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Unstoppable Boasen Hagen Makes it Three!


Stage 7. Sept 13 (Sat) Glasgow to Drumlanrig 95 miles


Summary: Edvald Boason Hagen continued his exceptional tour with a third stage win in four days as the Tour of Britain's penultimate stage finished beside the beautiful Drumlanrig Castle in southern Scotland. Once again in the break that counted, the Norwegian was simply too strong for his seven fellow escapees when it came down to a sprint at the finish. Meanwhile, the overall classification riders fought out their own stalemate through the final significant climbs of this year's tour.

A wet start in Scotland...


Stage Report: The riders rolled out of Glasgow with, on paper at least, a tough looking 153km of riding ahead of them, through the Eastern fringes of the great mass of upland which dominates Southwest Scotland. With heavy roads (coarse-surfaced and not conducive to free-rolling cycling) and some significant climbing ahead of them, the main GC contenders would have been both wary and nervous.

This area is something of a forgotten corner of the UK and yet SW Scotland's uplands cover a vast area, larger, for example than the Lake District or Snowdonia. With its smooth-backed hills, it's not got the visual drama of those tourist magnets, but it does have a grandeur and sense of space and wilderness all of its own and it made a grand backdrop for one of the Tour's most important acts to be played out against.

The first King of the Mountain prime of the day came at Nerston after less than 7km and the run up to it provoked a couple of early attacks which didn't amount to much. However, on the climb itself ten riders broke free from the front of the peloton in two phases. They included Danilo Di Luca and Topsport Vlanderen's Fred Veuchelen, the latter standing 8th overall at 28 seconds, so it was pretty much doomed to be chased down, which it duly was.

However, as it was caught, Garmin Chipotle's Julian Dean and CSC's Chris Sorensen jumped free themselves and were soon joined by the ever-active Di Luca and Jonny McEvoy of GB. McEvoy took the points at the top of the climb, a move that was probably all about denying DiLuca, who was second. Having failed to win a stage despite some superhuman efforts, Di Luca's interest seemed to have switched to attacking McEvoy's team-mate Ben Swift and his lead in the Mountains competition.

Jonathon McEvoy wins the king of the mountains climb out of Glasgow.

This group was soon swallowed up, but attacks kept coming and another group of eight was soon away and building a lead over the main field. And in that main field, riders were beginning to show the effects of a long week of battling through poor weather: several riders, including Tom Barras were dropped and others suffered delays following a big crash.

Up at the front the eight men away included three of this Tour's big break makers, Matt Goss Di Luca once again and double stage winner Boasen Hagen, plus his Columbia Team-mate Greg Henderson, Daryl Impey of Barloworld, Rock Racing's Fred Rodriguez, Julian Dean, and the SA-AIS rider Cameron Meyer.

By the first Sprint of the day, Gelspin, at 55km, their lead was over 5 minutes and increasing. At the top of the second King of the Mountains summit of the day, Crawfordjohn, Di Luca's intentions to concentrate on the Mountains jersey were now explicit as he went over the top first, ahead of Henderson and Goss - their lead was now an impressive 7 minutes, the biggest gap of the week, but with the Mennock climb still to come, anything could happen.

The peloton was, by his time, looking a little more organised and the break's lead stabilised at around 7 minutes as they swept through the Sanqhar Sprint, at 95km covered, with Boason Hagen taking the points ahead of Di Luca and Henderson.

As predicted by many, the Mennock pass saw the General Classification contenders and their teams in action. As the last significant topographical feature of this year's race, it was always going to be targeted by riders wanting to make a move up the standings. Chief amongst those with a need to make inroads into the lead of Agritubel's Geoffroy Lequarte was Barloworld's Steve Cummings and he sent his team on the offensive at the bottom of the climb. Cummings himself then went on the attack from the main field and broke clear with Fred Veuchelen, who was making his second serious move of the day.

Agritubel duly chased and although Cummings and Veuchelen were clear over the top of the pass, they were gradually reeled in on the long technical descent which followed. All this activity also brought the lead of the eight rider lead group down very quickly and with the LPR Brakes-Ballan team of Di Lucan and sprinter Petacchi also helping out, it was down to just over 2 minutes. Meanwhile, the main field itself was also being whittled down considerably, with a growing group of riders forming an "autobus" some minutes back.

With the last big climb behind them, the field found the run in to the finish at Drumlanrig Castle mainly downhill and the gap between the break and the main peloton stabilised again. It was soon apparent that the stage winner would be coming from the leading eight riders and with sprinters in it like Dean and Rodriguez, not to mention the wily and still hungry Di Luca, it looked set to be a fascinating sprint.

And in many ways it was, but perhaps in a slightly unexpected way. Despite all the firepower around him, it was the flying Norwegian Edvald Boason Hagen who again seized the moment, and with another awesome display of riding simply distanced Rodriguez and Meyer and out-powered the other four riders. His win was a certainty from a long way out. This rider seems to have the lot, not least the wit to make the most of his advantages time after time.

Second placed Matt Goss would be having a remarkable tour of his own if it weren't for the Columbia rider and you can be sure that Di Luca can't believe his bad luck in failing to score a single stage win so far, having been in every break of consequence and in the mix at the finish in all but a couple of the stages.

Two minutes and eighteen seconds after the winner crossed the line, Kristof Goddert of Topsport Vlaanderen won the bunch sprint for 9th place from Roger Hammond, at the head of a group of 31 riders, including all the main contenders.

So, going into the short, final stage from Blackpool to Liverpool, Agritubel's Geoffroy Lequatre leads Steve Cummings by six seconds, with Dan Martin a few second further back. It looks like only a tactical howler or bad luck can now rob Lequatre of the overall.

The jerseys with two of them held by the stage winner Boason Hagen (Green and Hot Spots).

Meanwhile, Di Luca has put himself in a strong position in the King of the Mountains competition. The Italian took maximum points from the second and third climbs of the day and now has a healthy seven point lead over Ben Swift. The almost pan-flat final stage does, however, include three "mountains" primes on the finishing circuit in Liverpool.

Di Luca and Boason Hagen jointly lead the sprints competition, largely due to having spent most of the last week away in breaks! Which also explains Boason Hagen becoming the new points leader from fellow peloton-phobe Matt Goss.



Below are the exclusive photos from Larry Hickmott who was able to follow the moves as they happened thanks to motorcycle pilot John Greatorex.



After the long transfers, the mechanics work into the night to prepare the bikes for the next stage.


No bus for GB to hide from the public in at the open team park.


Pena from Rock Racing trying the bag pipes whilst in Scotland.


National champions, British RR champ Rob Hayles and French champion Nicolas Vogondy.



The first attack comes from behind the race directors car as one of the LPR riders makes a bid for freedom.


A Pinarello rider joins the LPR rider for a short spell of freedom.


The next break with Dean Downing one of the three riders.


A larger group gets a couple of seconds on the peloton as they head to the first KOM climb


Dean Downing on the front of the lined out group


The next break contained Di Luca who yet again is giving everything to get away


Jonathon McEvoy of the GB team took the first KOM climb to protect his teammate's lead.


Agritubel however had the horsepower to bring it back and once the job was done, the rider leading went back down the string a long way to try and recover (see below). Yellow jersey is in third. One other Agritubel rider is in the break (see above the radio) and others down the back of the peloton and caught in the second half of a split.



Another break gets away on the rolling roads but comes back....


It comes back thanks to Rob Hayles with Ben Swift on his wheel.


Boason Hagen goes it alone though -- he really is a talent!


Behind there is a scramble to get away


Oscar Sevilla and a CSC rider make a break for freedom next


Then Roger Hammond gets a group away but the peloton is never far away as the sun breaks through the rain and cloud


The winning break starts to form led here by Matt Goss with Impey and Di Luca behind


Julian Dean in the background bridging to the group before the gap grows too big. They eventually had 7 minutes before the attack by Steve Cummings brought it tumbling down


Greg Henderson drives the break along over the tough roads to the top of the big climb. After that it was pretty much downhill all the way to the finish giving the bunch no chance of catching the leaders.


There was some funny things going on though and Di Luca was being back off a few times by other riders.


The peloton as you can see had sat up before the big climb of  Mennock pass which is why the leaders had such a big lead.


Di Luca takes the points at the second KOM.


Boason Hagen rolls across the line to win a Hot Spot sprint


Feeding time as Goss takes his musette


Mennock pass and Di Luca takes the lead to grab the points that gave him the lead in the KOM competition.


The break winds its way through the rolling hills and twisty roads of Scotland


Behind the break after Mennock Pass, Cummings and a Topsport rider are caught by the chasers. The climb was simply not hard enough for a split to be forced and the roads afterwards mostly downhill.


A Grand Setting for the finish of the stage...


Bunch finish for 9th place with Roger Hammond and Stuart O'Grady high up in the sprint won by the Topsport rider Goddaert.


The laughing group had some smiling faces including Dean Downing and Olympic Gold medallist Geraint Thomas and Olympic Bronze medallist Chris Newton.


Di Luca was presented with the Combativity award and  Boason Hagen the Stage winners spoils


Grand Tour and Classics winner Di Luca took the KOM jersey off the back of young Ben Swift...


Lequatre kept the leaders jersey on the stage where the GC was expected to change but didn't much.


Stage Results   
1 Boason Hagen, Edvald Team Columbia 3h45'18"
2 Goss, Matthew Team CSC - Saxo Bank @ s/t
3 Impey, Daryl Barloworld @ s/t
4 Di Luca, Danilo LPR Brakes - Ballan @ s/t
5 Dean, Julian Garmin - Chipotle @ s/t
6 Rodriguez, Fred Rock Racing @05"
7 Meyer, Cameron - AIS @ s/t
8 Henderson, Greg Team Columbia @26"
9 Goddaert, Kristof Topsport Vlaanderen @02'18"
10 Hammond, Roger Team Columbia @ s/t
11 O'Grady, Stuart Team CSC - Saxo Bank @ s/t
12 Lequatre, Geoffroy Agritubel @ s/t
13 Feillu, Romain Agritubel @ s/t
14 Bellis, Jonathan Team CSC - Saxo Bank @ s/t
15 Caethoven, Steven Agritubel @ s/t
16 Bosisio, Gabriele LPR Brakes - Ballan @ s/t
17 Martin, Daniel Garmin - Chipotle @ s/t
18 House, Kristian Rapha - Condor - @ s/t
19 Sutton, Chris Garmin - Chipotle @ s/t
20 Marque Porto, Alejandro Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @ s/t
21 Cummings, Steve Barloworld @ s/t
22 Berges, Emilien Agritubel @ s/t
23 Veuchelen, Frederik Topsport Vlaanderen @ s/t
24 Swift, Ben Great Britain @ s/t
25 Downing, Russell Pinarello RT - Candi TV @ s/t
26 Sorensen, Chris Team CSC - Saxo Bank @ s/t
27 Fleeman, Daniel An Post M.Donnelly @ s/t
28 Stannard, Ian Great Britain @ s/t
29 Vandewalle, Kristof Topsport Vlaanderen @ s/t
30 De Schrooder, Benny An Post M.Donnelly @ s/t
31 George, David MTN Energade @ s/t
32 Murray, Tom Pinarello RT - Candi TV @ s/t
33 Richardson, Simon Plowman Craven RT @ s/t
34 Woolcock, Waylon MTN Energade @ s/t
35 Sneeboer, Paul Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @ s/t
36 Evans, Kevin MTN Energade @ s/t
37 Walker, Johnnie - AIS @ s/t
38 Petacchi, Alessandro LPR Brakes - Ballan @ s/t
39 Sabido, Hugo Barloworld @ s/t
40 Hamilton, Tyler Rock Racing @02'33"
41 Sevilla, Oscar Rock Racing @ s/t
42 McEvoy, Jonathan Great Britain @02'38"
43 Bichot, Freddy Agritubel @02'43"
44 Elliott, Malcolm Pinarello RT - Candi TV @02'45"
45 Vanspeybrouck, Pieter Topsport Vlaanderen @ s/t
46 Oliphant, Evan Plowman Craven RT @02'50"
47 Dempster, Zakkari - AIS @ s/t
48 Southam, Tom Great Britain @ s/t
49 Partridge, Rob Rapha - Condor - @ s/t
50 Pauwels, Serge Topsport Vlaanderen @ s/t
51 Swift-Metcalfe, Tomas Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @02'59"
52 Barras, Tom Plowman Craven RT @03'09"
53 MacDonald, Neil MTN Energade @ s/t
54 Davis, Lee Pinarello RT - Candi TV @03'12"
55 Vogondy, Nicolas Agritubel @ s/t
56 Lowe, Trent Garmin - Chipotle @03'37"
57 Pena, Victor Hugo Rock Racing @03'42"
58 Backstedt, Magnus Garmin - Chipotle @ s/t
59 Blanco Rodriguez, David Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @03'55"
60 Tennant, Andrew Great Britain @ s/t
61 Sulzberger, Wesley - AIS @ s/t
62 Spezialetti, Alessandro LPR Brakes - Ballan @ s/t
63 Ermeti, Giairo LPR Brakes - Ballan @ s/t
64 Cucinotta, Claudio LPR Brakes - Ballan @ s/t
65 Kirchen, Kim Team Columbia @04'07"
66 Millar, David Garmin - Chipotle @04'40"
67 Reynes, Vicente Team Columbia @02'18"
68 Newton, Chris Rapha - Condor - @11'49"
69 Thomas, Geraint Barloworld @ s/t
70 Lisabeth, Kenny An Post M.Donnelly @ s/t
71 Downing, Dean Rapha - Condor - @ s/t
72 Gaywood, Simon Plowman Craven RT @ s/t
73 Thomson, Jay MTN Energade @ s/t
74 Van Heerden, Juan MTN Energade @ s/t
75 Williams, Peter Pinarello RT - Candi TV @ s/t
76 Hayles, Rob Great Britain @ s/t
77 Botero, Santiago Rock Racing @ s/t
78 Millard, James Plowman Craven RT @ s/t
79 Roche, Andrew Pinarello RT - Candi TV @ s/t
80 Gallagher, Stephen An Post M.Donnelly @ s/t
81 Hunter, Robbie Barloworld @ s/t
82 McGee, Bradley Team CSC - Saxo Bank @ s/t
83 Caccia, Diego Barloworld @ s/t
84 Appleby, Dale Rapha - Condor - @ s/t
85 Wiggins, Bradley Team Columbia @ s/t

General Classification   
1 Lequatre, Geoffroy Agritubel 25h02'25"
2 Cummings, Steve Barloworld @06"
3 Martin, Daniel Garmin - Chipotle @14"
4 Bosisio, Gabriele LPR Brakes - Ballan @15"
5 Stannard, Ian Great Britain @16"
6 Fleeman, Daniel An Post M.Donnelly @18"
7 De Schrooder, Benny An Post M.Donnelly @19"
8 Veuchelen, Frederik Topsport Vlaanderen @28"
9 Berges, Emilien Agritubel @40"
10 Downing, Russell Pinarello RT - Candi TV @01'24"
11 Marque Porto, Alejandro Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @01'47"
12 Bellis, Jonathan Team CSC - Saxo Bank @01'49"
13 House, Kristian Rapha - Condor - same time
14 Hammond, Roger Team Columbia @01'52"
15 George, David MTN Energade @01'54"
16 Sutton, Chris Garmin - Chipotle @01'59"
17 Richardson, Simon Plowman Craven RT @02'04"
18 Vandewalle, Kristof Topsport Vlaanderen @02'48"
19 Evans, Kevin MTN Energade @03'31"
20 Sabido, Hugo Barloworld @04'35"
21 Boasson Hagen, Edvald Team Columbia @09'18"
22 Goss, Matthew Team CSC - Saxo Bank @09'49"
23 Dean, Julian Garmin - Chipotle @10'41"
24 Southam, Tom Great Britain @11'06"
25 Petacchi, Alessandro LPR Brakes - Ballan @12'35"
26 Swift, Ben Great Britain @12'51"
27 Reynes, Vicente Team Columbia same time
28 Elliott, Malcolm Pinarello RT - Candi TV @13'13"
29 Walker, Johnnie - AIS @13'17"
30 Goddaert, Kristof Topsport Vlaanderen @14'11"
31 Pauwels, Serge Topsport Vlaanderen @15'03"
32 Oliphant, Evan Plowman Craven RT @15'51"
33 Partridge, Rob Rapha - Condor - @16'09"
34 Kirchen, Kim Team Columbia @16'10"
35 Rodriguez, Fred Rock Racing @16'19"
36 Feillu, Romain Agritubel @16'20"
37 Woolcock, Waylon MTN Energade @17'31"
38 Vanspeybrouck, Pieter Topsport Vlaanderen @17'42"
39 Caethoven, Steven Agritubel @17'50"
40 Ermeti, Giairo LPR Brakes - Ballan @17'56"
41 McEvoy, Jonathan Great Britain @18'02"
42 Di Luca, Danilo LPR Brakes - Ballan @18'12"
43 Murray, Tom Pinarello RT - Candi TV @18'51"
44 O'Grady, Stuart Team CSC - Saxo Bank @19'07"
45 Blanco Rodriguez, David Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @19'52"
46 Bichot, Freddy Agritubel @20'22"
47 Sorensen, Chris Team CSC - Saxo Bank @21'04"
48 Sneeboer, Paul Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @22'44"
49 Henderson, Greg Team Columbia @23'11"
50 Botero, Santiago Rock Racing @23'24"
51 Impey, Daryl Barloworld @24'16"
52 Sevilla, Oscar Rock Racing @24'43"
53 Spezialetti, Alessandro LPR Brakes - Ballan @24'57"
54 Dempster, Zakkari - AIS @25'14"
55 Tennant, Andrew Great Britain @25'23"
56 Hamilton, Tyler Rock Racing @26'52"
57 Davis, Lee Pinarello RT - Candi TV @27'06"
58 Sulzberger, Wesley - AIS @27'40"
59 Pena, Victor Hugo Rock Racing @28'09"
60 Lowe, Trent Garmin - Chipotle @28'39"
61 Backstedt, Magnus Garmin - Chipotle @28'52"
62 Williams, Peter Pinarello RT - Candi TV @30'22"
63 Barras, Tom Plowman Craven RT @30'57"
64 Gallagher, Stephen An Post M.Donnelly @31'34"
65 Van Heerden, Juan MTN Energade @33'42"
66 MacDonald, Neil MTN Energade @34'08"
67 Hayles, Rob Great Britain @34'33"
68 Vogondy, Nicolas Agritubel #NAME?
69 Lisabeth, Kenny An Post M.Donnelly @34'47"
70 Meyer, Cameron - AIS #NAME?
71 Appleby, Dale Rapha - Condor - @34'52"
72 Millar, David Garmin - Chipotle @35'49"
73 Caccia, Diego Barloworld @36'05"
74 Hunter, Robbie Barloworld @36'47"
75 Thomas, Geraint Barloworld @36'50"
76 Downing, Dean Rapha - Condor - @37'21"
77 Cucinotta, Claudio LPR Brakes - Ballan @37'23"
78 McGee, Bradley Team CSC - Saxo Bank @37'53"
79 Swift-Metcalfe, Tomas Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @40'05"
80 Wiggins, Bradley Team Columbia @41'53"
81 Millard, James Plowman Craven RT @42'47"
82 Newton, Chris Rapha - Condor - @43'19"
83 Thomson, Jay MTN Energade @45'08"
84 Gaywood, Simon Plowman Craven RT @50'35"
85 Roche, Andrew Pinarello RT - Candi TV @1h00'56"

1 Boasson Hagen,E THR 58
2 Goss,M CSC 53
3 Dean,J TSL 48
4 Hammond,R THR 45
5 Petacchi,A LPR 44
6 Goddaert,K TSV 38
7 Di Luca,D LPR 38

1 Boasson Hagen,E THR 23
2 Di Luca,D LPR 23
3 Ermeti,G LPR 15
4 Impey,D BAR 13
5 Goss,M CSC 12
6 Caccia,D BAR 12
7 Williams,P POT 11
8 Oliphant,E PCA 9
9 Sutton,C TSL 9
10 Lequatre,G AGR 8
King of the Mountains   
1 Di Luca,D LPR 36
2 Swift,B GBR 29
3 House,K RCR 19
4 Cummings,S BAR 15
5 Goss,M CSC 15
6 Lequatre,G AGR 14
7 Boasson Hagen,E THR 14
8 Pauwels,S TSV 11
9 Sabido,H BAR 10
10 Stannard,I GBR 9

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