It was another rainy day at the Tour of Britain, yet one that offered an exciting finale. In the end it was Julien Vermote (Etixx-QuickStep) who took the stage win, just ahead of Steve Cummings. Both had made the decisive move inside the last 10 kilometers. They crossed the finish line in Kendal nearly 1 minute ahead of Dan Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) and the closest chasers.
The early kilometers of stage 2 of the 2016 Tour of Britain saw a lot of teams trying to get into today’s break. With a lumpy profile and a steep final kilometer ahead it wasn’t to be a day for the sprinters. It might have been for that very reason that GC leader André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) decided to join the break as one of the 15 riders to forge clear. Johann van Zyl flew the flag for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka in there.
The breaks gap would grow to over 3 minutes before the peloton picked up the pace. Inside the last 50 kilometers the gap would then steadily come down. The rain and profile also took its toll on the riders and the break eventually started to split.
With roughly 30 kilometers to go 5 riders were left out front. It was then that Van Zyl dropped back to help Steve Cummings to come to the fore. The Brit eventually mad the junction and bridged across to the break 11 kilometers from the line in Kendal. He didn’t want to waste much time though and decided to put in another attack. The first one got countered. However, when he kicked again it was only Vermote who managed to stay in his wheel.
Cummings set a blistering pace at the front of the race, with Vermote also taking a few turns in the lead. They reached the last kilometer more than 30 seconds ahead of the chasers. With the last 500 meters dragging up to the finish Cummings led the race from the front. Vermote started his sprint with 150 meters to go and Cummings had to resort to finish 2nd. The Belgian also took over the lead in the GC, while Cummings’ gutsy ride put him into a good position for the overall. He now sits 2nd in this classification, only 6 seconds down on Vermote.
Steve Cummings – Rider
I have to thank the team. They did an awesome job to put me in the perfect position. I’m sorry that I couldn’t reward the effort with the win today.