam Norris
19. Tom Smith
20. Joel Stewart

 

Photos -- Tour of Britain

Thanks to motor cycle pilot John Greatorex for helping us get the following images by Larry Hickmott.

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Yellow and Green jersey Alessandro Petacchi

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Kristian House gets the kisses from the podium girls Sophie Cullen and Nichola Cannon who appeared a little shy... Eight days of this and they'll get used to it

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National Champion Rob Hayles gets friendly with the race Mascot

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The riders took a few laps of the circuit in before the riders wanted to really race.

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The Tower of London sees the race pass by as Ben Swift leads the field around the u-turn in the road.

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The break starts to form after a third of the race has passed.

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One of the Rock racing riders has a dig on the leg back towards the finish line.

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The break putting time, Big Ben time, into the field behind.

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Tom Southam giving it some stick up the 'climb' to the KOM point on the circuit. With him is Anders Lund, Chris Sutton, Kristain House, Danilo Di Luca, Simon Clarke, and Daryl Impey.

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The Agritubel team chasing hard to bring the break back.

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The break have a go at one of the mid race sprints which split them and they never really recovered.

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The picture tells the story of the crowd lining the barriers to see glimpses of the worlds best professional riders.

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Danilo Di Luca, a former Tour of Italy winner, and part of the big break of the race, tries to get away again after the break has been brought back.

20080907_ToB_08_Stage1_20

Plowman Craven lead the field through at the bell with 8 kilometers to go. 

 

 

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Rock Racing pose for photographers at the start of the stage and certainly had some fans in the big crowd.

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Last years winner Romain Feillu joins his team on the stage.

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Despite the overcast conditions, there was a huge crowd lining the circuit for the race both at the start and out at the Tower of London

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Nervous smiles from Jonny Bellis as he joins some illustrious names in the CSC-Saxon Bank team.

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Double Gold medallist from the Beijing Olympics Bradley Wiggins on stage.

 

London Grand Prix

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Results

Stage 1 Results

1 Petacchi, Alessandro LPR Brakes - Ballan 1h51'54"
2 Hayles, Rob Great Britain same time
3 Backstedt, Magnus Garmin - Chipotle same time
4 Downing, Dean Rapha - Condor - Recycling.co. same time
5 Bahati, Rahsaan Rock Racing same time
6 Hammond, Roger Team Columbia same time
7 Goddaert, Kristof Topsport Vlaanderen same time
8 Hunter, Robbie Barloworld same time
9 Dempster, Zakkari SouthAustralia.com - AIS same time
10 Bellis, Jonathan Team CSC - Saxo Bank same time
11 Walker, Johnnie SouthAustralia.com - AIS same time
12 Goss, Matthew Team CSC - Saxo Bank same time
13 Downing, Russell Pinarello RT - Candi TV same time
14 Lisabeth, Kenny An Post M.Donnelly same time
15 Feillu, Romain Agritubel same time
16 Stannard, Ian Great Britain same time
17 Garrido Mayorca, Martin Palmeiras Resort - Tavira same time
18 Impey, Daryl Barloworld same time
19 Bichot, Freddy Agritubel same time
20 Appleby, Dale Rapha - Condor - Recycling.co. same time
21 Sneeboer, Paul Palmeiras Resort - Tavira same time
22 McEvoy, Jonathan Great Britain same time
23 Swift, Ben Great Britain same time
24 Cucinotta, Claudio LPR Brakes - Ballan same time
25 Murray, Tom Pinarello RT - Candi TV same time
26 Lloyd, Daniel An Post M.Donnelly same time
27 MacDonald, Neil MTN Energade same time
28 Marque Porto, Alejandro Palmeiras Resort - Tavira same time
29 Van Heerden, Juan MTN Energade same time
30 Vanspeybrouck, Pieter Topsport Vlaanderen same time
31 Caethoven, Steven Agritubel same time
32 Sevilla, Oscar Rock Racing same time
33 Richardson, Simon Plowman Craven RT same time
34 Roche, Andrew Pinarello RT - Candi TV same time
35 Oliphant, Evan Plowman Craven RT same time
36 Rodriguez, Fred Rock Racing same time
37 Meyer, Travis SouthAustralia.com - AIS same time
38 Gaywood, Simon Plowman Craven RT same time
39 Tennant, Andrew Great Britain same time
40 Woolcock, Waylon MTN Energade same time
41 Boasson Hagen, Edval Team Columbia same time
42 Lequarte, Geoffroy Agritubel same time
43 Thomas, Geraint Barloworld same time
44 Lloyd, Rhys Rapha - Condor - Recycling.co. same time
45 Elliott, Malcolm Pinarello RT - Candi TV same time
46 Reynes, Vicente Team Columbia same time
47 Gallagher, Stephen An Post M.Donnelly same time
48 Williams, Peter Pinarello RT - Candi TV same time
49 Millar, David Garmin - Chipotle same time
50 O'Grady, Stuart Team CSC - Saxo Bank same time
51 Lund, Anders Team CSC - Saxo Bank same time
52 George, David MTN Energade same time
53 Veuchelen, Frederik Topsport Vlaanderen same time
54 Thomson, Jay MTN Energade same time
55 De Schrooder, Benny An Post M.Donnelly same time
56 Evans, Kevin MTN Energade same time
57 Hamilton, Tyler Rock Racing same time
58 Southam, Tom Great Britain same time
59 Kirchen, Kim Team Columbia same time
60 Berges, Emilien Agritubel same time
61 House, Kristian Rapha - Condor - Recycling.co. same time
62 Caccia, Diego Barloworld same time
63 Partridge, Rob Rapha - Condor - Recycling.co. same time
64 Fleeman, Daniel An Post M.Donnelly same time
65 Martin, Daniel Garmin - Chipotle same time
66 Vandewalle, Kristof Topsport Vlaanderen same time
67 McGee, Bradley Team CSC - Saxo Bank same time
68 Sabido, Hugo Barloworld same time
69 Swift-Metcalfe, Tomas Palmeiras Resort - Tavira same time
70 O'Brien, Paidi An Post M.Donnelly same time
71 Cummings, Steve Barloworld same time
72 Meyer, Cameron SouthAustralia.com - AIS same time
73 Pauwels, Serge Topsport Vlaanderen same time
74 Sorensen, Chris Team CSC - Saxo Bank same time
75 Newton, Chris Rapha - Condor - Recycling.co. same time
76 Lowe, Trent Garmin - Chipotle same time
77 Di Luca, Danilo LPR Brakes - Ballan same time
78 Dean, Julian Garmin - Chipotle same time
79 Barras, Tom Plowman Craven RT same time
80 Henderson, Greg Team Columbia same time
81 Sulzberger, Wesley SouthAustralia.com - AIS same time
82 Blanco Rodriguez, David Palmeiras Resort - Tavira same time
83 Barbe, Koen Topsport Vlaanderen same time
84 Vogondy, Nicolas Agritubel same time
85 Gomis Lopez, Juan Palmeiras Resort - Tavira same time
86 Spezialetti, Alessandro LPR Brakes - Ballan same time
87 Pena, Victor Hugo Rock Racing same time
88 Davis, Lee Pinarello RT - Candi TV same time
89 Botero, Santiago Rock Racing same time
90 Clarke, Simon SouthAustralia.com - AIS same time
91 Bosisio, Gabriele LPR Brakes - Ballan same time
92 Millard, James Plowman Craven RT same time
93 Wiggins, Bradley Team Columbia same time
94 Ermeti, Giairo LPR Brakes - Ballan same time
95 Sutton, Chris Garmin - Chipotle 1h52'22"

General Classification after Stage 1

1 Petacchi, Alessandro LPR Brakes - Ballan 1h51'44"
2 Hayles, Rob Great Britain @04"
3 Impey, Daryl Barloworld @ same time
4 Lund, Anders Team CSC - Saxo Bank @ same time
5 Backstedt, Magnus Garmin - Chipotle @06"
6 Di Luca, Danilo LPR Brakes - Ballan @09"
7 Downing, Dean Rapha - Condor - Recycling.co. @10"
8 Bahati, Rahsaan Rock Racing @ same time
9 Hammond, Roger Team Columbia @ same time
10 Goddaert, Kristof Topsport Vlaanderen @ same time
11 Hunter, Robbie Barloworld @ same time
12 Dempster, Zakkari SouthAustralia.com - AIS @ same time
13 Bellis, Jonathan Team CSC - Saxo Bank @ same time
14 Walker, Johnnie SouthAustralia.com - AIS @ same time
15 Goss, Matthew Team CSC - Saxo Bank @ same time
16 Downing, Russell Pinarello RT - Candi TV @ same time
17 Lisabeth, Kenny An Post M.Donnelly @ same time
18 Feillu, Romain Agritubel @ same time
19 Stannard, Ian Great Britain @ same time
20 Garrido Mayorca, Martin Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @ same time
21 Bichot, Freddy Agritubel @ same time
22 Appleby, Dale Rapha - Condor - Recycling.co. @ same time
23 Sneeboer, Paul Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @ same time
24 McEvoy, Jonathan Great Britain @ same time
25 Swift, Ben Great Britain @ same time
26 Cucinotta, Claudio LPR Brakes - Ballan @ same time
27 Murray, Tom Pinarello RT - Candi TV @ same time
28 Lloyd, Daniel An Post M.Donnelly @ same time
29 MacDonald, Neil MTN Energade @ same time
30 Marque Porto, Alejandro Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @ same time
31 Van Heerden, Juan MTN Energade @ same time
32 Vanspeybrouck, Pieter Topsport Vlaanderen @ same time
33 Caethoven, Steven Agritubel @ same time
34 Sevilla, Oscar Rock Racing @ same time
35 Richardson, Simon Plowman Craven RT @ same time
36 Roche, Andrew Pinarello RT - Candi TV @ same time
37 Oliphant, Evan Plowman Craven RT @ same time
38 Rodriguez, Fred Rock Racing @ same time
39 Meyer, Travis SouthAustralia.com - AIS @ same time
40 Gaywood, Simon Plowman Craven RT @ same time
41 Tennant, Andrew Great Britain @ same time
42 Woolcock, Waylon MTN Energade @ same time
43 Boasson Hagen, Edval Team Columbia @ same time
44 Lequarte, Geoffroy Agritubel @ same time
45 Thomas, Geraint Barloworld @ same time
46 Lloyd, Rhys Rapha - Condor - Recycling.co. @ same time
47 Elliott, Malcolm Pinarello RT - Candi TV @ same time
48 Reynes, Vicente Team Columbia @ same time
49 Gallagher, Stephen An Post M.Donnelly @ same time
50 Millar, David Garmin - Chipotle @ same time
51 O'Grady, Stuart Team CSC - Saxo Bank @ same time
52 George, David MTN Energade @ same time
53 Veuchelen, Frederik Topsport Vlaanderen @ same time
54 Thomson, Jay MTN Energade @ same time
55 De Schrooder, Benny An Post M.Donnelly @ same time
56 Evans, Kevin MTN Energade @ same time
57 Hamilton, Tyler Rock Racing @ same time
58 Southam, Tom Great Britain @ same time
59 Kirchen, Kim Team Columbia @ same time
60 Berges, Emilien Agritubel @ same time
61 House, Kristian Rapha - Condor - Recycling.co. @ same time
62 Caccia, Diego Barloworld @ same time
63 Partridge, Rob Rapha - Condor - Recycling.co. @ same time
64 Fleeman, Daniel An Post M.Donnelly @ same time
65 Martin, Daniel Garmin - Chipotle @ same time
66 Vandewalle, Kristof Topsport Vlaanderen @ same time
67 McGee, Bradley Team CSC - Saxo Bank @ same time
68 Sabido, Hugo Barloworld @ same time
69 Swift-Metcalfe, Tomas Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @ same time
70 O'Brien, Paidi An Post M.Donnelly @ same time
71 Cummings, Steve Barloworld @ same time
72 Meyer, Cameron SouthAustralia.com - AIS @ same time
73 Pauwels, Serge Topsport Vlaanderen @ same time
74 Sorensen, Chris Team CSC - Saxo Bank @ same time
75 Newton, Chris Rapha - Condor - Recycling.co. @ same time
76 Lowe, Trent Garmin - Chipotle @ same time
77 Dean, Julian Garmin - Chipotle @ same time
78 Barras, Tom Plowman Craven RT @ same time
79 Henderson, Greg Team Columbia @ same time
80 Sulzberger, Wesley SouthAustralia.com - AIS @ same time
81 Blanco Rodriguez, David Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @ same time
82 Barbe, Koen Topsport Vlaanderen @ same time
83 Vogondy, Nicolas Agritubel @ same time
84 Gomis Lopez, Juan Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @ same time
85 Spezialetti, Alessandro LPR Brakes - Ballan @ same time
86 Pena, Victor Hugo Rock Racing @ same time
87 Davis, Lee Pinarello RT - Candi TV @ same time
88 Botero, Santiago Rock Racing @ same time
89 Clarke, Simon SouthAustralia.com - AIS @ same time
90 Bosisio, Gabriele LPR Brakes - Ballan @ same time
91 Wiggins, Bradley Team Columbia @ same time
92 Ermeti, Giairo LPR Brakes - Ballan @ same time
93 Williams, Peter Pinarello RT - Candi TV @20"
94 Millard, James Plowman Craven RT @30"
95 Sutton, Chris Garmin - Chipotle @33"

Points Competition after Stage 1
1 Petacchi, A LPR 15
2 Hayles, R GBR 14
3 Backstedt, M TSL 13
4 Downing, D RCR 12
5 Bahati, R RRC 11
6 Hammond, R THR 10
7 Goddaert, K TSV 9
8 Hunter, R BAR 8
9 Dempster, Z AIS 7
10 Bellis, J CSC 6
11 Walker, J AIS 5
12 Goss, M CSC 4
13 Downing, R POT 3
14 Lisabeth, K SKT 2
15 Feillu, R AGR 1

Sprints Competition after Stage 1
1 Lund, A CSC 10
2 Impey, D BAR 10
3 Sutton, C TSL 8
4 Di Luca, D LPR 2
5 Reynes, V THR 2
6 Clarke, S AIS 1

EON King of the Mountains after Stage 1
1 House, K RCR 11
2 Swift, B GBR 5
3 Di Luca, D LPR 3
4 Southam, T GBR 3
5 Lund, A CSC 2
6 Walker, J AIS 2
7 Reynes, V THR 2
8 Dean, J TSL 1
9 Sutton, C TSL 1

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