Gediminas Bagdonas of the Ireland-based An Post team, winner of the overall title in Irish stage race the Ras in May this year, has won Stage 7 of the 2011 Tour of Britain in Sandringham, Norfolk this afternoon. The Lithuanian won from a six-man breakaway that got away early on in today's stage in East Anglia.
Today’s stage from Bury St Edmunds to Sandringham was the longest of this year’s race at 199 kilometres and together with tomorrow’s circuit from Westminster to the Tower of London, the flattest.
Once the break had got away, it managed to built a lead of six minutes on the peloton, making the Topsport Vlaanderen rider Stijn Neirynck virtual race overall leader and prompting gold jersey Lars Boom's Rabobank team to start leading the chase.
With 20 kilometres to go, the break still had a lead of three minutes on the chasing peloton, and it was starting to look as though it would stay clear, and Sigma Sport-Specialized's Wouter Sybrandy even managed to rejoin his five fellow escapees after suffering a puncture.
The gap remained unchanged as the race entered its final 10 kilometres as Bagdonas, Neirynck, Sybarden and the other four members of the break - Europcar's Mathieu Claude, Team Raleigh's Richard Handley and Ian Wilkinson of Endura Racing prepared to fight it out for the win in Sandringham.
Stage Seven, Bury St Edmunds to Sandringham, 199.7km Stage Result 1 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu, AN Post - Sean Kelly) 04:33:17 2 Ian Wilkinson (GB, Endura Racing) st 3 Mathieu Claude (Fra, Team Europcar) st 4 Stijn Neirynck (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen) st 5 Richard Handley (GB, Team Raleigh) @ 0:04 6 Wouter Sybrandy (Ned, Sigma Sport-Specialized) @ 0:11 7 Mark Cavendish (GB, HTC Highroad) @ 1:23 8 Andrew Fenn (GB, AN Post - Sean Kelly) st 9 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita, Leopard Trek) st 10 Geraint Thomas (GB, Sky ProCycling) st Overall General Classification, after Stage Seven 1 Lars Boom (Ned, Rabobank) 24:47:58 2 Leopold Koenig (Ger, Team NetApp) @ 0:28 3 Daniel Lloyd (GB, Garmin - Cervelo) @ 0:29 4 Linus Gerdemann (Ger, Leopard Trek) @ 0:31 5 Steve Cummings (GB, Sky ProCycling) @ 0:32 6 Jelle Wallays (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen) st 7 Jan Barta (Cze, Team NetApp st 8 Jonathan Tiernan Locke (GB, Rapha Condor Sharp) st 9 Iker Camano (Spa, Endura Racing) @ 0:50 10 Joost Posthuma (Ned, Leopard Trek) @ 0:52 The Prostate Cancer Charity Points Classification, after Stage Seven 1 Lars Boom (Ned, Rabobank) 52pts 2 Mark Cavendish (GB, HTC Highroad) 49pts 3 Geraint Thomas (GB, Sky ProCycling) 47pts 4 Stijn Neirynck (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen) 30pts 5 Mark Renshaw (Aus, HTC Highroad) 29pts Skoda King of the Mountains Classification, after Stage Seven 1 Jonathan Tiernan Locke (GB, Rapha Condor Sharp) 71pts 2 Russell Hampton (GB, Sigma Sport Specialized) 48pts 3 Steve Cummings (GB, Sky ProCycling) 30pts 4 Linus Gerdemann (Ger, Leopard Trek) 28pts 5 Thomas De Gendt (Bel, Vacansoleil - DCM) 25pts Yodel Sprints Classification, after Stage Seven 1 Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel, AN Post - Sean Kelly 36pts 2 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu, AN Post - Sean Kelly) 15pts 3 Russell Hampton (GB, Sigma Sport - Specialized) 13pts 4 Lars Boom (Ned, Rabobank) 11pts 5 Mark McNally (GB, AN Post - Sean Kelly) 10pts 6 Andrew Fenn (GB, AN Post - Sean Kelly) 10pts UNISON Best Young Rider, after Stage Seven 1 Jelle Wallays (Bel, Topsport Vlaanderen) 24:48:30 2 Jan-Bert Lindeman (Ned, Vacansoleil - DCM) @ 1:22 3 Andrew Fenn (GB, AN Post - Sean Kelly) @ 1:39 Stage Seven Combativity Award: Ian Wilkinson (GB, Endura Racing)
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.