Tour of Britain

3rd -10th September 2017

Friends Life Tour of Britain
Friends Life Tour of Britain
  • Stage 1
  • Stage 2
  • Stage 3
  • Stage 4
  • Stage 5
  • Stage 6
  • Stage 7
  • Stage 8
Britain's biggest professional cycle race returned to Liverpool for the first time since 2008 and was welcomed by glorious sunshine and clear blue skies above the Mersey.

Hundreds of thousands of fans were treated to a spectacular circuit race through the heart of the city and around Sefton Park, finishing beneath the world-famous Three Graces. A clash with a team car disrupted Mark Cavendish's stage, causing him an injury that would hamper him for the week, and meaning 2014's dominant sprinter had that little bit of an easier time on his way to his first victory in the race, and the Friends Life Yellow Jersey.

1) Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant Shimano

2) Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani CSF

3) Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma Quick-Step

The second stage departed from Knowsley Safari Park, traversing North Wales before a spectacular run around the Great Orme's Marine Drive, which prompted a flurry of attacks.

Swooping into Llandudno off the Orme, it was Mark Renshaw who held on the cross the line infont, taking his second Tour of Britain stage win, and pulling on the race leader's Friends Life Yellow Jersey.

1) Mark Renshaw (Aus) Omega Pharma Quick-Step

2) Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky

3) Sam Bennett (Irl) Team NetApp Endura

Heading south from the heart of Mid Wales and Powys, the modern Tour visited Monmouthshire for the first time, for a showdown, or rumble, on the summit finish of the Tumble above Abergavenny.

It was Italian climber Edoardo Zardini who kicked off the action on the lower slopes, going away with Tinkoff Saxo's Nicolas Roche. Eventually Zardini powered on alone, for the stage win, and a third different yellow jersey in three days.

1) Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani CSF

2) Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma Quick-Step

3) Nicolas Roche (Irl) Tinkoff Saxo

Worcester returned to the route of Britain's national Tour for the first time since 2008 while Bristol made a long overdue debut in the modern race, hosting a memorable finish atop the stiff climb of Bridge Valley Road above the Avon Gorge.

Alex Dowsett was part of a strong breakaway group over the Malverns and through Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, until a puncture dropped him back to the peloton. Into Bristol and the break were just maintaining their advantage, but a rapid ascent of the SKODA King of the Mountains climb onto the Bristol Downs and a spectacular finish saw Michal Kwiatkowski winning, and becoming the fourth yellow jersey in four days.

1) Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma Quick-Step

2) Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant Shimano

3) Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing

As ever the Devon stage proved popular with fans and riders alike, heading from Exmouth on the Devon coast to the centre of Exeter, via the climbs of Dartmoor, among them Haytor.

And for the first time in the race the day long breakaway stayed away, with Matthias Brandle dropping his companions on the final climb on the outskirts of Exeter to solo to victory. Behind Kwiatkowski did enough to keep hold of the race lead.

1) Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling

2) Shane Archbold (NZl) An Post Chain Reaction

3) Maarten Wynants (Bel) Belkin Pro Cycling

For the second day running the break stayed away, and for the second day running the stage winner was IAM Cycling's Matthias Brandle. But the real story was the Austrian's breakaway companion Alex Dowsett, whose tireless efforts helped the three rider group stay clear through the Chilterns, benefiting at one stage from nearly an eight minute lead, giving him the Friends Life Yellow Jersey.

With the peloton trailing in well over a minute down on the trio, the Friends Life Tour of Britain had been turned upside down with two days to go.

1) Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling

2) Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team

3) Tom Stewart (GBr) Madison Genesis

The penultimate day's racing saw Sussex and Brighton appear on the route of a national Tour for the first time in well over 20-years, with three tricky SKODA King of the Mountains climbs coming in the finale, including Ditchling Beacon.

While all of the attention was on new Friends Life Yellow Jersey Alex Dowsett, an innocuous break went clear that the peloton failed to catch. On Ditchling Beacon Julien Vermote attacked to solo to victory, but it was one of his companions Dylan Van Baarle who finished between the winner and the various groups of GC contenders to sneak into the race lead and become the sixth Friends Life Yellow Jersey of the week.

1) Julien Vermote (Bel) Omega Pharma Quick-Step

2) Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) MTN Qhubeka

3) Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Garmin Sharp

A double header final stage saw riders contest a one-lap individual time trial in the morning before the afternoon's circuit race. Two weeks before he'd win World Time Trial Championship Gold, Bradley Wiggins took out the time trial win but Michal Kwiatkowski couldn't overturn Dylan Van Baarle's 18-second lead at the top of the standings.

In the afternoon there was the traditional ten lap race, ending in spectacular style with a fast paced bunch sprint up Whitehall, with Marcel Kittel bookending his race with stage wins, pipping Mark Cavendish by the narrowest of margins.

With Van Baarle taking the overall victory, Kwiatkowski had the consolation of the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey, with Britan's Mark McNally winning the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey, having worn it all week after taking the jersey on home roads in Liverpool.

Denmark's Sebastian Lander was the YodelDirect Sprints winner while Alex Dowsett's reward after an eventful week was the Rouleur Combativity Award for the most aggressive rider of the 2014 Friends Life Tour of Britain.

Individual Time Trial

1) Sir Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Team Sky

2) Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling

3) Steve Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing

Road Race

1) Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant Shimano

2) Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma Quick-Step

3) Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani CSF

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