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Three For Petacchi Too!


Stage 8. Sept 14 (Sunday) Blackpool to Liverpool 69 miles


Geoffroy Lequatre salutes the huge crowd in Liverpool as he wins the 2008 Tour of Britain, the second win in two years for his team who were equal to the task of defending the Yellow jersey. On the podium, the winner saluted his teammates who were in front of the podium to see him crowned winner.


Summary: Alessandro Petacchi became the second rider in the race to win three stages in the 2008 tour of Britain. As expected, the final stage into Liverpool came down to a bunch sprint and the Italian is one of the best in the world in that situation. Whereas other three-stage winner Edvald Boason Hagen is the master at nailing stages from breaks, Petacchi proved himself a class apart when the field stays together to the end.


Agritubel were able to celebrate the overall win they had earned through the tough mid-week stages, when they successfully defended Geoffroy Lequatre small, but ultimately adequate, overall lead. Behind Lequatre, Steve Cummings claimed second, with Ian Stannard moving up to third thanks to some final stage time bonuses.


The flag is ready to be dropped in Blackpool.


Stage Report: Heading South out of Blackpool on a pan flat stage into Liverpool, the field was soon up to speed, with the Agritubel boys providing much of the drive at the front, keen as they will be to protect their overall leader, Geoffroy Lequatre.

Despite the high pace, there were still plenty of attempts to get a break started, and with Petacchi and Boason Hagen having hoovered up five of the seven stages to date, there were still plenty of teams keen to make their first real impact on the race.

Much of the attacking came as the race tracked eastwards and inland along the north shore of the Ribble estuary and then back westward along the south shore towards Southport. Finally one of the breaks stuck and it comprised an interesting trio of riders - home crowd favourite Dean Downing, oldest man in the race Malcolm Elliott and arguably the biggest man in the race, Magnus Backsteadt.

Magnus Backstedt leads Malcolm Elliott and Dean Downing in their long break


As with the race's trip through the seaside resorts of Yorkshire, last week, the crowds were out in force in Lancashire's equivalents, most notably in Southport, where the streets were thronged with fans. At this point, the leaders had managed to get their lead out to almost 2 minutes, but they stalled at that and the peloton seemed content to let them dangle.

Passing through Bootle, with Liverpool firmly in their sights, the leading trio had been away for some 45 kilometres, but their lead was gradually beginning to diminish and was down to around 60 seconds. Once into Liverpool, the riders were faced with 6 laps of a city centre circuit, never the easiest scenario in which to defend a slender lead on the manic final day of a stage race.

Not sure if they were sincere in their applause as the Agritubel riders come to the front as Barloworld chases the break with help from GB.


LPR at the front of a chase group that is yet to be lined out

The first lap of the circuit virtually ended the hopes of the escapees as they were remorselessly worn down. It also pretty nearly ended Rob Hayles' race as he fell on one of the corners with a South Australian rider. But Hayles is nothing if not tough and remounted and was back in the main field after a short chase.

Two laps into the final six and the field caught the last survivor of the break, Magnus Backsteadt. In front of yet more huge crowds, the pace wound up considerably on a sporting and spectacular circuit. Steve Cummings briefly ignited interest by claiming 2 bonus seconds in a sprint, but generally Agritubel were vigilant and the overall result wasn't really in much doubt. But who would win the final stage?

Well, as we should have guessed, Alessandro Petacchi was in at the finish again doing what he does best. With the meteoric rise of Mark Cavendish, it's easy to forget that Petacchi held the unofficial title of the world's best Road sprinter for several years, earlier in the decade and although now well over 30, he's had to much guile, craft and, of course, sheer speed for the best of the other sprinters in this race. And once again, come the bunch gallop, there he was moving effortlessly clear to win his third stage of the race.

Behind him, Julian Dean was second, Robbie Hunter third, Matt Goss fourth and Rob Hayles fifth. These are all fine sprinters in their own right, but with the exception of Goss, who won the second stage, they've collectively been allowed little opportunity to shine in the collective shadow of Petacchi and Edval Boason Hagen.

In contrast to the stage winning exploits of Petacchi and Boason Hagen, Geoffory Lequarte's progress towards the overall win was almost stealthy. He never held much of an advantage over his main rivals, but with the Agritubel team dedicated to his cause, he equally never looked like being ousted from the yellow jersey. Steve Cummings, who finished second, tried hard, but had little opportunity to pressure his rival. Both Cummings and third placed Ian Stannard will, nevertheless, have benefited from contending for an eight day race, against quality opposition, in front of home crowds.


Backstedt, Elliott and Downing on the finishing circuit for the first time

Petacchi starts to raise his arms as he hits the finish line with Robbie Hunter throwing his bike to take third just behind Julian Dean who is just behind Petacchi.


The other jerseys went the way of the three main aggressors of the Tour. Edval Boasen Hagen added the Sprints jersey to his three stage wins and was the revelation of the week, a very different talent to Columbia stabelmate Mark Cavendish, but in his own way just as exciting.

Matt Goss, another young rider of great potential, took the Points jersey and was always there or thereabouts when significant breaks were forming. He also enjoyed a memorable win in Newbury.

Danilo Di Luca took the mountains jersey, having ripped it from Ben Swift's shoulders during the penultimate stage. Yet one senses that Di Luca will go home more than a little puzzled as to how he missed out on a stage win. At 32 he remains a class act, but he simply had no answer to Boason Hagen's talents as he lost out to the Norwegian in each of his stage wins.

And that was the 2008 Tour of Britain. There were no stage wins for the British riders, but the big crowds which followed the race around the country were treated to some highly entertaining racing, some moments of real class from a couple of the riders and some interesting and innovative route selections. Roll on the 2009 edition!


The final jersey winners, Danilo Di Luca, Geoffroy Lequatre, Edvald Boasson Hagen, and Matt Goss.



British Cycling has exclusive photos of how the stage unfolded brought to you by motor cycle pilot John Greatorex and photographer Larry Hickmott


Geoffroy Lequatrea popular winner and a very professional rider happy to talk to the press in English and pleased with the race. 


The champagne flows on the podium for the final time in 2008.



Final briefing for the NEG and Police at their race hotel in the morning.


As ever, a grand setting for the race in Blackpool.


The field rolls out from Blackpool on a roller coaster stage


Peter Williams launches himself down the road as Agritubel try to control the race though the Zero kilometre mark


Williams was joined by Tom Barras and Evan Oliphant.


After the Brits came US Champion Tyler Hamilton on a lone attack


Then Dean Downing had a go off the front


Dale Appleby and Peter Williams try their luck...


And yet more attacks in a very agressive opening to the short stage


Magnus Backsted was on fire today


Try, try try again was Magnus....


Tom Murray, Tom Barras, Dean Downing and a non-working Barloworld rider get away.


Magnus and co join the Barras break


A South rider gives chase but fails to catch the leaders


Olympic Gold medallist Geraint Thomas leads the Barloworld chase to try and bring the break back so Steve Cummings can target the bonus seconds on offer in the sprints.


Backsted and Elliott have a chat about their break for freedom


Downing gets advice from Rapha Condor manager John Herety


The crowds through Southport were massive


Elliott hands a bottle back and collects a new one...


Second lap for the three leaders



Backstedt goes it alone on lap three


Bradley Wiggins, double Olympic Gold medallist leads the chase for the Garmin rider


The crowds were massive


Ian Stannard goes after some bonus seconds just ahead of Steve Cummings


Bell lap and Wiggins leads the race round for Columbia



An unsung hero from the race -- Stephen Cummings, second overall but as ever, only stage winners and jersey winners are presented to the crowd which was a shame considering Steve is a home town boy! Well done to him for his second place overall.


British Cycling President Brian Cookson on the podium with stage winner Alessandro Petacchi.


The Combativity award went to Malcolm Elliott.


Boasson Hagen was the winner of the Sprints jersey


King of the mountains went to Danilo Di Luca.


Green jersey went to Matt Goss



Stage 8 Results   
1 Petacchi, Alessandro LPR Brakes - Ballan 2h19'25"
2 Dean, Julian Garmin - Chipotle same time
3 Hunter, Robbie Barloworld same time
4 Goss, Matthew Team CSC - Saxo Bank same time
5 Hayles, Rob Great Britain same time
6 Sutton, Chris Garmin - Chipotle same time
7 Hammond, Roger Team Columbia same time
8 Van Heerden, Juan MTN Energade same time
9 Downing, Russell Pinarello RT - Candi TV same time
10 Lisabeth, Kenny An Post M.Donnelly same time
11 Feillu, Romain Agritubel same time
12 Goddaert, Kristof Topsport Vlaanderen same time
13 Caethoven, Steven Agritubel same time
14 Boasson Hagen, Edvald Team Columbia same time
15 Rodriguez, Fred Rock Racing same time
16 Reynes, Vicente Team Columbia same time
17 Gaywood, Simon Plowman Craven RT same time
18 Roche, Andrew Pinarello RT - Candi TV same time
19 Walker, Johnnie - AIS same time
20 Richardson, Simon Plowman Craven RT same time
21 Cummings, Steve Barloworld same time
22 Lequatre, Geoffroy Agritubel same time
23 Stannard, Ian Great Britain same time
24 O'Grady, Stuart Team CSC - Saxo Bank same time
25 Veuchelen, Frederik Topsport Vlaanderen same time
26 Henderson, Greg Team Columbia same time
27 Martin, Daniel Garmin - Chipotle same time
28 House, Kristian Rapha - Condor - same time
29 De Schrooder, Benny An Post M.Donnelly same time
30 McEvoy, Jonathan Great Britain same time
31 Vandewalle, Kristof Topsport Vlaanderen same time
32 Appleby, Dale Rapha - Condor - same time
33 Sevilla, Oscar Rock Racing same time
34 George, David MTN Energade same time
35 Marque Porto, Alejandro Palmeiras Resort - Tavira same time
36 Bosisio, Gabriele LPR Brakes - Ballan same time
37 Swift, Ben Great Britain same time
38 Evans, Kevin MTN Energade same time
39 Bellis, Jonathan Team CSC - Saxo Bank same time
40 Pauwels, Serge Topsport Vlaanderen @06"
41 Fleeman, Daniel An Post M.Donnelly @ s/t
42 Sneeboer, Paul Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @ s/t
43 Williams, Peter Pinarello RT - Candi TV @ s/t
44 Millar, David Garmin - Chipotle @ s/t
45 Berges, Emilien Agritubel @09"
46 Newton, Chris Rapha - Condor - @ s/t
47 Blanco Rodriguez, David Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @ s/t
48 Barras, Tom Plowman Craven RT @ s/t
49 Murray, Tom Pinarello RT - Candi TV @ s/t
50 Partridge, Rob Rapha - Condor - @ s/t
51 Lowe, Trent Garmin - Chipotle @ s/t
52 Millard, James Plowman Craven RT @ s/t
53 Thomas, Geraint Barloworld @ s/t
54 Sulzberger, Wesley - AIS @ s/t
55 Thomson, Jay MTN Energade @ s/t
56 Gallagher, Stephen An Post M.Donnelly @ s/t
57 Ermeti, Giairo LPR Brakes - Ballan @14"
58 Impey, Daryl Barloworld @16"
59 Cucinotta, Claudio LPR Brakes - Ballan @27"
60 Elliott, Malcolm Pinarello RT - Candi TV @29"
61 Sabido, Hugo Barloworld @ s/t
62 Oliphant, Evan Plowman Craven RT @ s/t
63 Vogondy, Nicolas Agritubel @ s/t
64 Pena, Victor Hugo Rock Racing @ s/t
65 Hamilton, Tyler Rock Racing @ s/t
66 Davis, Lee Pinarello RT - Candi TV @ s/t
67 Woolcock, Waylon MTN Energade @ s/t
68 Tennant, Andrew Great Britain @49"
69 Southam, Tom Great Britain @ s/t
70 Botero, Santiago Rock Racing @ s/t
71 MacDonald, Neil MTN Energade @ s/t
72 Swift-Metcalfe, Tomas Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @57"
73 Backstedt, Magnus Garmin - Chipotle @01'00"
74 Vanspeybrouck, Pieter Topsport Vlaanderen @01'26"
75 Spezialetti, Alessandro LPR Brakes - Ballan @ s/t
76 Bichot, Freddy Agritubel @ s/t
77 Wiggins, Bradley Team Columbia @ s/t
78 Di Luca, Danilo LPR Brakes - Ballan @01'33"
79 Downing, Dean Rapha - Condor - @01'41"
80 Meyer, Cameron - AIS @01'59"
81 Sorensen, Chris Team CSC - Saxo Bank @02'18"
82 McGee, Bradley Team CSC - Saxo Bank @ s/t
83 Dempster, Zakkari - AIS @07'18

General Classification   
1 Lequatre, Geoffroy Agritubel 27h21'49"
2 Cummings, Steve Barloworld @05"
3 Stannard, Ian Great Britain @14"
4 Martin, Daniel Garmin - Chipotle @15"
5 Bosisio, Gabriele LPR Brakes - Ballan @16"
6 De Schrooder, Benny An Post M.Donnelly @20"
7 Fleeman, Daniel An Post M.Donnelly @25"
8 Veuchelen, Frederik Topsport Vlaanderen @29"
9 Berges, Emilien Agritubel @50"
10 Downing, Russell Pinarello RT - Candi TV @01'25"
11 Marque Porto, Alejandro Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @01'48"
12 Bellis, Jonathan Team CSC - Saxo Bank @01'50"
13 House, Kristian Rapha - Condor - same time
14 Hammond, Roger Team Columbia @01'53"
15 George, David MTN Energade @01'55"
16 Sutton, Chris Garmin - Chipotle @02'00"
17 Richardson, Simon Plowman Craven RT @02'05"
18 Vandewalle, Kristof Topsport Vlaanderen @02'49"
19 Evans, Kevin MTN Energade @03'32"
20 Sabido, Hugo Barloworld @05'05"
21 Boasson Hagen, Edvald Team Columbia @09'19"
22 Goss, Matthew Team CSC - Saxo Bank @09'50"
23 Dean, Julian Garmin - Chipotle @10'36"
24 Southam, Tom Great Britain @11'56"
25 Petacchi, Alessandro LPR Brakes - Ballan @12'26"
26 Swift, Ben Great Britain @12'52"
27 Reynes, Vicente Team Columbia same time
28 Walker, Johnnie - AIS @13'18"
29 Elliott, Malcolm Pinarello RT - Candi TV @13'39"
30 Goddaert, Kristof Topsport Vlaanderen @14'12"
31 Pauwels, Serge Topsport Vlaanderen @15'10"
32 Partridge, Rob Rapha - Condor - @16'19"
33 Rodriguez, Fred Rock Racing @16'20"
34 Feillu, Romain Agritubel @16'21"
35 Oliphant, Evan Plowman Craven RT same time
36 Caethoven, Steven Agritubel @17'51"
37 Woolcock, Waylon MTN Energade @18'01"
38 McEvoy, Jonathan Great Britain @18'03"
39 Ermeti, Giairo LPR Brakes - Ballan @18'11"
40 Murray, Tom Pinarello RT - Candi TV @19'01"
41 O'Grady, Stuart Team CSC - Saxo Bank @19'08"
42 Vanspeybrouck, Pieter Topsport Vlaanderen @19'09"
43 Di Luca, Danilo LPR Brakes - Ballan @19'46"
44 Blanco Rodriguez, David Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @20'02"
45 Bichot, Freddy Agritubel @21'49"
46 Sneeboer, Paul Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @22'51"
47 Henderson, Greg Team Columbia @23'12"
48 Sorensen, Chris Team CSC - Saxo Bank @23'23"
49 Botero, Santiago Rock Racing @24'14"
50 Impey, Daryl Barloworld @24'33"
51 Sevilla, Oscar Rock Racing @24'44"
52 Tennant, Andrew Great Britain @26'13"
53 Spezialetti, Alessandro LPR Brakes - Ballan @26'24"
54 Hamilton, Tyler Rock Racing @27'22"
55 Davis, Lee Pinarello RT - Candi TV @27'36"
56 Sulzberger, Wesley - AIS @27'50"
57 Pena, Victor Hugo Rock Racing @28'39"
58 Lowe, Trent Garmin - Chipotle @28'49"
59 Backstedt, Magnus Garmin - Chipotle @29'47"
60 Williams, Peter Pinarello RT - Candi TV @30'29"
61 Barras, Tom Plowman Craven RT @31'07"
62 Gallagher, Stephen An Post M.Donnelly @31'44"
63 Dempster, Zakkari - AIS @32'33"
64 Van Heerden, Juan MTN Energade @33'43"
65 Hayles, Rob Great Britain @34'34"
66 Lisabeth, Kenny An Post M.Donnelly @34'48"
67 Appleby, Dale Rapha - Condor - @34'53"
68 MacDonald, Neil MTN Energade @34'58"
69 Vogondy, Nicolas Agritubel @35'03"
70 Millar, David Garmin - Chipotle @35'56"
71 Hunter, Robbie Barloworld @36'44"
72 Meyer, Cameron - AIS @36'47"
73 Thomas, Geraint Barloworld @37'00"
74 Cucinotta, Claudio LPR Brakes - Ballan @37'51"
75 Downing, Dean Rapha - Condor - @39'01"
76 McGee, Bradley Team CSC - Saxo Bank @40'12"
77 Swift-Metcalfe, Tomas Palmeiras Resort - Tavira @41'03"
78 Millard, James Plowman Craven RT @42'57"
79 Wiggins, Bradley Team Columbia @43'20"
80 Newton, Chris Rapha - Condor - @43'29"
81 Thomson, Jay MTN Energade @45'18"
82 Gaywood, Simon Plowman Craven RT @50'36"
83 Roche, Andrew Pinarello RT - Candi TV @1h00'57"
1 Goss, M CSC 65
2 Dean, J TSL 62
3 Boasson Hagen, E THR 60
1 Boasson Hagen, E THR 24
2 Di Luca, D LPR 23
3 Ermeti, G LPR 15
King of the Mountains   
1 Di Luca, D LPR 39
2 Swift, B GBR 33
3 House, K RCR 19

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