Allesandro Petacchi won the final stage of theTour of Britain in Liverpool today to seal a hat-trick of stage wins on this year's race, but it was Geoffroy Lequartre ( Agritubel) who took the big prize. The Frenchman came home safely in the pack to win the general classification, and the yellow jersey, from Steve Cummings (Great Britain). The Briton started the day with a six second deficit on Lequartre but could take back no more than a second . The other competions were won by: Matthew Goss (CSC Saxo Bank) who took the points title; Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia) – the sprint crown; and Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes) king of the mountains. Today's stage started with an audacious break by Tyler Hamilton (Rock Racing) after the first kilometre, he built up a 16 second lead and was soon joined by Magnus Backstedt (Columbia), but the pair could not escape the the gravitational pull of the peloton and were easily swept up. Russell Downing (Pinarello RT-Candi TV), Backstedt (Columbia), and Malcolm Elliot (Pinarello RT-Candi TV) then broke after 29Km and quickly put two minutes into the chasing pack. However, it was not enough and the trio were caught on the run in to Liverpool with Olympic hero Bradley Wiggins making a surprise move to the front on the final lap of the city-centre circuit. Petacchi was not to be denied though and timed his sprint perfectly to take the stage win from Julian Dean (Garmin Chipotle) with Robbie Hunter (Barloworld in third spot). Overall the organisers of this year's Tour of Britain can give themselves a pat on the back for a well organised race with a strong field, which was also genuinely competitive – for the first time in it's short history. The only negative was that British crowds were denied the chance to see Tour de France sprint hero Mark Cavendish in action. Not to say that we weren't treated to some top-class sprinting but it would have spiced things up even more had Cavendish been in the mix. The young sprinter would surely have won some stages and been in contention for the sprint or points jerseys – instead he opted to ride in the Tour of Missouri, where he won three stages. Maybe next year. Tour of Britain Stage eight results:? 1 A Petacchi (Ita) LPR Brakes-Ballan, 2hrs 19mins 25secs? 2 J Dean (NZ)Garmin-Chipotle, same time? 3 R Hunter (SA) Barloworld, same time? 4 M Goss (Aus) CSC-Saxo Bank, same time? 5 R Hayles (GB) Great Britain, same time? 6 C Sutton (Aus) Garmin-Chipotle, same time? 7 R Hammond (GB) Columbia, same time? 8 J Van Heerden (SA) MTN Energade, same time? 9 R Downing (GB) Pinarello RT-Candi TV, same time? 10 K Lisabeth (Bel) SKT An Post M.Donnelly, same time Final general classification:? 1 G Lequatre (Fra) AGR Agritubel, 27hr 21mins 49secs ?2 S Cummings (GB) Barloworld, at 5secs? 3 I Stannard (GB) Great Brtain, at 14secs? 4 D Martin (Ire) Garmin-Chipotle 27h22'04" at 15secs? 5 G Bosisio (Ita) LPR Brakes-Ballan, at 16secs ?6 B De Schrooder (Bel) SKT An Post M.Donnelly, at 20secs ?7 D Fleeman (GB) SKT An Post M.Donnelly, at 25secs? 8 F Veuchelen (Bel) TSV Topsport Vlaanderen, at 29secs ?9 E Berges (Fra) AGR Agritubel, at 50secs? 10 R Downing (GB) Pinarello RT-Candi TV, at 1min 25secs
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.