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Boasson Hagen easily won the GC, but Viviani initially finished second in the sprint before Greipel was relegated for irregular sprinting and almost taking the Italian off his bike. Viviani was given the win.

Photo: Sirotti








13.09.2015 @ 19:26 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Edvald Boasson Hagen proved he is back to his best when he took out his second GC win in the Tour of Britain. But the main action came from the sprint, when Andre Greipel beat Elia Viviani and Juan Jose Lobato to the line. But the German was relegated for irregular sprinting, handing Viviani a third win this week and moving Matteo Trentin to third.


The last stage of the Tour of Britain was 14 laps of a 6.2km circuit in London and was expected to play almost no role in the GC and would be decided in a sprint. But both the sprints and points jersey were up for grabs.


From the gun, Team Wiggins controlled the pace, looking to help Owain Doull take bomus seconds in the first intermediate sprint to move up from fourth to third, where he was one second behind Rasmus Guldhammer of CULT at the start of the day.


Guldhammer’s teammate Russell Downing beat Doull to the sprint and another of his teammates, Svendgaard was third, but as Guldhammer took no points, Doull went from one second behind in fourth, to one second clear in third.


As Connor Dunne of An Post didn’t take any points in the sprint, that also meant Pete Williams of ONE Pro Cycling added the intermediate sprints jersey to his KOM jersey. 


On lap five, the first break was established: Bibby (NPC) - Stewart  (MGT) - Dunne (SKT) - Planet (TNN) - Kneisky (RAL) - Wyss (BMC) - House (JLT). They had a small gap and Wyss and Bibby kept the move going as the others dropped back. 


Madison Genesis’ Matt Cronshaw joined the duo, as did Raleigh’s Karol Domagalski. Bouwman of LottoNL-jumbo bridged soon after. 


Dylan Van Baarle of Cannondale-Garmin and Juraj Sagan bridged just before the second intermediate sprint and Van Baarle took the win to sure up his eighth spot on GC. JLT’s Richard Handley was the last man to make the break, now eight strong.


At the end of lap seven they had 21 seconds and at the final intermediate sprint, Van Baarle led Cronshaw and Wyss across the line. The gap dropped to 11 seconds under pressure from MTN-Qhubeka and Sky.


With just two laps to go Cronshaw attacked and gained a small gap and dangled for a while before Bibby and Wyss countered. Wyss’ WorldTour class showed as he dropped Bibby, but he was caught too just as the bell for the last lap was sounded, although not before he was named most aggressive rider.


Things stayed together all the way to the line and Lotto-Soudal started their leadout at 3km to go and when Greipel launched, Viviani got nowhere near him as a fast-finishing Lobato took third.


But in the replays, we saw why the Sky man didn’t get close, Greipel cut right across him unintentionally, but he forced the Italian onto his breaks and it’s a miracle he didn’t crash and was able to take second. 


Greipel was doing his post race interviews as winner, but it was Viviani who would step onto the podium to win the stage, his third of the race.


Boasson Hagen beat Poels overall by 13 seconds and Doull was third at 42 seconds. Doull just about held of the Norwegian to take the points jersey, as well as the overall combativity prize for the whole week. Williams scored a huge coup for his Continental team by taking the intermediate sprints and KOM jerseys. 




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