The Tour of Britain has been a fairly routine affair. There have been brave rides and the sprints on stages one and seven were so close, first between Viviani and Cavebndish and then between Greipel and Viviani, to require serious studying of the photo finish. By the time the race reached London on Sunday the GC was all but decided as Edvald Boassen Hagen had quietly finished so consistently that he was firmly in the yellow jersey. The London course was a tight loop in the centre, taking in many of the postcard highlights and giving a race that everyone expected.
An eight man break went out, including the Tinkoff-Saxo rider Sagan (but not THAT Sagan, confusingly). This dangled about 20 seconds off the front but in the later laps the combined effort of MTN Qubeka, Sky, Lotto-Soudal and eventually Wiggins, brought it in in the penultimate lap. This set up the predictable sprint between the remaining big sprint names. With Cavendish watching from home after hitting a parked car in previous days it was a duel between Viviani and Greipel.
Never ideal to watch a race on TV you should've ridden. Even less with an ice pack on an injury. Silver lining is I got to watch the @MotoGP— Mark Cavendish (@MarkCavendish) September 13, 2015
Greipel crossed the line first but was deemed to have deviated from his line and the win was awarded to Viviani. Boasson Hagen took the Tour win making history by being the first rider to win it twice. He was ahead of Sky’s Woeter Poels and Owain Doull, expertly manoeuvred up to third by Team Wiggins and the highest placed Brit.
For those of you who like crashes, here is why Cavendish wasn’t contesting the sprint:
The Vuelta has been a much more exciting affair. Dogged by crashes early on and by the removal of favourites for one reason or another it became an opportunity for the lesser known parts of the Peloton. This resulted in a fascinating battle between Dutch rider Dumoulin who showed unusual form in the climbs, and more established GC contender Fabio Aru. The race went down to the last day of serious competition on Saturday where Aru closed a 6 second deficit then Dumoulin had opened in a time trial on Friday to all but guarantee the win in Madrid.
Fascinating as that was I do love a side story and here was an excellent one about a bike that appears to have been stolen from Orica Green-Edge.
On that note, there’s this.
As I write there should also be some good footage on the way from the Atherton’s Red Bull Hardline event that was going off over the weekend. It looks like Ruaridh Cunningham took the win for what it’s worth in this jam-style race, with Gee breakinghis bike again despite looking super smooth. Until we get the official video here’s some Vital MTB jumps.