Dutchman Lars Boom of the Rabobank team was never under threat in the second instalment of today's London finale of the 2011 Tour of Britain, finishing safely in the pack to cement his overall leader's position 36 seconds ahead of Team Sky's Steve Cummings.
Boom had already come second in the morning 'a' stage, a time trial where he conceded a mere five seconds to British tt specialist Alex Dowsett and confirming that his General Classification position was the result of supremacy in all disciplines rather than playing it safe.
The 90km criterium 'b' stage consisting of 10 laps of a prestigious and camera-friendly Westminster circuit was the expected feisty affair with both points and time bonuses up for grabs on laps 2, 4 and 6 but it was World's Best Sprinter Mark Cavendish that fired the afterburners for a not-unexpected final-stage win. His team mate and loyal lieutenant Mark Renshaw took second, surely the last time these two will be seen in the same HTC kit.
Although they weren't threatening the GC, first from the countdown Ronan McLaughlin of An Post - Sean Kelly and then Kristian House of neigbourhood team Rapha-Condor-Sharp worked together like Trojans to keep away 30 seconds ahead of the peloton for nine of the laps but the rain came down with determination to match the pursuing Rabobank and HTC teams for the final circuit and the effort came to naught but for glory.
British hopes now rest in Cavendish having found this the ideal week of race preparation in readiness for next weekend's World Championships in Copenhagen. It certainly won't be for lack of a quality team behind him, Great Britain having qualified to field the maximum of eight riders including Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas and last week's GB Vuelta star Chris Froome.
Top 20 Tour of Britain Stage 8b
1 1 GBR Mark Cavendish HTC Highroad THR 1:59:13 2 6 AUS Mark Renshaw HTC Highroad THR st 3 151 GER Robert Förster UnitedHealthcare UHC st 4 91 GBR Geraint Thomas Sky ProCycling SKY st 5 96 GBR Ben Swift Sky ProCycling SKY st 6 25 ITA Giacomo Nizzolo** Leopard Trek LEO st 7 134 GBR Tobyn Horton Motorpoint MPT st 8 111 GBR Andrew Fenn** An Post - Sean Kelly SKT st 9 102 NAM Dan Craven Rapha Condor - Sharp RCS st 10 43 BEL Stijn Neirynck Topsport Vlaanderen TSV st 11 123 ITA Cesare Benedetti Team NetApp APP st 12 54 AUS Michael Matthews** Rabobank RAB st 13 135 GBR Jonathan McEvoy** Motorpoint MPT st 14 12 ESP Iker Camano Endura Racing EDR st 15 23 GER Linus Gerdemann Leopard Trek LEO at 0:05 16 83 GBR Roger Hammond Team Garmin - Cervelo GRM st 17 155 NED Boy Van Poppel UnitedHealthcare UHC st 18 132 POL Marcin Bialoblocki Motorpoint MPT st 19 84 GBR Daniel Lloyd Team Garmin - Cervelo GRM st 20 46 BEL Jelle Wallays** Topsport Vlaanderen TSV st
Top 20 final general classification
1 51 NED Lars Boom Rabobank RAB 26:57:35 2 94 GBR Stephen Cummings Sky ProCycling SKY 26:58:11 at 0:36 3 122 CZE Jan Barta Team NetApp APP 26:58:30 at 0:55 4 23 GER Linus Gerdemann Leopard Trek LEO 26:58:32 at 0:57 5 105 GBR Jonathan Tiernan Locke Rapha Condor - Sharp RCS 26:58:38 at 1:03 6 12 ESP Iker Camano Endura Racing EDR 26:58:42 at 1:07 7 46 BEL Jelle Wallays** Topsport Vlaanderen TSV 26:58:47 at 1:12 8 26 NED Joost Posthuma Leopard Trek LEO 26:58:48 at 1:13 9 125 CZE Leopold Koenig Team NetApp APP 26:58:54 at 1:19 10 84 GBR Daniel Lloyd Team Garmin-Cervelo GRM 26:59:00 at 1:25 11 95 AUS Michael Rogers Sky ProCycling SKY 26:59:05 at 1:30 12 91 GBR Geraint Thomas Sky ProCycling SKY 26:59:30 at 1:55 13 1 GBR Mark Cavendish HTC Highroad THR 26:59:58 at 2:23 14 155 NED Boy Van Poppel UnitedHealthcare UHC 27:00:27 at 2:52 15 111 GBR Andrew Fenn** An Post - Sean Kelly SKT 27:00:28 at 2:53 16 24 GER Dominic Klemme Leopard Trek LEO 27:00:37 at 3:02 17 63 NED Jan-Bert Lindeman** Vacansoleil - DCM VCD 27:00:45 at 3:10 18 102 NAM Dan Craven Rapha Condor - Sharp RCS 27:00:53 at 3:18 19 55 NED Bram Tankink Rabobank RAB 27:01:14 at 3:39 20 154 AUS Rory Sutherland UnitedHealthcare UHC 27:01:27 at 3:52
Confirmed results and overall classification to follow...