Tour of Britain (st. 1)
Strong tailwinds and infamous weather in Scotland turns Movistar Team’s first outing in UK into a six-hour pilgrimage to the finish, animated by a late attack from Dowsett. Viviani (CAN) wins stage, takes the lead
Temperatures around 10ºC and a rude frontal wind punished the riders starting the 10th edition of the Tour of Britain, the eight-day event covering the main of the British Isles until Sunday 22nd. The longest stage, over 209km from Peebles to the Drumlanrig castle in southeast Scotland, saw Movistar Team keeping the front of the bunch, pulled by Sky and OPQS as they controlled the two main attempts of the day: a five-man escape -Laborie (SOJ), House (RCS), Hawkins & Greenwood (IGS) and Gate (SKT)- neutralized with 40km remaining, and a solo attempt by Anthony Delaplace (SOJ), reeled back with 14k left into the final circuit.
At that loop, Alex Dowsett tried to profit from the bunch’s difficulty to control the race -six-man squads being compulsory for the race- with an attack into the ascent towards the castle, quickly brought back by the field. A crash into the finishing straight put even more disorder into an already chaotic sprint, won by Viviani (CAN) as all the riders from the telephone squad -including Dowsett himself, as well as Nairo Quintana- made it safely into the bunch. Monday will see stage two be covered from Carlisle y Kendal (187km), with lots of small climbs and a steep section, the Honister Pass (Cat-1), around 70k from the end of the race.
Picture (c): Tour of Britain 2013 – Larry Hickmott