Tour of Britain

3rd -10th September 2017

Friends Life Tour of Britain
Friends Life Tour of Britain
  • Prologue
  • Stage 1
  • Stage 2
  • Stage 3
  • Stage 4
  • Stage 5
  • Stage 6

2007 - Prologue, Crystal Palace

Short time trials are a discipline at which the UK has traditionally excelled, with riders such as Chris Boardman, and latterly our Olympic track team frequently showing the rest of the world how it's done. In Crystal Palace Park it proved to be a case of business as usual as British riders filled four of the top ten places.

Off towards the end of the field it was Mark Cavendish who blew apart the field, winning by over a second from his nearest rival, the Russian Nikolai Trusov of the Tinkoff Credit Systems team.

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) T-Mobile
2 Nikolai Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems
3 Alexander Serov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems

2007 - Stage 1, Reading to Southampton

Given the success of British riders on the track over recent years, the velodrome at Reading was an appropriate place to kick off the first road stage of the 2006 race.

Most commentators were predicting a bunch sprint on the day, but if the rider were expecting the same, no one had told Mikel Artetxte and Piet Rooijakkers as they broke away from the main field and forged a lead that at one point reached two minutes. However, the teams of T-Mobile (defending Cavendish's lead), CSC, Agritubel and Barloworld had all read the script for the day and with a concerted chase brought the lead of the two escapees down to 50 seconds with 8km to go.

The bunch finally caught the breakaway with just two kilometres remaining and it was T-Mobile that bought the main field around the final bend and into the finishing straight at Southampton where no-one looked like seriously challenging Cavendish as he took his second consecutive stage win with
seeming ease.

1 Mark Cavendish (GBr) T-Mobile
2 Steven Caethoven (Bel) Chocolade Jacques
3 Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) CSC

2007 - Stage 2, Yeovil to Taunton

On to Somerset and possibly the hardest stage of the race as the riders lined up at the Fleet air Arm museum for the 169km leg to Taunton. Along the way they would have to tackle the climb of Porlock Hill, as well as the undulating and windswept roads of Exmoor before descending towards the finish in Taunton.

As expected it was the climb of Porlock that proved decisive as a group of ten broke clear including prologue runner up Nikolai Trusov, making him leader on the road as a furious chase began in the main field. T-Mobile led the chase for the next few miles, however, with only 6 riders to contribute to the chase they quickly tired and as the bunch split again, not a single rider from T-Mobile was able to make it across to the lead group.

Nearly 30 riders entered Taunton together to contest the finish, however this was quickly reduced to just two as a touch of wheels brought down many and slowed down nearly all the riders in the gallop for the line.

Trusov won the sprint for the line, just ahead of Luke Roberts of CSC, taking both the stage win and the yellow jersey in the process.

1 Nikolai Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems
2 Luke Roberts (Aus) CSC
3 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel

2007 - Stage 3, Worcester to Wolverhampton

The West Midlands was to be the battle ground for Stage Three of the race with a stage starting in Worcester and finishing in Wolverhampton after a stage that took in some stunning roads in and around Shropshire.

Hostilities got underway early with a group of 9 having broken away before the first sprint of the day at Three Counties Showground. As the group hit the lower slopes of the climb of Malvern Hamish Haynes was quickly distanced leaving 8 to contest the King of the Mountains prime where Ben Swift took maximum points and the overall lead in the competition.

Over constantly undulating roads the group of eight, including Matt Goss, Roger Hammond and Paul Manning as well as Bichot, Maaskant and Dempster maintained their lead over two further climbs and it wasn't until after the final KOM at Sutton Bank that the group began to fragment as first Ben Swift and the Rob Partridge were shelled from the group on the approach to Wolverhampton.

As the riders entered the city of Wolverhampton it was Matt Goss who put in the attack that split the lead group, taking Hammond and Bichot with him. Despite beginning to play cat and mouse in the final kilometre, as they rounded the final bend, they still had enough lead to contest the win with Goss crossing the line first, much to the delight of the local crowd. Trusov retained his yellow jersey, preserving a one-second buffer over Luke Roberts.

1 Matt Goss (Aus) CSC
2 Freddy Bichot (Fra) Agritubel
3 Roger Hammond (GBr) T-Mobile

2007 - Stage 4, Rother Valley to Bradford

The race headed to Rother Valley park for the start of Stage Four of the race where local school children turned out in their droves to welcome the event.

In commemoration of the campaigner, cyclist and fundraiser Jane Tomlinson, who passed away shortly before the race, the main field were led away by members of her family and fundraising team in a touching tribute to her life. Once out of the park racing began almost immediately with the first 50km's of racing taking less than an hour and the lead changing hands constantly as attack followed attack.

As the race reached the 80km mark, the race was briefly brought to a stop and neutralised as it emerged that the route crossed an area where a road closure permit had not been granted, the race was briefly neutralised before the flag was dropped again some 25km later with King of the Mountains leader Ben Swift later confessing that many of the riders were glad of the rest after the hectic first hour!

Onto the decisive first category climb of Cow & Calf and a group of 3 including Adrian Palomares, Blanco Rodriguez and Tom Stubbe broke clear, forging a race winning lead that would last all the way to the finish.

The stage victory went to Palomares who also took Yellow whilst Swift retained the King of the Mountains jersey and Romain Feillu took green.

1 Adrian Palomares (Spa) Fuerteventura Canarias
2 Tom Stubbe (Bel) Chocolade Jacques
3 David Blanco (Spa) Duja Tavira

2007 - Stage 5, Liverpool to Kendal

The penultimate stage of the 2007 race began in Liverpool before heading north along the coast and onwards to Kendal, gateway to the beautiful Lake District National Park and with the finish atop Beast Banks, a brutally steep 1 in 7 climb.

After a brisk start, a group of 10, including former race leader Cavendish and the Russian Alexander Serov, three of those riders dropped back as the break came under pressure from a fast chasing bunch and as the riders entered the hilly Forest of Bowland before Cavendish and Serov attacked the group leaving just two in front. Over the final climb of the day Serov distanced Cavendish with a decisive attack, leaving the two to fight out a one on one pursuit all the way to Kendal.

Serov pressed home his advantage all the way to the top of Beast Bank, leaving Cavendish to trail in second just ahead of the bunch, but having done enough to take the lead in the Hot Spot Sprints competition.

The bunch was led in by Romain Feillu who took the lead in the points competition but crucially, also took a time bonus that brought him to within three seconds of the overall lead as the riders transferred north to Dumfries for the start of the final stage.

1 Alexander Serov (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems
2 Mark Cavendish (GBr) T-Mobile
3 Romain Feillu (Fra) Agritubel

2007 - Stage 6, Dumfries to Glasgow

Onto the final day of racing, but no holiday for the riders as there was everything to play for in all the jersey competitions. This was reflected in the average speed for the stage, on an undulating route the race averaged over 44km/h.

From the beginning of the stage, the game plan of Agritubel was clear, controlling the race until the opening hot-spot sprint at Drumlanrig where Feillu took the points, and more crucially the time bonus that made him leader on the road. After 70km a group of five riders went clear and with Paul Manning the highest placed on GC, all Agritubel had to do was keep the gap below six minutes to take overall victory.

Manning left it until the entrance to the city of Glasgow to make his move and as riders like Salvatore Commesso and Lars Bak looked at one another, Manning seized the moment to grab the victory.

With the remnants of the bunch coming in outside the time bonuses but just 17 seconds after the winner, it was clear who the big winner was at the end of the day and a beaming Romain Feillu gladly accepted the applause of the sizeable crowd.

1 Paul Manning (GBr) Great Britain
2 Salvatore Commesso (Ita) Tinkoff Credit Systems
3 Kurt Hovelijnck (Bel) Chocolade Jacques

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