The Tour of Britain kicked off today with a 177 kilometer long route through Wales. After a rather wet start on the scenic coastline of Northern Anglesey, the peloton took on the lumpy profile that lay ahead of them. The local teams tried to animate the early stages of todays race. This tactic proofed to be successful with Kristian House (JTL Condor), Pete Williams (One Pro Cycling), Tom Stewart (Madison Genesis) and Connor Dunne (An Post-Chain Reactions) finding their way into the break.
The four built up a substantial lead of more than five minutes which allowed them to go for the intermediate sprints and KOM’s that were the landmarks towards the finish in Wrexham.
It was only in the latter part of the race, that the big teams increased the pace in the peloton. Besides Etixx-QuickStep, Sky and Lotto-Soudal our six-man MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung outfit rode watchful near the front of the race.
With 10 kilometers to go the break was in sight of the peloton. From there the gap just kept on dropping. Yet the technical and narrow run-in to the finish wasn’t to the be in the team’s favor. In the end it was Tyler Farrar who managed to find his way to the front again, after loosing the contact to our designated lead-out riders some three kilometers from the line. He crossed the line in 8th securing the team a top10 finish on the day.
The win went to Elia Viviani (Sky), who beat Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) and André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) into second and third.
Tyler Farrar – Rider
The finale was pretty hectic. It wasn’t easy to stay in front, given the narrow roads and technical race route. We were positioned well until about three kilometers to go, but then lost each other. I tried to find my way to the front after that but was just not in a good position to be up there in the end. Tomorrow’s another day.
Michel Cornelisse – Sports Director
We wanted to show ourselves in the finale today, but couldn’t quite match the competition in the end. The race was not as hard as we had hoped for. It was our plan to launch Edvald with Tyler being somewhat of the Joker for the last few kilometers, pending on how the race would turn out. He managed to get a top10 result for us. Yet we are here to go for a stage win, so we will try again in the next coming days.