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Garmin-Sharp's Dylan van Baarle wins Tour of Britain

Sir Bradley Wiggins and Marcel Kittel take final day honours as race ends with split stage in London

Garmin-Sharp’s Dylan van Baarle has won the Friends Life Tour of Britain in his first season as a professional. The 22-year-old limited his losses to second-place Michael Kwiatkoswski of Omega Pharma-Quick Step in the individual time trial that commenced the split stage in London today. That was won by Sir Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky who moved third overall, while Giant-Shimano’s Marcel Kittel took the honours in this afternoon’s circuit race.

Wiggins, in the red white and blue of national champion, completed the 8.8km time trial course in 9 minutes 50 seconds, 8 seconds ahead of IAM’s Sylvain Chavanel with BMC Racing’s Steve Cummings a further second back in third.

Van Baarle, as race leader, was the last man out on the course and was preceded by Kwiatkowski, 19 seconds back and many people’s tip to pip the young Dutchman to the overall win.  The Pole managed to haul back 9 seconds of the deficit, leaving Van Baarle to go into the afternoon with a small, but adequate cushion to emerge as surprise winner of the race.

The Garmin-Sharp rider had started yesterday’s Stage 7 to Brighton nearly a minute and a half off the race lead, but got into the break and finished third, 1 minute 20 seconds ahead of the main bunch and taking over the race lead from Movistar’s Alex Dowsett.

He became the sixth man to lead this year’s race, only Kwiatkowski, who took the overall lead after Wednesday’s Stage 4 to Bristol, and van Baarle himself today, managing to successfully defend the race lead.

His victory comes at the end of a week of racing in which the final result was always uncertain, reflecting the toughest course yet chosen by the organisers since the national tour was revived in 2004, and which produced highlights such as Kittel’s opening day win in Liverpool, and a well-deserved solo win by Bardiani-CSF’s Edoardo Zardini at Stage 3 on The Tumble.

The 88.8km Stage 8b that brought the race to an end this afternoon comprised ten laps of the same circuit starting and ending on Whitehall and stretching from Westminster Bridge to the Tower of London that had earlier hosted the time trial.

With the break swept up on the final lap, it was over to the sprinters to fight it out as usual, with Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s former world champion, Mark Cavendish, going head to head with Kittel in a sprint finish denied fans at the opening stage of the Tour de France when the Manxman crashed out.

Kittel beat Cavendish to the line by about half a wheel, with Nicola Ruffoni of Bardiani-CSF closing fast to finish just behind in third. Meanwhile, van Baarle crossed the line safely in the bunch to confirm his overall win.


Overall winner Dylan van Baarle of Garmin-Sharp

"I didn't really win the race today, - won it in Brighton yesterday. It was tough to defend my jersey in a time trial against Kwiatkowski but I did it and I'm very happy, I will remember this day for my whole life.

"I like these kind of stage races very much - not too long - but at the start of the week when I saw the list of riders, guys like Wiggins and Kwiatkowski I knew it was going to be very hard. I was hoping for perhaps top ten.

"It's been a very hard race, the roads are heavy, lots of little steep climbs but also the six man teams is a factor. It makes it really exciting as we saw in the stage of Alex Dowsett on Friday when the peloton were pulling and pulling and could not catch the break. That ride inspired me a little bit for our break on Saturday.

"In the future I would like to develop into a Classics rider - Roubaix and Flanders - and also races like this. I am probably too heavy to be a Grand Tour rider!"

Stage 8a winner Sir Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky

“I’m pleased to have won the time trial in London. That was obviously the goal at the start of the week as well as the GC. I’m up to third now so it’s not a bad defence of the title. I’m just pleased to be back in London racing and winning.

“I came in a bit short of race days. I’ve had 35 days ahead of the start. I certainly felt I was lacking a bit at the start of the week but I’ve just got better every day. I feel like I’ve started to come into some good shape at the end of it. It’s been probably the toughest Tour of Britain I’ve ridden.

“It’s been a really exciting race and it’s been changing every day,” he added. “Who would have predicted this at the start of the week? I think once Michal [Kwiatkowski] took the jersey everyone thought that was it. We started talking about getting 11 seconds back but the gaps have grown every day. Now Dylan van Baarle is going to run out the overall winner. When you look at how tough the race has been, whoever won it was going to deserve it.

“I’m feeling good ahead of the worlds. All my training has been towards that so it’s good to confirm my form with a win in a time trial, even though it was only a short one.”

Stage 8b winner Marcel Kittel of Giant-Shimano

“The lead-out was great today. To start and finish the race with a win is great. It has been a good week, hard racing but as a team we have raced well and it should set us up well for the races to come still at the end of the season.

“It worked out really well for us at the end today. We waited late to move up to the front and then Tom [Veelers] took me round the top corner before dropping me off in a perfect position. It was a hard sprint but I had enough to come back at the end and hold on. It’s a nice way to end the week here.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Shamblesuk | 9 years ago

Even more vomit inducing is the way Sky Sports cannot begin any cycling article containing Wiggins or Froome without beginning "Team Sky's (whoever) won/lost/did well/did badly" rather than introducing the winner/who did best first.

Talk about self-promotion.

Mombee | 9 years ago

The UK media coverage was pants… I noticed it with The Times each weekend, with the Murdoch-Sky empire as their owner, you'd have expected some decent coverage, and there was scant coverage on the BBC (5 Live). If it's any consolation, it was the same for the Vuelta… it seemed that the media only took some interest in the middle of last week when Wiggo started to threaten a podium position. Given the incredible events (and changes in race positions) this week, it must have been frustrating for Alex Dowsett not to have seen more media publicity for his achievements.

Jonny_Trousers | 9 years ago

Just out of interest, why did choose not to offer a day-by-day report of the Tour of Britain?

notfastenough replied to Jonny_Trousers | 9 years ago
Jonny_Trousers wrote:

Just out of interest, why did choose not to offer a day-by-day report of the Tour of Britain?

I thought that. I get that this isn't cyclingnews or whatever, but this is our home tour.

SamSkjord | 9 years ago

I still want Dowsett to win  17

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